Second Edition News for January 16, 1998

Contracts and Transfers

  1. The 1998 TVM-Farm Frits team was presented by Cees Priem in Hoogeveen yesterday. Jeroen Blijlevens has been named the 'head of the team' and Sergej Oetsjakov as 'first lieutenant'. The team's biggest target for this season: the Tour de France. Blijlevens said: "That's more important than the World Championship in Valkenburg."

    TVM-Farm Frites will do the Tour de France and the Vuelta for sure. It isn't sure yet that the team will join the Giro. Manager Cees Priem said: "We have to see how our condition is after the classics. There is no sense in starting with a tired team."

    New in the team: Claus Möller (Den), Nicolaj Bo Larsen (Den), Geert van Bondt (Bel), Michel Lafis (Swe), Olivier Asmaker (Fra), Sergej Oetsjakov (Uzb), Pieter Vries and Miquel van Kessel.

    Retained riders: Michael Anderson (Swe), Johan Capiot (Bel), Hendrik van Dijck (Bel), Sergej Ivanov (Rus), Laurent Roux (Fra), Lars Michaelsen (Den), Peter van Petegem (Bel), Davy Dubbeldam, Jeroen Blijlevens, Tristan Hoffman, Steven de Jongh, Servais Knaven and Bart Voskamp.

    Retired or dismissed riders: Jesper Skibby, Louis de Koning, Bo Hamburger, Maarten den Bakker, Steffen Kjaergaard, Stephane Petilleau and Niels van der Steen.

  2. Marco Pantani's 1998 season begins today. The Romagnolo climber has left his home in Cesenatico per Terracina (Latina), to attend the first meeting of Team Mercatone Uno-Bianchi, which will conclude on January 31st. During the retreat, Pantani will run some tests in his new time trial bike, which was just finihsed by Bianchi in Treviglio. The team for 1998 is composed of 19 riders: the confirmed riders are Artunghi, Barbero, Borgheresi, Checchin, Conti, Garzelli, Pantani, Pellicioli, Piovaccari, Podenzana, Siboni, Traversoni, Dall'Olio; the new ones are Fincato, Fontanelli, Forconi, Konyshev (Rus), Napolitano (neo), Velo. The team manager is Giuseppe Martinelli, the sport directors are Orlando Maini and Alessandro Giannelli.

Mapei riders goes positive

Stefan Girschweiler tells me that in the Swiss Press, it has been reported that the Mapei rider Valentino Fois has tested positive during last year's Tour de Suisse. The positive test came on the stage where he took (or now "stole") the leader's jersey from Swiss rider Oscar Camenzind.

The Dutch have reported that he tested positive after a urine test for anabolic steroids. The Anti-Doping Commission of the Italian Olympic Committee has suspended Fois for only 6 months. They also fined him 2500 guilders (around $US1400).

The 24-year old Italian's contract with Mapei was not renewed this season. Instead he was to have ridden for the Italian team Vini Caldirola.

Wim de Vos ends his season

Dutch Cyclo-crosser Wim de Vos has fallen during training on Wednesday and was taken to hospital in Oosterhout (Netherlands). He has a fracture at the base of the skull. He has been released from hospital and is resting at home. He has been told to have complete rest for at least a week and so it means that his competitive 1997-98 season is over.

Dutch National Team Reserve Gerben de Knegt, who is currently away overseas with an MTB team, will replace De Vos in the World Championships in Denmark in two weeks. Next Sunday De Vos will be replaced by Wilfred Veldkamp in the last World Cup race in Heerlen (Netherlands).

Ferrigato and Vitalicio Seguro already working hard

The 22 riders for Vitalicio Seguros, the new Spanish team guided by Javier Minguez and Domenico Cavallo, have been working out since Tuesday in Yavea, a location not far from Alicante, on the east coast of Spain. Two Italians will be part of the team: Andrea Ferrigato and Elio Aggiano. Ferrigato said: "Everything is going very well, the team is very well organized and us Italians have entered the group easily. The team is very friendly. I have spent a good Winter, training, pedalling about 4000 km and I anticipate that I will be ready for Milano-San Remo. I will start my season in the beginning of February at Mallorca and will start in Italy at Laigueglia". The highlight of Ferrigato's season will be the Giro d'Italia, where he will be supported by Rincon, Buenahora, Zintchenko, Aparicio, Juan Carlos Dominguez, Clavero, Steinhauser and Gonzalez Heredia.

Gontchar in hospital

Russian Sergei Gontchar (Cantina Tollo-Alexia Alluminio), winner of the individual time trial at the Giro '97 in Cavalese, has had a successful operation for a nose problem at the Cittadella Hospital.