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News for March 2, 1999
Ullrich not ready yetJan Ullrich is still not in any form to race. The German has announced that he will not start in the Tour of Murcia which runs from March 3-7. The press release from Telekom said: "The condition of Ullrich is not good enough to race in a stage event."
Ullrich rode for 80 kms on Saturday and struggled. The 1997 Tour winner has also said that he will not participate in the Tirreno Adriatico and Milan-San Remo. Telekom is still going to Murchia with riders like Elli, Lombardi and Bolts as their top fancies.
Troubles in Belgian cyclingKris Verreth writes that while the UBSD (Union of Belgian Team Directors) had previously threatened to strike if elite without contract riders and Eelite III teams were allowed to ride in the Belgian kermesse races, now they have come to an agreement with the BWB, the Belgian Cycling Federation. Belgian elites without contract can participate in the kermesse races (with no limit on the number of riders per elite without contract team) Previously, a limit of 5 riders per team was proposed). However, the Elite III teams will not be allowed to race along with foreign elite without contract riders. The Belgian professional teams have been strongly protesting over the likely permission of the Trade III teams, which they consider unfair competition for the 'real' pro teams.
AGU quits as a sponsorDutch amateur team leader Egbert Koersen has to search for a new sponsor. His main sponsor, AGU, who has provided funds for the team for the last 5 years has announced that it will withdraw at the end of this season.
The team of Koersen, which also has Koga Miyata as a main sponsor, has been going for 13 years and has produced 28 riders who have gone on to ride as professionals. Names like TVM-riders Blijlevens, Voskamp, De Jongh and Van der Ven began as AGU team riders.
Tonkov back in trainingRussian Mapei-Quick Step rider was not on the starting line at Siracusa because of a sore throat and bronchitis. He was under anti-biotic treatment and instead of racing chose to ride easily for 3 hours. He is anticipated to be a starter in the Tour of Murcia.
German transferCarsten Podlesch who has been riding with the Agro-Adler Brandenburg team will transfer on April 1 to the GS III Team Geese after disagreements with team management.
Belgium, Hamont-Achel, Beverbeek Classic, February 27Kris Verreth from Belgium writes that the Trade III teams classification appears to be somewhat confusing as to which races they can and cannot start in. In Belgium last Saturday the was a race that should have been categorised as 1.12 but it was won by a member of a Dutch Elite III team.
1. Marcel Luppes (Ned) Axa 150 km in 3.35.00 2. Eric Torfs (Bel) 3. Koen Diericks (Bel) 4. Marc Patry (Bel) 5. Sebastien Van den Abeele (Bel) .. 16. Mario Gutte (Ned) Axa
Frank Vandenbroucke24-year old Frank Vandenbroucke scored his 46th win in his five year professional career to date when he was successful in the opening Belgian race - the Omloop Het Volk. The nephew of team leader Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke made his debut in 1994 at the age of 19. Within a few weeks he won his first stage at the Tour of Mediterranean. He is an all-rounder who the Belgians see as the successor to the great Eddy Merckx.
His record to date:
USA, Parker Road RacePam Schuster reports that this 100 km road race was the first for the National Calendar. Racers from all walks came to ride up and down the Colorado river where many have put up 2nd mobile homes along the crystal blue river for boating and water ski activies. The biggest elevation gain was just to go over the dam. It was never enough to be a factor in the race only enough for you to know you had raced by the fact that you could feel it in your legs afterward. Although there were numerous attacks and break away attempts nothing ever had the juice to go with the strong field quickly asborbing the brave souls who tried. The finish was crazy and in the last kilometer there were 2 crashes. As with all races in Arizona centerline penalties were given out. The results below are before the 5 place relagations.
1. Nicole Freeman (Rect) 2. Marjon Marik (Cox) 3. Marie Holjier (Sunset Velo) 4. Dede Demet (Saturn) 5. Laurence Restoin (Ebly) 6. Ann Sherlert (Giant Dominecs) 7. Jenny Eyerman (Jane Cosmetics) 8. Pam Schuster (Timex) 9. Shanna Hutchinson (Cox) 10. Arhab Sabrina (Ebly) ... 38. Anke Erlank (Timex) 45 Julie Young (Timex) 54. Linda Jackson (Timex)
Mercury Cycling Team ReportJohn Peters rode to Victory #10 in Saturday's stage of the McClain Pacific Criterium. Teammate Mike Sayers was with Pelle Kil (Smart Talk) in a breakaway that lasted 15 laps. The Duo had a lead of 15 seconds with 3 laps to go. The Lombardi cycling team organized a last effort chase to bring them back. Then the Mercury team took over and Knickman, Willett, and Sayers brought Peters to the line ahead of Harm Hansen (Smart Talk).
In Sunday's Road stage there were several serious moves, the most dangerous move had Mercury riders Knickman and Bouchard-Hall, along with National Champ Haney and Saturn's Levi Leipheimer. The 6 man group was chased down by Alto Velo in an impressive 8 man effort. With 1 lap to go, the Mercury men put Knickman and Wordin on the front to generate a field sprint. With Sayers leading out John Peters and Derek Bouchard-Hall, Victory looked assured. However a slight hesitation by Bouchard-Hall allowed Lombardi's Mike Taylor to steal the victory and the Mercury Duo took 2nd and 3rd.
Witty goes cyclingChristine Witty will not compete in the World Speed Skating Championships at Heerenveen (NL) from March 12-14. The American 1000m World Champion has ended her skating season last weekend. On Sunday, she declined to start in the world cup competition at Rosevile. She said she was tired. She has not had a break for 1.5 years. She has been dividing her time between skating and cycle racing. She will compete in two Olympic Games - Sydney 2000 and Salt Lake City in 2002. She said: "I don't know if I will remain in cycling. Salt Lake City, in my own country, is my foremost goal."
Caulfied-Carnegie Criteriums, February 18Calm conditions greeted the 159 riders for Sunday's criterium. The victors in A grade came from a five man break that established a lead of 30 seconds and the bunch appeared content to roll and US visitor Varski beat his companions by jumping away before the last corner. The minor placings resulted from a fierce sprint in the gutter.
B grade saw a break of four caught by a group of eight midway through the race. The strong group then proceeded to take a lap from the field. Anthony Smith, brother of Duncan, was closely followed by outgoing president Mick Hollingworth. A fast paced C grade race was taken by in form junior Adam Bonney. D grades small field enjoyed the conditions with David Leniszin victorious.
A Grade: 1. Michael Varski 2. Andrew Stalder 3. James Taylor 4. Jerone Walters Started: 39 B Grade: 1. Anthony Smith 2. Mick Hollingworth 3. Dean Smith 4. Ashley Goewie Started: 42 C Grade: 1. Adam Bonney 2. Leo DiMartino 3. Kid Kappilan 4. Travers Nuttall Started: 52 D Grade: 1. David Leniszin 2. Andrew Cameron 3. Hugh Forrest 4. John Lewis Started: 26