Giro d'Italia 1999The organizers of the Giro d'Italia announced today that the 82nd edition of the Tour will start at the city of Agrigento, on the island of Sicily on May 15th, 1999. The official presentation will be on May 16th at Nice (France), hours before the first stage of this year.
Tour de France contendersSpanish cyclist Abraham Olano, from Team Banesto, scored his first victory of the season in the recently completed Vuelta a La Rioja and showed that he is on the right path for his sole objective this year - Le Tour de France. Olano is following a plan set by his sport directors and has raced a total of 31 days so far as part of his build up. He is hoping to improve on his 4th place in 1997. He will now compete in the Clásica de Alcobendas (May 10), the Vuelta a Asturias (May 12-17), the Bicicleta Vasca (May 27-31), the Clásique des Alpes (June 6), the Volta a Cataluña (June 18-25) and the Spanish National Championship race (July 5).
Jan Ullrich, the first German to win the Tour and one of the youngest to achieve it at 22 continues to be about 5 to 6 kgs over his ideal weight.
Meanwhile Richard Virenque is running behind plan which is contrary to his usual approach to the Tour. He is keen though to go beyond second place in 1998.
Italian Marco Pantani, already has had a month of competition, almost all in Spanish races: Luis Puig, Vuelta a Valencia, Almería, Murcia, Semana Catalana and Vuelta al País Vasco. He has had one victory (3rd stage at Murcia) so far this season and his next major tests will be in the Tour of Romandie and then the Giro d'Italia.
Others who also have designs on the Tour are Switzerland's Alex Zulle and Frenchman Laurent Jalabert. Zulle, now riding for Festina hasn't forgotten the podium and has taken a few placings and the victory at the time trial at Semana Catalana, with the overall going to Boogerd. Laurent Jalabert, lately has become the eternal second place getter, since he has almost taken the GC at Mallorca, Andalucía, Semana Catalana and País Vasco, where he won two stages.
Darwin CC, Cafe Bella Cup, Round 1Here are the results of Round One of the Cafe Bella Cup which is a 10 round trophy event run by the Darwin CC. It works like the World Cup with points awarded in each grade - with the rider from any grade (open, veteran, junior, and women) - with the most points over the ten rounds taking the cup. The leading rider in each grade picks up a flash jersey. The cup events are open to all NT and visiting riders.
Round 1, Pine Creek-Kakadu Highway Road Race, 60 kms:
Its still hot up here and we build the distances up as the weather cools down!
OPEN: 1. Peter Verhagen (Darwin CC) 1.42.12 2. Anthony Cooper (Crazy Dogs Katherine MTBC) 1.42.43 3. Dwayne Thompson (Crazy Dogs Katherine MTBC) 1.42.45 VETS 1. Martin Hardie (Darwin CC) 1.51.32 2. Barry Densley (Crazy Dogs Katherine MTBC) 1.51.36 JUNIORS (25kms) 1. Brendan Mouatt (Darwin CC) 49.42 2. Larry Snell (Katherine Cycling Club) 50.59 3. Lillian Hardie (Darwin CC) 58.24
Annual Harry Luther Memorial Road Race, Western AustraliaThe Annual Harry Luther Memorial was held on Sunday at Mandogalup, the race was marred by a series of crashes the worst of which was on the final descent 1km from the finish. Nothing new about crashes at the end of bike race what was unusual was the amount of broken bones.
More well known casualties were Danny Clark (in the thick of the action all race)- suspected broken shoulder and wrist; Tony Weller (organiser of the famous Pacstar criteriums a couple of years back and recent National Road Champoinships) - broken elbow; Eddy Hollands (medallist at Nationals) - damaged ankle which could see him on crutches for a couple of weeks. On top of that there was a couple more collarbones, and a few wrecked helmets. The rather depleted sprint was won by Glenn Harris, with Tasmanian guest Tim O'Shannessy back in 5th place luckily staying out of the problems. Tim is here for couple of weeks in preparation for the Commonwealth Games with the upcoming Tour de Perth in 2 weeks.
Athens, USA Criterium, May 2An official’s ruling changed the result of the men’s race at the Athens Twilight Criterium Saturday night. Mercury’s Gord Fraser won a breakaway three-man sprint on the streets in the Golden Pantry Criterium in Athens, which would have continued his team’s streak of having won either the overall or a stage of every National Racing Calendar event this year.
But Roberto Gaggioli (OilMe) ruled the winner an hour after the race’s conclusion in a decision made over the official’s table at the Hard Drive Bar.
Fraser was disqualified by a unanimous judge’s decision for ‘hand shoving’ Derek Bouchard-Hall (Shaklee) with one-half lap to go. OilMe protested that Fraser grabbed Bouchard-Hall by the hip and pushed off him to help make up a 15-yard deficit up to Gaggioli.
Head referee Doug Berry of Atlanta cited rule 1.P8 prohibiting pushing. He said he had six rider protests to support the OilMe action.
"The protests came from riders on teams with nothing to gain, and their comments were made without emotion," Berry said. "We formed a jury of the five highest-ranking officials and the vote was unanimous."
Mercury team manager John Wordin appealed, claiming no official actually saw anything.
"The other riders totally hooked Gord and rode him into the curb," Wordin said. "This is ridiculous."
Fraser, Gaggioli and John Lieswyn (GoMart), jumped from the pack with 46 of 50 laps remaining and smoothly worked for 27 laps to catch the field. The leaders worked to the front of the pack for the sprint which Fraser easily won -- for the moment. Fraser remains second in the NRC rankings behind teammate Julian Dean.
The 40-lap women’s dash had Jennifer Evans -- riding for Shaklee in this event -- beating Annette Kamm (Fuji) and Sherri Stedje (Best of the Bay). Nicole Freedman (Shaklee) made a move for the win with about six laps to go -- a victory would have moved Freedman into the top spot in the NRC -- but she crashed. She recovered and appeared to have finished fourth, but she was mis- identified and moved down in the placings.
The women’s race was a tactical bunch tour between Shaklee and PowerBar until another, last-lap crash took out Shaklee’s top sprinters and national criterium champion Karen Bliss Livingston (Saturn), scrambling the field.
Men: 1. Roberto Gaggioli (Ita) Oilme 2. John Lieswyn (USA) GoMart 3. Derek Bouchard-Hall (USA) Shaklee 4. Graeme Miller (NZ) Torelli-DeFeet 5. Eddy Gragus (USA) OilMe 6. Greg Walker (USA) 7-Up 7. Antonio Cruz (USA) NutraFig 8. Robbie Ventura (USA) Navigators 9. Torrey Marks (USA) Snow Valley 10. Scott Mercer (USA) Breakaway Courier Women 1. Jennifer Evans (USA) Shaklee 2. Annette Kamm (USA) Fuji 3. Sherri Stedje (USA) Best of the Bay 4. Katie Blincoe (USA) Safeway-Saturn 5. Tina Mayolo (PowerBar), Athens 6. Maureen Kaila Vergara (USA) Shaklee 7. Laura Van Gilder (USA) Navigators 8. Bonnie Breeze (USA) PowerBar 9. Angela Rodriguez (USA) Best of the Bay 10. Kim Erdoes (USA) PowerBar
Chris BoardmanChris Boardman will start in the Tour of Romandie and plans to make up for lost time this season. In 1997 he came in second. He now claims that last year was a poor season and that he pushed himself too hard earlier this season, even though he became ill, to try to make amends. He has reflected on his approach to competition and decided that he was over-training. He has been reported as saying: "We cut out the hard two-to three-hour rides. ..[the flu]... It hit hard and for a lot longer than I wanted. It left me down for weeks, and only now am I feeling good and consistent. My condition is the best it has been all season. I just need a chance to prove it in races. The Tour of Romandie has two time trials, so it should be a good race for me. A stage race of that quality is within my capabilities. It is a big challenge, but if everything is right... ."
Like previous years, Boardman is believing he can do well in the Tour de France this year. He says he is not planning for the GC and this will help to reduce the pressure on is other goals - winning the ITT and prologue stages. His other major goal this season is to win the gold medal in the World ITT championship in Valkenburg in October. He is reported as saying, when reflecting about his medal in San Sebastian: "That medal was good, but I have a score to settle. I want to win the title again, but it is important that all the major players are there this year when it happens, if it happens."