GP Peter Post ClarificationYesterday I reported that there would be an attempt on the the motor-paced world hour record on September 9 at the new Amsterdam Velodrome. The news source said that the world record is currently standing at 57 km 350 meters and is held by Peter Pieters.
Ron Couwenhoven from the Netherlands writes:
In your report about the Grand Prix Peter Post you said the world hour record derny-racing is 57 km 350. But at the end of the sixties in the Antwerpen Velodrome Peter Post and Belgium Theo Verschueren fought an exciting match for this record.
The late Stan Ockers set the record January 14 1956 in Antwerpen at 61 km 745. On February 28 1965, Peter Post broke this record in front of 20,000 fans at the same velodrome and brought it to 63 km 783. Five years later Theo Verschueren, the only rider who could compete with Post in this discipline, broke the record for the last time and set it on 64 km 546. Since then no rider was capable to break this record. All records were set with only one rider on the track.
Thanks very much Ron.
Pantani Interview- Pantani releases a sigh of relief.
"I'm better. It's true, four days that could be a blessing in disguise".
- For days of absolute stop, without pedaling?
"I was sick Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday of last week: right after the Giro del Trentino where I was going well, I don't think that I have lost too much".
- Then you returned to the bicycle.
"Yes, luckily. I have had good training rides on the mountains around my area".
- Let's speak of the Giro which begins on Saturday, about the favorites.
- Do you see the Swiss as the head of the party?
"Yes, Zülle is the number one favorite. But only of 50 percent of the predictions".
- Amongst whom will the other 50 percent be divided?
"We will discover it during the race. I think that I have done the right preparation, although I will arrive to the Giro in a different way than other years. I have raced less: More or less 30 races".
- Twenty seven to be exact.
"I'll make note of that: 27. I was programmed to ride at Romandie, but I had to skip it due to a cold, with a bad cough and throat. Now I feel like I'm cured. I will meet with the team and head for Nice. I will try to get even with the rest of the riders on the first days of the Giro".
- You say that you are fine, but you look heavier than before during this time: is the new design of the pants of Mercatone Uno-Bianchi to blame?
"I think so: the design and colors deceive, since I weigh about 57 kilos, maybe a bit more than the weight with which I finished the '97 Tour. But at the start of the Tour I was more or less like now".
- Returning to your adversaries: what is your appraisal of Zülle, Pavel Tonkov, Ivan Gotti and the others?
"Starting with me. I'm satisfied with myself. Although I know that I don't have the spark that I would like to have: it will be at the Giro where the we will know how we are in terms of each other".
- But you have chosen Zülle as the head of the competition.
"He is the favorite because he is strong in the time trial and is hard to drop in the mountains, goes well in the cold and in the hot weather. But if Zulle finds a Pantani in his best days...".
- Will he find him?
"I hope so. I have done everything I can to have a good Giro. But it will not only depend of me. Do you remember last year? Did we expect a strong Gotti? he surprised everyone. It is very difficult to make predictions in cycling".
- Which Gotti have you seen at Trentino?
"A Gotti that didn't impress me. But there were still two weeks to go for the start of the Giro and more than four weeks from the most difficult stages. In fact he was going better at Romandie".
- And Tonkov?
"Tonkov has great class. On the bike he rides in a way in which it is always diffcult to really know at what point of his preparation he is in and when he really is strong. At Trentino & Romandia he seemed relaxed".
- Do you feel that you have a team adapted for the Giro?
"I think so. For the mountain stages I will have Conti, Garzelli and Forconi next to me".
Polti's Manager on the Giro"We will go to the Giro d'Italia with the best team possible. It will be our event of the year, so we couldn't miss".
Silvio Martinello and Fabrizio Guidi have won sprints ay the Four Days of Dunkerque. Davide Rebellin has been amongst the main players at the Tour of Romandie.
"Because of the incident at Pais Vasco, Rebellin had to skip the World Cup which he was ready for. Davide is a bit undecisive about aimimg for the Giro d'Italia. Martinello has asked me to race because he's going through good moment of form and he's preparing well. Our leader for the general classification will be Luc Leblanc".
Stanga thinks that this will be a very balanced Giro: "My favorites are the same as everybody else: Zülle, Tonkov, Gotti and Pantani. I don't see great differneces amongst these riders, I don't see the one rider who can take the whole thing. Our Leblanc is not far from the favorites. luc has placed everything on his preparation for the Giro and I have seen him very confident".
Enrico Cassani Mirko Gualdi Giuseppe Guerini Fabrizio Guidi Luc Leblanc (Fr) Silvio Martinello Davide Rebellin Christian Salvato
The 9th rider will be selected from: Mirco Crepaldi, Gianluca Valoti, Fabio Sacchi and Daniel Atienza (Spa)
TVM-Farm Frites team for the Giro
Michael Andersson (Zwe) Tristan Hoffman (Ned) Michael Lafis (Swe) Nicolay Bo Larsen (Den) Claus Möller (Den) Sergei Oetsjakov (Rus) Laurent Roux (Fra) Geert Van Bondt (Bel) Hendrik Van Dijck (Bel)
Camera's on BikesA micro-camera will be installed in the bicycle of four of the participants which will offer spectacular images from the centre of the peloton at the Giro d'Italia. A 260 gram micro-camera, will be installed in the bicycle frame and will be the novelty at the Giro to show the riders rolling along. All the participating teams have allowed some of their new riders to carry the small camera and the people responsible for the retransmission of the race will choose daily which 4 riders will carry the cameras. The small camera which was already tested at Milano-San Remo with excellent results, will only transmit images, since the rules forbid the transmission of sound via satelite.
The camera is similar to the one used in Formula One cars, has a reach of 40 kms and can be mounted and dismounted easily. Even though it is smaller that the original -the original weighed 800 grams- the team leaders will not carry them. After being absent for 5 years, RAI3 will transmit 5 hours a day, with the commentary of ex-cyclist Italian Davide Cassani.
Nieuwdorp, Netherlands, Zeeland Championships ITT
Amateurs: 1. J. van der Klooster (Lewedorp) 19.6 kms in 25.22.30 2. F. Franse (Kwadendamme) 25.33.42 3. D. Mesu (Middelburg) 26.28.08 4. M. Blok (Nieuwdorp) 27.04.09 5. J. van Schaik (Souburg) 27.07.14 6. A. van der Ploeg (Nieuwdorp) 28.34.38 Juniors: 1. R. Slabbekoorn (Kapelle) 26.44.95 2. D. Langenberg (Goes) 27.41.40 3. M de Ritter (Hoek) 27.50.33 4. E. Doedee (Kloosterzande) 29.26.37 5. L. Luteijn (Kapelle) 30.06.29 Nieuwelingen: 1. J. den Dekker (Oostburg) 29.50.70 2. D. Veerman (Aardenburg) 29.45.55 3. B. van Hoeve (Hulst) 29.57.28 4. J. Hoogerland (Yerseke) 30.11.12 5. M. Totté (St.Jansteen) 30.14.36. Women: 1. B. Doedee (Ovezande) 30.16.74 2. T. Schuit (Arnemuiden) 30.31.10 3. M. Dieleman (Vlissingen)
Ronnie Schmeer writes on Pro Racing in the USARonnie Schmeer rides for the American NutraFig team and updates us on a regular basis on his activities and what goes on in the American peloton. Hope you enjoy it.
Hi cycling fans. Here is my latest slice of life from the US pro scene. Sorry it's been so long since I've had a column but I left my laptop at the Tour of Willamette a few weeks ago (Ooops!) and have just now gotten it back. I was certainly a little brain addled to forget my laptop, all the climbing at Eugene, Oregon's 5 day stage race must have been responsible. This was the first year that the race has been awarded points on the USA's National Racing Calendar so the turnout was fairly good. Mercury, Saturn, Canadian National, and my team; Nutra-Fig, all sent squads. Aside from the 1k prologue and flat windy criterium, we experienced 3 days in a row of genuine alpine style road racing. All had 5000-7000 feet of climbing and were around 100 miles in length. For one stage I rode a 39x25 but with the dry roads, a rarity at this traditionally rainy race, I was OK with a 39x23. Last year I used that 25 on wet mossy climbs that were so slippery that your rear wheel would skid if you stood up. This year the most epic day was stage 3, the Smith River Road Race. It takes place entirely on Bureau of Land Management roads (BLM) which are steep, twisty, and bumpy with rough "tar and gravel" type pavement. The race started fast out of the parking lot. There was a K.O.M. climb in the first 20k and after that the field regrouped but it was never slow. There were constant attacks trying to get off before the main climb, a steep and winding 10k monster that comes just before the midpoint of the race. Despite all the attacks, the group rolled up to the day's main obstacle with no one off the front. My team got our climbers to the front at the base of the narrow climb and I was in my 39x23 and 21 suffering bad all the way up but only going well enough to hang onto the second group of about 10 riders. We crested the top 25 seconds down from the front group also of about 10 riders. The hardest part was over but the scariest part was just beginning. These BLM roads get little use other than logging trucks and forest service vehicles so there isn't a high demand for road repair or maintenance.
In my group were 4 Mercury riders, including race leader and previous day's winner Roy Knickman. They were anxious to regain the front but I cautioned the newcomers to the T of W that when they see the sign or course marshal signaling sharp corner, it's for real. We still ended up over-shooting two very sharp corners and a couple guys from our group crashed hard in one of the gravel "repaired" sections. Gord Fraser showed his descending skills learned the past few seasons in Europe and guided the group down fast. I thought Nutra-Fig's chances looked pretty good with Burke Swindlehurst up in the front group and Adham Sbeih and I in the chase. When we caught I didn't see Burke and figured he must be up the road in a counter attack! Turns out he too had crashed on the descent and had watched us ride by from his vantage point in the ditch. He'd end up needing 24 stitches to close up the gash in his thigh. More bad luck hit when Adham punctured and I was left with no teammates in a group of 18 that was going crazy with attacks.
I covered as many as I could but knew I could not keep it up for long. Luckily I picked the right move with the right combination and we got a gap. Saturn's Brian Walton, GT's Greg Randolf, and I rotated through with Mercury's Kirk Willett sitting on since his teammate was race leader in the group behind us. We built a big gap over the 25 miles to the finish that dwindled a little in the last few kilometers as we started to cat and mouse for the finish. I got a gap and made a move at the kilometer mark but it wasn't enough and I was caught in the sprint and ended up 4th behind Willett, Walton, and Randolf.
The next two days were full of racing with Saturn trying to move Walton into the lead and Greg and I looking for opportunities to surprise. On Saturday, Team Nutra-Fig's Donald Reeb went for the long break with two other riders. His 105 mile team time trial paid off with the stage victory, our first win of the year! The final GC stayed Willett, Walton, Randolf, and myself. I would love to have won that stage, but with one stage win, 4th overall and Adham's 10th overall, the team came away with great morale and improving form.
Here is a rundown of other races we've been at: Friday April 24 we did an evening criterium in Shelby, North Carolina. These small southern towns really can put on the races! Fast courses, big $, well organized, and thousands of excited friendly fans. The Shelby crit came down to a field sprint and Nutra-Fig was set up great with our speedster Tony Cruz four from the front with two corners to go. In the last corner the rider in front of Tony clipped a pedal and both he and Tony went down. It was Tony's fourth crash this season. It's simply bad luck, even for someone who bangs around in all the field sprints and can handle his bike like Tony does.
Fortunately he wasn't seriously hurt and was back on a neutral support bike (his fork broke) for Sunday's Atlanta GP. I'd say that the big southern cities can put on races too. Super well organized and rider friendly, huge $$ ($15,000 for the win!) and more hordes of screaming excited fans.
The Atlanta course didn't really suit our style since it had no hills, just 120 miles on a flat, bumpy, windy and twisty seven mile course. We all hung in there to make the final group of 60 but missed the final last lap break as Mercury stuck it to the US peleton again and took the win. Since we only sent 5 riders and not 6 that would designate us a "trade team", team Nutra-Fig was listed as composite team.
If we had been classified as a "trade team" we would have been fourth on team GC behind Mercury, Postal, and Saturn. After Atlanta, the five of us went and stayed in Athens, Georgia. We hung out training and getting ready for the Athens twilight criterium on the night of Saturday May 2. The training there was great. Miles of quiet country roads and a couple of hard group rides. Athens has a fairly large cycling community for being a smallish size town. In fact it's a racing hotbed and with the race generating so much excitement, I see why.
I managed to get in about twenty hours on the bike and I think we all got in about the same on our host family's Nintendo 64, playing soccer, snowboarding and Goldeneye 007. The race was quite an experience, more big $$, 140 guys, tight and fast course, 30,000 rabid fans and it's all started at 9:30 at night. It was fast wild! In fact it's probably one of the faster crits I've done. Guys were getting dropped or stuck behind crashes within the first few laps. By one third of the way through a group of three had managed to get away and would later lap the field. We missed out on that but Tony and Jason Van Marle won a few primes and Tony was 7th overall. Flat and fast criteriums don't suit my abilities but I will admit that I had fun. It was just such a great event with the people cheering and coming up to say Hi and ask questions after the race. I can't overstate how cool it is going to big races like the Shelby, Atlanta GP, and Athens twilight. Everything is done so professionally and organized. It's great for everyone, the fans, sponsors, and riders too! All too often it's a big hassle making arraignments and taking care of the little details and jumping through numerous hoops. At these races most everything has been streamlined or taken care of and the riders are made to feel that these races are here for them. We had great host families too. That's something we really appreciate. For the next few weeks everyone on the team will be at home training and doing local and regional races. It would be good preparation to go to Europe for hard racing before Corestates like some of the other squads did. However, there is also a lot to be said for resting up at home and getting good training and racing in. I'll be looking to do some motorpacing too. Well, that's all for now. I'll give an update as soon as the races that lead up to Corestates start at the end of this month. Until then, Ride Hard! - Ronnie Schmeer