News for August 13, 1999

German rider injured

Ina-Yoko Teutenberg fell after 23 kms of Stage 5 in La Grande Boucle féminin and sustained a broken arm. She was taken to a hospital in Lourdes for treatment.

Ludo Dierckxsens facing suspension

The attorney of the Belgian Cycling Federation is demanding a 6 months suspension for Ludo Dierckxsens in addition to a fine of 450,000 Belgian Francs and the withdrawal of his victory in the Tour de France (Stage 11, Saint Etienne). Lampre threw him out of the Tour after he admitted that in June he had used a banned corticoid to help a knee injury heal more quickly. He said that he also had used homeopathic products provided by his personal doctor.

The Belgian inspector for the UCI Vandenyvere said he had admitted the use of the drug during routine questions at a drug test during the Tour. He did not test positive to the drug (Synacten) at that test. A decision will be made after an enquiry which is expected to take 2 weeks.

Jalabert has more bad luck

Laurent Jalabert continues to be plagued by bad luck with only three weeks to the start of the Vuelta. He was originally diagnosed with a broken collar bone but then they discovered a fracture to the base of his skull. The injuries arose from a fall during Stage 1 of the Castilla-Leon on August 1. He was admitted to the hospital in Palencia and then transferred to Madrid to the Ramon y Cajai hospital.

That was when the fractured skull was detected. Team manager at ONCE-Deutsche Bank, Manolo Saiz recommended prudence but desperately wanted his number 1 to be on the starting line on September 4 for the Vuelta. After 5 days of observation he was allowed to go home to his home in Mazamet. He complained of some paralysis in his face and the doctors said his recovery would be slower than originally expected. But now a new problem has emerged. He has been diagnosed with two broken ribs which will require further medical treatment in Madrid next Tuesday.

He had tried to do some riding at home and remains in high spirits. His mother said that for two days he rode on his home trainer for an hour at a time with some dizziness."

His participation in the Vuelta is now in extreme doubt.

German rider to be investigated

The German Cycling Federation (BDR) has began an enquiry into the use of drugs by Telekom rider Christian Henn. He returned an excessive testosterone level after testing during May's Bayern Tour. The BRD has ruled that during the investigation Henn will not be permitted to race. The 35-year old rider was third in the 1988 Olympic road race in Seoul. He turned professional the following year. He has raced the Tour 5 times since 1992 and has been one of the most important domestiques for Bjarne Riis and Jan Ullrich during that race. He did not start in this year's Tour. He has announced that he intends to retire at the end of this season.

Telekom has been linked to systematic doping this year following a series of revelations in the weekly newspaper Der Spiegel in June. The team has taken legal action against the newspaper.

Portugal, Lisbon, Under-23 European ITT Championships, August 13:

Women, 20.2 kms:

AVS: 40.008 km/h

 1. Tatiana Styazhkina (Ukr)		       30.14
 2. Nicole Brandli (Swi)			0.08
 3. Ceris Gilfillian (GB)			0.13
 4. Cathy Moncassin (Fra)			0.53
 5. Lisbeth Simper (Den)			1.00
 6. Lada Kozlikova (Cze)			1.00
 7. Gitana Gruodyte (Lit)			1.01
 8. Jacqueline Branenetz (Ger)			1.14
 9. Olga Zabelinskai (Rus)			1.15
10. Marion Brauen (Swi)				1.23

Men, 32.2 kms:

AVS: 44.177 km/h

 1. Martin Cotar (Cro)			       41.01
 2. Charly Wegelius (GB)			0.07
 3. Nicolas Fritsch (Fra)			0.33
 4. Sandro Guttinger (Swi)			0.37
 5. Marius Sabaliauskas (Lit)			0.39
 6. Eugeni Petrov (Rus)				0.43
 7. Simone Lo Vano (Ita)			0.46
 8. Ruslan Pidgorny (Ukr)			0.49
 9. Yury Krivtsov (Ukr)				0.50
10. Sebastian Lang (Ger)			0.57

Cuba looking to host Olympic Games in 2008

Cuba suffered badly in this year's Pan Am Games in Canada. They were involved in drug scandals and several athletes defected. But despite this experience the president of the Cuban Olympic Committee, Jose Ramon Fernandez, has told a TV program that they are working on a bid to host the 2008 Olympics.

From July 23 to August 8, 13 Cubans defected (11 athletes). Local press were clearly undermining the Cuban team while they were guests in Canada. A newspaper in Winnipeg ran a contest where readers could guess the number of Cubans that would defect during the games. In addition, high jumper Javier Sotomayor lost his gold medal after testing positive for cocaine use. The Cuban officials supported the jumper saying the drugs were not performance-enhancing.

Legendary runner Alberto Juantorena, now a vice president of the Cuban Sports Institute, said the games were the "worst in history" for his country. The Cubans seem to have been treated rather poorly. Official delegates were forced to buy tickets for events and there was poor accommodation and food catering. the Winnipeg events "the worst games in history." The panel complained of everything from official delegates having to buy tickets to a lack of sufficient bathrooms and meager food suppl

In addition, sports officials said that there were deliberate attempts to undermine the team. Unfair judging, schedule changes and harassment by athletic scouts from the USA and Canada who offered bribes to Cuban athletes who defected.

It seems that the capitalist North America is not as secure with their position as they would like to think!

Lance Armstrong to race MTB in USA

The national titles are on the line as riders prepare for the National Championship Series Finals, Aug. 19-22, at Mount Snow, Vt. The pro riders are looking to earn the coveted national champion jersey, as well as a spot on the U.S. World Mountain Bike Championship team. In addition, 1999 Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong will compete in the cross-country event.

Sanctioned by the National Off-Road Bicycle Association (NORBA), a member organization of USA Cycling, the National Championship Series consists of six races that visit California, Minnesota, Utah, Vermont and Pennsylvania.

Now in its eighth year as a national championship series venue, Mount Snow is considered the "Mountain Bike Capital of the East". This season marks the second consecutive year Mount Snow has hosted the finals. Last year, more than 2,500 riders and 21,000 spectators attended the Mount Snow finals.

Lance Armstrong, who will compete in the men's cross-country at Mount Snow, Friday, August 20. Armstrong's no stranger to the dirt. In 1998, he surprised everyone when he competed at the fifth round of the National Championship Series in Utah. The Mount Snow event is Armstrong's first mountain bike race in 1999, as well as his first American race since his triumph in France.

Cross-country racing begins Friday with the tightest points race in the series -- the women's cross-country. Fresh off a gold-medal win at the '99 Pan Am Games in Canada, Alison Dunlap, Colorado Springs, Colo., (Team GT) leads the series, with Trek-Volkswagen rider Ruthie Matthes, Durango, Colo., only 14 points (the point difference between first and second place) behind her. Both women will be hungry for the Mount Snow win. For Dunlap, it would be her first national cross-country title, and Matthes will be seeking out her fourth-consecutive national jersey.

On the men's side, another 1999 Pan Am Games gold medalist, Steve Larsen, Bend Ore., (L.L. Bean/Mongoose) will be looking for redemption at Mount Snow this year. After a mechanical in the first lap last year, Larsen saw his grasp on the national title disappear, as Volvo-Cannondale rider Tinker Juarez, Downey, Calif., took the Mount Snow win and the national jersey. This year, Larsen will need to watch out for Travis Brown, Boulder, Colo., (Trek-Volkswagen), who, after winning one national series event this year, is in second place overall. Less than 50 points (the difference between a first-place and fifth-place finish) separate Larsen and Brown. Both men will need to keep their eyes out for Armstrong.

Larsen will do double duty in his quest for a national jersey. On Saturday, Larsen, as well as the country's top 60 men, will compete in mountain biking's newest, fast-paced event -- the short-track cross-country. Comprised of a short loop approximately three-fourths of a mile, the short-track takes pro riders around the central area of the venue, allowing spectators to be close to the action and cheer on the riders. If Larsen wants to earn two national jerseys, he'll have to beat the current short-track leader, Roland Green, Victoria, BC, Canada, (Team GT). Green has won three of the five short-track events thus far, and if he wins Mount Snow, will have a perfect score and the series jersey.

Dunlap took over the women's short-track leader's jersey in July, after she won her second short-track event in Utah. But Dunlap's work won't be easy at Mount Snow. Rene Marhsman, Lafayette, Colo., (Moots) has been resilient throughout the season after winning the short-track at the season opener in May. Only 36 points separate Dunlap and Marhsman.

He may have finished fifth at Mount Snow last year, but this year Giant rider Myles Rockwell, Durango, Colo., is leading the downhill series going into the finals. Rockwell took first earlier this year in Pennsylvania and has two second-place finishes under his belt. His toughest competition for the series jersey may be his own Giant teammate, Jurgen Beneke, Germany, who currently sits in second overall. If last year's winner, Team GT rider Steve Peat, Great Britain, returns to Mount Snow, he may ruin any victory plans for Rockwell or Beneke.

Last year's national downhill champion, Leigh Donovan, Capistrano Beach, Calif., (Intense) is on top again going into the Chevy Trucks downhill finals. It will be a battle of the world champions, however, as Donovan, who won the world title in 1995, will be looking to fend off 1994 world champion Missy Giove, Durango, Colo., (Foes/Azonic). Only 18 points separate Donovan and Giove, with Schwinn-Toyota RAV4 rider Elke Brutsaert close behind.

In the crowd favorite Visa dual slalom, current points leader Flyin' Brian Lopes, Laguna Beach, Calif. (Volvo-Cannondale) only needs to compete to earn the national title. With two wins and two second-place finishes, Lopes is untouchable in the dual slalom. On the women's side, Aussie rider and current leader Katrina Miller (Jamis) will need to fend off three-time dual slalom champion Leigh Donovan, Capistrano Beach, Calif., (Intense). Although she may be in second overall, Donovan has the national title wrapped up, as Miller, as an Australian citizen, is ineligible for the U.S. national jersey.

In addition to mountain biking's top U.S. riders, a field of international riders will also compete. Athletes from Australia, France, Germany, New Zealand, Great Britain and Spain will go up against America's best.

The majority of racers at the Mount Snow event are from New England. Riders of all ages and abilities will compete in one or more of 100 races offered. The Shimano Youth Series provides a free opportunity for kids to try mountain bike racing. Held on Sunday, the Shimano race awards each participant with a medal and T-shirt. The Junior Olympic Mountain Bike Series (JOMTB) also allows young riders to learn and understand cross-country racing in a fun and safe environment. From beginners to experts, the Chevy Trucks National Championship Series offers a racing experience for every rider.

USA National Championship Series - Current Rankings

Men's cross-country (5 of 6 races):

 1. Steve Larsen (USA) L.L. Bean/Mongoose 	572 pts.
 2. Travis Brown (USA) Trek/Volkswagen 		528
 3. David Wiens (USA) RLX Polo Sport  		518
 4. Kashi Leuchs (NZ) SoBe/Headshok    	 510
 5. Roland Green (Can) Team GT  		468

Women's cross-country (5 of 6 races):

 1. Alison Dunlap (USA) Team GT			574 pts.
 2. Ruthie Matthes (USA) Trek-Volkswagen	560
 3. Ann Trombley (USA) Airborne/Kore/White Bros	538
 4. Rene Marshman (USA) Moots			514
 5. Alla Epifanova (Rus) Volvo-Cannondale	508

Men's short-track cross-country (5 of 6 races):

 1. Roland Green (Can) Team GT			600 pts.
 2. Steve Larsen (USA) L.L. Bean/Mongoose	572
 3. Chris Sheppard (Can) Catera			528
 4. Greg Randolph (USA) Team GT			476
 5. Marc Gullickson (USA) Marin			462

Women's short-track cross-country (5 of 6 races):

 1. Alison Dunlap (USA) Team GT			586 pts.
 2. Rene Marshman (USA) Moots			550
 3. Ruthie Matthes (USA) Trek-Volkswagen	534
 4. Ann Trombley (USA) Airborne/Kore/White Bros	486
 5. Shari Kain (USA) RLX Polo Sport		478

Men's downhill (4 of 5 races):

 1. Myles Rockwell (USA) Giant			572 pts.
 2. Jurgen Beneke (Ger) Giant			524
 2. Steve Peat (GB) Team GT			492
 4. Eric Carter (USA) Team GT			484
 5. Nathan Rennie (Aus) Qranc			464

Women's downhill (4 of 5 races):

 1. Leigh Donovan (USA) Intense			548 pts.
 2. Missy Giove (USA) Foes/Azonic		530
 3. Elke Brutsaert (USA) Schwinn-Toyota		524
 4. Cheri Elliott (USA) Maxxis/Tomac		500
 5. Lisa Sher (USA) Foes/Azonic			494

Men's dual slalom (4 of 5 races):

 1. Brian Lopes (USA) Volvo-Cannondale		580 pts.
 2. Wade Bootes (Aus) Trek-Volkswagen		400
 2. Mike King (USA) Haro			380
 4. Shaun Palmer (USA) Mt. Dew/Specialized	320
 5. Eric Carter (USA) Team GT			300

Women's dual slalom (4 of 5 races):

 1. Katrina Miller (Aus) Jamis 			560 pts.
 2. Leigh Donovan (USA) Intense 		500
 3. Tara Llanes (USA) Mt. Dew/Specialized 	380
 4. Nicole Grant (USA) Mongoose 		360
 5. Tai-Lee Muxlow (Aus) GT/Hutchinson   	340

20th South East Asian Games

The SE Asian Games have been marked by chaos. The lastest episode came when a snake made its way onto the cross-country MTB parcours and began to threaten the riders with its hissing and aggression. The 1.2 metre snake attacked riders as they went around the Bukit Shahbandar Recreation Park in Brunei. Riders took appropriate evasive action.

A race official told the press: "The course is located inside a jungle so I suppose you've got to expect those sort of things. At least no-one was bitten."

The Games have not run smoothly since they started on Saturday. The officials have been "very officious" and the press facilities have been backward. In addition, the small fields have made the level of competition poor in all sports. Medal ceremonies have been botched (for example, a Thai women won her javelin event, collapsed after it and was taken to hospital and meanwhile a local athlete was given the gold in her absence with a throw less than half the winning distance).

The medal foul-ups continued in cycling. Brunei rider Kwei Ming Chung came fourth (by a long way) but was given third even though 3 Indonesians placed in front of him. A rule was invoked where only two riders from the same country could take medals.

Meanwhile, there has been road racing. Melvin Choo from Malaysia has sent the results of the 41 km ITT. It was won by 29-year old Malaysian Shahrulneeza Razali, a member of the Time-Telekom Malaysia's core team, won the race in 55:37.51. Indonesian Tonton Susanto who won the event in the last Games in Jakarta but had the gold medal taken away after failing a dope test, was second at 56:25.54. Victor Espiritu of the Philippines took bronze in 56:32.88.

There are two other road events - a 70 kms criterium and a 160 kms road race.