News for January 26, 1999

Heart Tests for Nico Mattan

Nico Mattan will undergo cardiology tests after the rider from West Flanders complained of an irregular heart beat. The tests will determine the future of Mattan. He was transferred with his friend Frank Vandenbroucke from Mapei to the French team Cofidis this year. His career is now in doubt.

Matthew Gilmore is recovering

Nick Rosenthal ( told me today that he spoke to Belgian rider Matthew Gilmore yesterday and he is recovering well from his nasty crash at Herning last October, and hopes to be able to start training on the road again this week. So far, he's been confined to training at home in Belgium on his turbo trainer. Matt asked me pass on his thanks to everybody who has sent him good wishes since his crash.

1999 US Professional Tour Schedule

The events events on the 1999 Saturn USPRO Tour have been announced. The overall prize for men is $60,000 (15 events) and for women $40,000 (13 events). US and foreign licensed professionals (men) and Cat 1 and 2 women are eligible for points in the series.

March - Redlands, California
April - Tour LeFLeur, Mississippi
May - Golden Pantry Twilight, Georgia
May - US Postal Service Clarendon Cup, Virginia
May - Downtown Criterium, Texas
May - Christiana Cup, Delaware
June - First Union Invitational, Pennsylvania
June - First Union Classic, New Jersey
June - First Union Champ/Liberty Classic, Pennsylvania
July - Fitchburg/Longsjo Classic, Massachusetts
July - International Cycling Classic, Wisconsin
July - Red Zinger Classic, Colorado
August - Wendy's International, Ohio
August - Chris Thater Memorial, New York
September - Richmond Cycling GP, Virginia

Virenque debut for Polti at Paris-Nice

It was announced yesterday that French rider Richard Virenque will make his debut for Polti in Paris-Nice. The stage race is scheduled for March 9-15. Virenque signed with Polti earlier this month. The 4 times KOM winner in the Tour de France has 6 weeks earlier announced he was quitting the sport after the Festina scandal had left him without a contract. Virenque always denied that he had taken any banned substances.

Polti's other team leader, Italian Ivan Gotti, will debut at the Trofeo Laigueglia on February 16th. His compatriots Fabrizio Guidi and Davide Rebellin, will begin their season in France at the Tour of the Mediterranean.

1999 Euskaltel-Euskadi Team

Twenty riders, including five Neo Pros will be part of the lineup for Team Euskaltel-Euskadi in 1999. The team was officially presented today at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.

The fifteen riders coming back under the direction of Julian Gorospe will be: Ibon Ajuria, Joseba Beloki, Angel Castresana, Iñigo Chaurreau, Txema Del Olmo, Unai Etxebarria, Bingen Fernández, Igor Flores, Gorka Gerrikagoitia, Ramón González Arrieta, Aitor Kintana, Roberto Laiseka, Alberto López de Munain, Alberto Martínez and Haimar Zubeldia. The new additions to the team will be: Mikel Artetxe, Peio Arreitunandia, Mikel Pradera, from Team Olarra-Erkoreka; Iker Flores, from Caja Rural and Aitor Silloniz, from Pinturas Banaka.

The five young riders will take the place of the riders that have left the team. The brothers, Alvaro and Igor González de Galdeano have signed with Vitalicio Seguros, Oscar with Portugal's Benfica, while Iñaki Aiarzaguena and Aitor Bugallo have not found a place in the professional peloton for 1999. The team will start their season at the Challenge de Mallorca, which begins on February 7th.

Sport director, Julián Gorospe, spoke about the youth of his riders, "focused and hopeful to continue progressing and try for a better season that last". The team achieved six victories in 1998: two by Unai Etxebarria - 7th and 12th stages la Vuelta a Portugal; two by Igor González de Galdeano - Clasica de Sabiñánigo and 5th stage la Vuelta a Galicia; one by Alvaro González de Galdeano - 2nd stage Gran Premio Jornal de Noticias; and one by Txema Del Olmo - 8th stage Tour d'Avenir.

Batavus team presented for 1999

On Monday in the Dutch town of Rijssen, the third professinal racing team registered in the Netherlands - the Batavus-BankGiroLoterij-BigStar-team - was presented.

The team will have 10 professional riders and will be led by the national coach Piet Hoekstra. Three former professionals have made their comeback to the pro ranks in the team: John Talen, Michel Cerneus and Johan Bruinsma. Batavus has plans to run a professional track team and an elite amateur team.

The team details:

Team manager: Arend Scheppink

Team leaders: Piet Hoekstra (professionals), Henk Boeve (amateurs) and Marco van Bon (track)

Professional road team: Johan Bruinsma, Michel Cerneus, Kees Jeurissen, Rudi Kemna, Maarten Nijland, Rik Reinerink, Paul van Schalen, John Talen, Jan van Velzen, Renger Ypenburg.

Track team: Martin Benjamin, Matthijs van Bon, Martijn Lust.

Amateur team: Bart Bouma, Laurens ten Dam, Freddy Haak, Niels Harms, Tim Hiemstra, Marcel Meyn, David Orvalho, Jean-Pierre Verstraten, Marc Willems.

STC Rider Struck

Joeseph Ackerman, of the US Team STC Pro Cycling, was struck by a car during a training ride in Lincoln, Massachusetts over the weekend. Joe was scheduled to join the team training camp on February 1. It is unknown at this point if he will be able to join them. The ironic part is that he was struck outside a local bike shop.

Tour de Langkawi to have 1000 officials

About 1,000 officials will be involved in the Tour de Langkawi 1999 which will be held from February 3 to 14. The 1999 Tour technical division head Zulkifle Alias said yesterday they included technical officials and umpires from abroad. He said 150 cyclists from 25 teams had confirmed participation in the 12-stage event held over 1,773.5 kms.

1999 Cox Atlanta Velo Team

Cox Atlanta Velo, previously known as one of the premier track cycling teams in the United States has changed its focus for the 1999 season. While still retaining a few of its track athletes and also its local Atlanta cycling focus, the team has repackaged its men's roster and expanded the women's travelling road team.

David Weller, Olympic bronze medallist, four time Olympian and Technical Director for the team, said, "Our title sponsor, Cox Enterprises, is happy to support 'up and coming' national-caliber athletes and is also involved in promoting cycling in the southeast." He continued, "there is a significant void in developmental and intermediate cycling programming and our goal is to nurture a positive culture that supports and inspires young people to success in the sport.

With the expansion of the team, comes a new Director Sportif, Bobby Livingston, 1988 Olympian and Atlanta native, who will be heading up day-to-day operations for the team. Both the men's and women's road teams will be following the National Calendar races, starting with a training camp and racing in Arizona in late February.

The strong women's team is young and talented. It includes women who have shown promise and who are motivated to work together but also reach their individual goals. Climbers Kimberly Bruckner and Nikki Gugliotta have shown tremendous potential by going up against and beating some of the best racers in the world. Sprinters Shannon Hutchinson and Ashley McCollough have raced locally and are hungry to test their skills against the other fast women in the peloton. And super strong, all-arounders, Marjon Marik, Shannon Greenhill and Angie Varges have their sights set on making Cox Atlanta Velo Team a force to be reckoned with.

Ex-football player and lone American finisher in the 1998 Tour of Yugoslavia, Craig McLaughlin heads up a small, but powerful men's road team. Joining him are Chris Pic and Ryan Barnett, both seasoned road racers. Pic was 3rd in Stage 6 of the 1998 Tour of Mendoza in Argentina and Barnett was 13th in last year's National Road Championships after a flat tire dashed his hopes of a better placing. Mountain biker Eric Lemaire, winner of the 1998 South American Mountain Bike Championships in Lima, Peru is ready to transfer his skills to the road. Rounding out the men's travelling team, are John Atkins and Danny Joseph, two of Atlanta's top cyclists.

In addition to this core group, Cox Atlanta Velo will continue sponsoring elite track racers, Missy Thompson, twice 1998 Collegiate National Champion, Nathan Rogut, a U.S National Cycling Team Member and Garth Blackburn, a third place finisher in the 1998 Elite Track Cycling Championships. These three individuals will provide a presence for Cox at the EDS Track Cup Series with goals of competing internationally at the World Cup Events.

The Team:


John Atkins (Newnan, Georgia)
Ryan Barnett (Alpharetta, Georgia)
Georgiarth Blackburn (Houston, Texas)
Steve HoGeorgian (Woodstock, Georgia)
Danny Joseph (Atlanta, Georgia)
Eric Lemaire (Athens, Georgia)
Craig McLaughli (Atlanta, Georgia)
Adam Payne (Newnan, Georgia)
Chris Pic (Athens, Georgia)
Chad Rodekohr (Auburn, Alabama)
Nathan Rogut (Frisco, Texas)
Bill Verdon (Peachtree City, Georgia)


Kimberly Bruckne (Boulder, Colorado)
Nikki Gugliotta (Eden Praire, Maine)
Shannon Greenhil (Atlanta, Georgia)
Shannon Hutchinso (Columbia, South Carolina)
Marjon Marik (Georgiainesville, Florida)
Michele McCulloc (Vinings, Georgia)
Ashley McCulloug (San Francisco, California)
Missy Thompson (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
Angie VarGeorgias (Atlanta, Georgia)


Todd Allinger (Sugar Hill, Georgia)
Karsten Bicknes (Atlanta, Georgia)
Jennings Dorn (Atlanta, Georgia)
Matt Georgiarrett (Avondale Estates, Georgia)
Scott Hilburn (Atlanta, Georgia)
John James (Peachtree City, Georgia)
Bob Lambert (Sharpsburg, Georgia)
Jimmy McLeroy (Norcross, Georgia)
Jeff Meyer (Lilburn, Georgia)
John Turner (Duluth, Georgia)