News for January 25, 1999

Kai Hundertmarck injures

Team Telekom rider Kai Hundertmarck has a broken scaphoid bone in his right arm after falling in a race in South Australia. He will be out of action for around 5-6 weeks. Several other riders fell in a finishing section which sources described as not up to international racing standard. The road had potholes and should not have been used.

Gert-Jan Theunisse wins in Egmond

It was a wonderful day for Gert-Jan Theunisse who two weeks ago won a Beach race in Egmond. The former professional road racer has made a remarkable recovery after a serious accident nearly killed him. The almost fatal crash occured in August 1997 during a World Cup MTB in Annency, France. He was paralysed in half of his body and he was confined to a wheelchair. Six weeks after the accident Theunisse said: "I felt a small feeling in my toe. The first pin-prick. I could then wiggle my toe a millimetre. That gave me a great boost. My feet still would not move but from that moment I was sure that if my toe moved the rest would follow."

Then he made progress - stage by stage. He gradually was able to ride a bike again. First he used his hometrainer ("my first rehabilitation machine") because he could not risk a fall. Then he made his first wobbly steps, then walking, then riding and then, finally, he was strong enough to win the beach race.

His entry in the race in Egmond was initially only a bit of fun. He said: "At the beginning of December I was working with the Olympic MTB team - Bart Brentjens, Patrick Tolhoek, Elsbeth Vink and Bas van Doorn - in the mountains of South Africa. I was also working as the coach of the Specialized MTB team. So I made the trip to Egmond. I took my bike. I have been riding quite hard lately. People said that I must ride the beach race. I agreed but only to have some fun."

Initially, he hoped that the team's top rider Bart Brentjens would take the race. But Theunisse won from a number of good riders. The crowd were stunned. His own recovery has been spectacular. At one time when he was paralysed he though he might be confined to caring for the geraniums in his garden. At the time of the accident, Theunisse was the Europeon manager of Specialized. When they heard of his paralysis they made him the World Manager. He noted: "They were also making wheelchairs!"

He said the people at Specialized, the American bike manufacturer, have been of great help to him in his recovery. The President of the company came from American to visit him at his bed in Berghem. He said that the win in Egmond was a great boost to him and that, perhaps, he will ride a few more events. He is also wants to help others in their rehabilitation from paralysis.

CA appoints Stephens

Cycling Australia has ignored the trend in world cycling and appointed former Festina rider Neil Stephens as a liaison officer to link the national road program with the Australian professional riders in Europe. The appointment has been rumoured for some time after Stephens retired in disgrace after being part of the Festina team expelled from last year's Tour de France. The team was expelled after their soigneur Willy Voet was busted by French customs officials with a large quantity of EPO and other banned substances in his Festina car. The management of the team then admitted that all the riders were part of a systematic doping program designed to illegally boost performance. Stephens made admissions to the police when the team was taken into custody. He has since said publicly that he did not know he was taking EPO or any other banned substances.

CA has not suspended Stephens and even selected him in the Commonwealth Games team in September. The Swiss Federation suspended their riders who were implicated in the affair. The French Federation has suspended some of the riders. Only Herve and Virenque remain without penalty because they did not even make admissions to the police. They denied involvement all along. Willy Voet has given evidence implicating all the Festina riders including Virenque.

Now CA seems to think that the air has cleared. The High Performance Manager of CA Michael Flynn told local press that: "Neil and Cycling Australia will put last year to the side and we will use the many positives that have come out of his career to help our cyclists."

Shayne Bannan, the current Australian coach, who replaced the successful Heiko Salzwedel in unfortunate circumstances, sees no problem in the appointment. He told Roger Vaughan from AAP, that: "In general, there is a cloud above cycling which I would like to think in the next couple of years will gradually diminish, because everyone in sport realises these problems and is doing something about it. Neil will certainly be used as a tool as well to educate our younger riders."

Netherlands, Round 1, 1999 Visser & Smit Hanab Competitie

From Dordrecht, we have the start of the the racing season in the region of Drechtsteden in the Netherlands with the first stage of the "1999 Visser & Smit Hanab Competition". Around 120 riders started the race in Biesbosch, which was a good field considering it is so early in the season. Among the riders were the professionals Maarten den Bakker (Rabobank) and John Talen (Batavus/Big Star Jeans) and also the Elite-Amateurs Perry Bothof (WV Breda), Robert Karremans (de Hoekse Renners), Corne Castein (Golf), Marco Luyten (Jan vn Arckel), Edward Farenhout (Giant), Rob Sienders (de Hoekse renners), Ruud Zijlmans (WV Breda) and Kees vn Wageningen (WV de Batauwers).

In the early phases of the race the was a very high tempo and many riders were soon in trouble with the speed. The fast tempo ultimately determined the final outcome. A strong top group of 10 riders soon formed. The group comprised Perry Bothof, Barry van de Ham, Corne Castein, Edward Farenhout, Win Vogelaar, Gerhard Klijnhout, Ruud Zijlmans, Björn Schilperoord, Robert Reijers and the professional rider John Talen. This group held the fast pace and worked very well together. Rabobank professional Maarten den Bakker tried to mount an assault on the leaders. He took local rider Rene Lems along with him. But while Maarten den Bakker worked hard in the chase he was unable to overtake the leading group.

As the race entered its final phase, the topgroup lapped the peloton, which then was prevented from participating in the group sprint. In the finale, there were two strong solo attacks out of the top group - Barry vd Ham and Björn Schilperoord. They were unable to maintain any significant gap. On the last lap it was professional John Talen who was already looking in great form for the start of the season and he attacked on his own and held the gap until the end. Second was Edward Farenhout who surprisingly outsprinted the fastest sprinter in the breakaway Ruud Zijlmans.

 1. John Talen (Ned) Batavus/Big Star Jeans
 2. Edward Farenhout (Ned) Giant
 3. Ruud Zijlmans (Ned) WV Breda
 4. Björn Schilperoord (Ned) Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol
 5. Barry vd Ham (Ned) WWV
 6. Robert Reijers (Ned) Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol
 7. Perry Bothof (Ned) WV Breda
 8. Gerhard Klijnhout (Ned) DHR
 9. Wim Vogelaar (Ned) DHR
10. Corne Castein (Ned) JVA

Standings in Visser and Smit Hanab Competition after Round 1:

 1. John Talen (Batavus/Big Star) 				20
 2. Edward Farenhout (De Hoekse Renners) 			19
 3. Ruud Zijlmans (WV Breda) 					18
 4. Bjorn Schilperoord (Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol) 		17
 5. Barry vd Ham (Willebrord Wil Vooruit) 			16
 6. Robert Reyers (Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol) 			15
 7. Perry Bothof (WV Breda) 					14
 8. Gerhard Klijnhout (De Hoekse Renners) 			13
 9. Wim Vogelaar (De Hoekse Renners) 				12
10. Corne Castein (Jan van Arckel) 				11
11. Ron Verwolf (Jan van Arckel) 				10
12. Jorrit Noppen (Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol) 			 9
13. Michel Klop (WV Pedaalridders) 				 8
14. Leon vn Strien (WV Delta)					 7
15. Dennis Lems (Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol)			 6
16. Arno Hartog (Jan van Arckel)				 5
17. Berry Buter (Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol)			 5
18. Bert de Vroet (De Hoekse Renners)				 5
19. Cor vd Stel (Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol)			 5
20. Edwin Hofstee (De Hoekse Renners)				 5
21. Edy vn Liempd (Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol)			 5
22. Ellen de Weert (Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol)			 5
23. Erk vd Velden (Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol)			 5
24. Frank Klarenbeek (Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol)		 5
25. Gerard Lambinon (Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol)		 5
26. Gert Lunenborg (Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol)			 5
27. Gert Verhoef (Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol)			 5
28. Gijs Nederlof (WV Woerden)					 5
29. Harold Holwerda (Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol)		 5
30. Henk Kortland (WV Avanti)					 5
31. Henk Slings (Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol)			 5
32. Hymen vn Doornspeek (Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol)		 5
33. Jan Gommers (WV Zuidwesthoek)				 5
34. Jan Pieter (Spruit WV Delta)				 5
35. Jasp vn Wyngaarden (WV Avanti)				 5
36. Jeanet Harder (WV Delta)					 5
37. Jeroen Dubbeldam (Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol)		 5
38. Johan Tromp (Jan van Arckel)				 5
39. Jordan vn Scheers (Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol)		 5
40. Kees vn Wageningen (WV Batauwers)				 5
41. Lennart Maris (Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol)			 5
42. Maarten den Bakker (Rabobank)				 5
43. Marco Luyten (Jan van Arckel)				 5
44. Marco Scholten (Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol)			 5
45. Marco Verhoef (Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol)			 5
46. Marco vd Velden (Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol)		 5
47. Mark vd Wardt (Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol)			 5
48. Martijn Simons (WV Breda)					 5
49. Michel Kooyman (Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol)			 5
50. Nico Verloop (Jan van Arckel)				 5
51. Peter Plaisier (Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol)			 5
52. Peter vn Vliet (WV Avanti)					 5
53. Piere vn Est (Willebrord Wil Vooruit)			 5
54. Piet de Groot (WV Delta)					 5
55. Piet vn Stek (Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol)			 5
56. Pieter vd Ree (Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol)			 5
57. Rene Lems (Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol)			 5
58. Rene vn Vuuren (Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol)			 5
59. Rob Sienders (De Hoekse Renners)				 5
60. Robert Karremans (De Hoekse Renners)			 5
61. Robert vd Wardt (Visser & Smit Hanab/De Mol)		 5
62. Vincent Ruinaard (WV Delta)					 5