News for October 15, 1998

Transfers and Contracts

* Speculation is circulating in the Danish press that Rolf Sørensen might be on the way to Acceptcard for the 1999 season. Acceptcard's incoming directeur sportif, Brian Holm, has been negotiating with Sørensen to find out what the rider would require to end his career with a season or two with the Danish team. Both parties are interested in the possibility, but it is entirely dependent on Acceptcard being able to find a co-sponsor for the team. Earlier talk about a potential merger with the American Saturn team seems to have been abandoned. Acceptcard is still hoping to be invited to ride in next year's Giro d'Italia.

* 29 year old Bert Dietz (Telekom), a valuable helper of Jan Ullrich and Bjarne Riis in the past, will leave the team and ride as a captain for "Team Nurnberger", a German Division 2 Team. The team aims to become the second strongest equipe in German cycling.

* Max van Heeswijk (Rabobank) will join Mapei next season.

* Belgium National Coach Marc Sergeant has signed with Mapei-Bricobi team as a team manager in 1999. Patrick Lefevere will do more management work next year and will spend less time on the road. Sergeant has signed for 3 years. Laurent de Backer, the BWB President, said they will now look for a new national coach. He said he was disappointed with Sergeant's departure but wished him all the best.

* Netherland's best rider Michael Boogerd is not certain to ride for Rabobank next season. He has not yet signed a contract with the team and given his performances in 1998 he has asked for a higher salary. Boogerd's manager-agent will speak with Rabobank manager Jan Raas this week about new terms for 1999. The Dutch national champion is still thinking about the bad luck he encountered during the last lap of the World Championship road race last Sunday. He punctured just as the final moves were being made and had to chase for several kms to get back into the Armstrong group. By then the top three were clear. It has now been revealed that he rode the race with pain killing injections. He told the press: "I have an achilles tendon injury. I had to ride the race because it was in the Netherlands and the whole nation was behind me. It was okay during the race but not really good. I felt it."

He rested for several days after the race. He said that the injury is still troubling him. "I will first test it in training. If it is okay then I will ride the last classic of the season - the Tour of Lombardy." He wants to gain UCI points to ensure that he finishes the season in 7th place overall. Since the glory days of Erik Breukink, no Dutch rider has finished so high on the UCI rankings.

* Jurgen Van Goolen (17) from Aarschot (Bel) has signed for one year with the youth team of Mapei-Saeco. Mapei-Saeco is part of the Mapei-Bricobi team. Competing as a junior, Van Goolen won 19 races this season (including the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Keizer der Junioren and a World Cup race in France). Last Saturday he raced in Valkenburg but fell and had to abandon.

Young rider dies

26-year old Russian Vadim Volar, a professional from the Ipso-Team in Belgium, died on Wednesday in a hospital in Puurs (Vlaanderen, Belgium) after crashing his car into a parked truck.

Ardooie, Belgium, Cyclo Cross

 1. Paul Herijgers (Bel)
 2. Gianni David (Bel)
 3. Peter Willemsens (Bel)
 4. M. Janssens (Bel)                   0.46
 5. P. Van Santvliet (Bel)              1.04
 6. K. Deroose (Bel)                    1.25
 7. B. Rondelez (Bel)                   1.50
 8. K. Volckaerts (Bel)                 2.43
 9. W. Veldkamp (Bel)                   3.33
10. J. Van Doninck (Bel)

Bartoli - post Worlds

In a conference room at the hotel Hove Malpertius, Alfredo Martini gave his speech in the same way as a head of a family would - thanking everyone, from Fusi to the last mechanic and especially Bartoli. It was a demonstration that in cycling, as in life, one has to know how to lose.

Bugno is satisfied with his Worlds and has received an offer from the Italian Cycling Federation to work with younger riders. The President, Gian Carlo Ceruti told the press: "Bugno could be useful for Italian cycling. We need to find the way, but I'm sure that he could help us to launch a campaign to bring the youth to cycling".

Bartoli has accepted his result in the road race with dignity after going into the race as the overwhelming short-odds favourite. His preparation in August through to October has been dominated by his desire to win the World Championship. But while dignified he still has not been able to digest his third place. He told the press that: "I continue to think and I'm not satisfied. I'm still disappointed. It is not easy to accept, but there has to be a reason. What was I missing? A pair of fresh legs for the finish to catch up Camenzind and beat him".

He also commented on the fact that he spent the whole race chasing after punctures, bike failures and a fall. On the damage incurred in the fall he said: "The bruise to the right thigh will not be a problem and the left knee is doing better. I will almost certainly be at Milano-Torino. On Thursday, I will miss the Giro del Piemonte and I will go to see the new finish at Lombardia and Saturday I will aim to win the last great classic of the season".

On Wednesday, Bartoli rode for about 3 hours with Luca Scinto at an easy pace. While he would love to win Saturday's final classic - the Tour of Lombardy, Bartoli has already secured victory in the World Cup, the test for the best one-day rider during the season. He said: "It would be good to end things well and to be able to unload this anger. My year has been positive. I have won the World Cup again and two races like Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Zurich. I'm happy to be leading the UCI rankings, I can say that I was present throughout the season".

The outstanding issue is which team will he ride for next season? Giorgio Squinzi, Mapei's boss, has confirmed his interest, but Franco Arese (Asics) and Davide Boifava won't let him go so easily. Bartoli was clear: "I want to ride with Mapei. If Squinzi and Arese don't reach an agreement, I will have to remain where I am, bit it won't be a voluntary decision. Asics has not only not taken on any new riders, they have actually allowed some to leave".

Drugs Update

Willy Voet and Richard Virenque, formerly very close friends have now confronted each other during a meeting with the investigating judge at Lille into the Festina scandal. Patrick Keil, the judge, hear Virenque accuse Voet of being a drug dealer. The mood was very angry at the meeting in the Judge's office. Virenque, who maintains that he had taken no illegal drugs, said that Voet trafficked in drugs to supplement his income.

Jean-Louis Bessis, the lawyer for Voet, said that his client was issuing legal instructions to sue Virenque for libel.

The meeting involved Voet, Virenque and the Belgian doctor Eric Ryckaert but failed to provide any new evidence. If they were expecting Virenque to drop his steadfast denial of guilt, despite the evidence that Voet and others have tendered (records, notebooks, computer files) then they were wrong.

During the hearings, Voet agreed to give the files that he has to the Judge. They allegedly list how many and what type of drugs each rider took. Jean-Louis Bessis has told the press that Voet has received death threats over the files.

Injured former champion

Some of you may remember Dean McDonald from Wangaratta, Victoria. Dean is a former Australian Professional Road Champion and represented Australia many times overseas. Last Thursday, he fell from the roof of a house in his job as a plumber. He has suffered spinal damage and is in the Austin Hopital (Melbourne) where they are only giving him a 5% chance of regaining the use of his legs. According to Dean's brother Damian (also an Australian Representative) despite his trauma he remains positive and is looking forward to moving to rehab as soon as possible.

Olympia's Tour 1999

The important Dutch stage race - the Olympia's Tour - has announced its route for next year. The big change is that the Team Time Trial will get a less important role in the 1999 edition than it has in previous years.

May 21, prologue Oss (8 kms)
May 22, Oss - Oss (140 kms)
May 23, Oss - Raalte (190 kms)
May 24, Raalte - Almere (110 kms)
May 24, Team Time Trial at Almere (35 kms)
May 25, Almere - Linne (190 kms)
May 26, Linne - Buchten (185 kms)
May 27, Born - Cranendonck (170 kms)
May 28, Cranendonck - Tilburg (150 kms)
May 29, Zaltbommel - Noordwijkerhout (130 kms)
May 29, Individual Time Trial at Noordwijkerhout (30 kms)
May 30, Noordwijkerhout - Amsterdam (150 kms)

6 Day season is upon us

The participants for the Herning 6-Day race in Denmark from October 22-27 are as follows:

 1. Etienne Dewilde (Bel) and Matthew Gilmore (Bel)
 2. Rolf Aldag (Ger) and Mikael Kyneb (Den)
 3. Rik van Slijcke (Bel) and Lorenzo Lapage (Bel)
 4. Adriano Baffi (Ita) and Tayeb Braikia (Den)
 5. Silvio Martinello (Ita) and Jesper Skibby (Den)
 6. Bruno Risi (Swi) and Kurt Betschart (Swi)
 7. Rolf Sørensen (Den) and Jimmi Madsen (Den)
 8. Brett Aitken (Aus) and Scott McGrory (Aus)
 9. Marco Villa (Ita) and Michael Sandstød (Den)
10. Torsten Schmidt (Ger) and Andreas Beikirch (Ger)
11. Mario Vonhof (Ger) and Ronny Lerche (Den)