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News for March 26, 1999
Problems for Pascal LinoThe leading French cycling team Big Mat-Auber 93 have announced that they will carpet Pascal Lino. The French rider had apparently violated the charter agreed to by 30 teams concerning doping in cycling.
Lino has according to rumours "tried corticoids and taken them without the knowledge of the medical staff of the team." The rider has to appear before an internal commission in two weeks. He has never been found positive.
Amstel Gold Race speculationAfter the "Waalse klassiekers" (classics in the Ardennes) Oscar Camenzind will decide whether he will start in the Amstel Gold Race on April 24. This race isn't in his schedule at present. He said he plans to start only if he feels strong enough in LBL and the Waalse Pijl (Fleche Wallone).
Telekom will start the Amstel Gold Race without Jan Ullrich. It had earlier been planned that he would start. But Marco Pantani is in the initial Mercatone-Uno selection of 12 riders (only 8 can start).
From the 5 Limburg professional riders only Max van Heeswijk from Baexem will start for sure. He will start with Michele Bartoli in the Mapei-team. There is a chance that Marc Lotz will be select for the Rabobank-team. The wild card went to Team Post Swiss (because last year's winner Rolf Jaermann) and the new Dutch team Batavus. Amica Chips (Italy), with Viatcheslav Ekimov and Evgeny Berzin was selected as the 23rd team.
TVM-Farm Frites snubbed by Société du Tour de FranceThe TVM-Farm Frites team has been snubbed by Société du Tour de France, the organisers of the Tour de France and many other top ranking races. The first evidence of this snub for the Dutch team came as the Société du Tour de France director said that the team had been denied entry to the Waalse Pijl (Fleche Wallonne), one of the races organised by the Parisien body.
Jean-Marie Leblanc was not forthcoming about the ban but said to the press, rather cryptically that: "perhaps we have good enough reason not to invite them. Perhaps that will move things along."
The reference was probably to the attitude the French organisation have to TVM after they were involved in the 1998 Tour drugs scandal. There is a view that TVM has done little to address the allegations about their activities. Earlier this year, new manager Stephen Rooks made stunning revelations about his own permissive attitudes to doping.
The ban has now been extended on Thursday to all races organised by the Société du Tour de France which are not under the UCI regulations (covering Division I teams).
Tour director Jean-Marie Leblanc declared in Paris that: "During last year's turbulent Tour de France I was angry about the almost triumphant-like finish in Aix-les-Bains where the TVM riders passed the line. A day late they stopped in Switzerland and we have heard nothing since. Thus the TVM team are banned from the Criterium International, the Waalse Pijl, the Classique des Alpes, the Tour de l'Oise and the Tour de l'Avenir. The team will be allowed to ride in Paris-Roubaix, Luik-Bastenaken-Luik and the Tour because those events fall under UCI rules. With respect to Festina, the team has changed its structure and they came to Paris and explained their position. They have new managers and so we believe they will not cause any more problems for us."
TVM team manager Hendrik Redant is very surprised with Leblanc's outburst: "I don't know the reason why we aren't invited. I think in sporting terms that we have a right to ride. Is this an abuse of power? I don't know." Overall team boss, Cees Priem gave a typical reaction: "It is strange that we had not been consulted. But there are more races in the world than the Waalse Pijl."
Pantani and the Tour - again!Marco Pantani has now confirmed that his major goal for 1999 is to win the World Championship in October in the Italian town of Verona. This is a further reason why he is unlikely to defend his 1998 victory in the Tour de France. His Mercatone manager Giuseppe Martinelli was interviewed by the daily French sport's paper l'Equipe. He said: "Marco will decide about his schedule accordingly. If he were to give up on the Tour it will not be because the itinerary does not suit him but because he has to do the Vuelta to tackle the worlds in his best shape."
Jacky Durand injured in Cholet-Pays de LoireJacky Durand fell during the Cholet-Pays de Loire last Sunday and has torn an adductor and required stitches to his backside. In addition, his Lotto manager Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke believes there are problems with the pre-season programm of Durand. He said: "He has to rest at least one week then they have to check the injuries. It means he will miss Dwars door België, the E3-prijs in Harelbeke and the Brabantse Pijl. He hopes he can start in the Driedaagse van De Panne (March 30), but that isn't certain. Even starting in the RVV and Paris-Roubaix is today still unsure."
USA Cycling Week, May 30-June 6, 1999Six world-class cycling events are coming to the Philadelphia area from May 30-June 6. A field of elite, international riders and teams will compete for top honors in the events that include the prestigious USPRO Championship and the Liberty Classic. Cyclists will take on the arduous courses through the streets of Wilmington (Delaware), Lancaster (Pennsylvania), Trenton (New Jersey) and Philadelphia (Pennsylvania).
UCI Rankings at March 23, 1999
1. Michele Bartoli (Ita) 2905.0 points 2. Abraham Olano (Spa) 2052.0 3. Michael Boogerd (Ned) 2043.5 4. Marco Pantani (Ita) 2024.0 5. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) 1991.0 6. Davide Rebellin (Ita) 1974.0 7. Oscar Camenzind (Swi) 1451.0 8. Andrea Tafi (Ita) 1434.0 9. Alex Zulle (Swi) 1425.0 10. Frank Vandenbroucke (Bel) 1265.0 11. Jan Ullrich (Ger) 1206.0 12. Andrei Tchmil (Bel) 1205.0 13. Leon van Bon (Ned) 1167.0 14. Fernando Escartin (Spa) 1144.0 15. Markus Zberg (Swi) 1136.0 16. Jose Maria Jimenez (Spa) 1064.0 17. Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) 1052.0 18. Lance Armstrong (USA) 1024.0 19. Peter Van Petegem (Bel) 1002.5 20. Bo Hamburger (Den) 978.0
Germany, 48th Köln - Schuld - Frechen, March 21, 183 kms:
1. Bert Dietz (Ger) Team Nürnberger 4.37.40 2. Ralf Grabsch (Ger) Team Cologne 3. Bert Grabsch (Ger) Team Cologne 4. Jason Philipps (Aus) Die Continentale/Olympia 5. Holger Sievers (Ger) Team Hohenfelder-Concorde 6. Jens Zemke (Ger) Team Nürnberger 7. Ole-Sigurd Simensen (Nor) Agro-Adler Brandenburg 8. Eduard Gritsun (Rus) Team Gerolsteiner 9. Björn Glasner (Ger) Die Continentale/Olympia 10. Lars Wackernagel (Ger) Team Hohenfelder-Concorde s.t.
1996 Lutz Lehmann 1997 Ralf Grabsch 1998 Sascha Henrix
1999 Australian National Women's Road Championships, ITT, 27 kms:The 1999 Women's Road Championships are being held on the Gold Coast over the next few days. The first event was the 27 kms ITT which used the flat roads of the Mercedes Benz Performance Driving Centre near Brisbane.
The event was won by 25-year old NSW rider Kristy Scrymgeour who beat Victorian Kathy Watt by 26 seconds with Tracey Gaudry (who won the recent Tour de Snowy) third at 43 seconds.
The finale was controversial because Scrymgeour was accused of drafting behind her team car. The allegations were dismissed by officials. She told the press afterwards when asked about the incident: "I was passing so many other riders who started ahead of me and when I came up to the car I basically just rode past it. I did everything to get around it and not go near it. It actually slowed me down briefly."
Scrymgeour doesn't think she will gain an Olympic berth in the ITT though. She said: "This wasn't really the type of course you'd race at world titles or Olympics."
Kathy Watt was disappointed but with her extremely low body weight she was susceptible to the high winds which were present during her ride.
1. Kristy Scrymgeour (NSW) 36.44.26 (45 km/h) 2. Kathy Watt (Vic) 37.10.84 3. Tracey Gaudry (ACT) 37.33.98 4. Juanita Feldham (Qld) 38.06.68 5. Jodie Brewer (ACT) 38.11.21 6. Lyn Nixon (WA) 39.20.37 7. Emma James (NSW) 39.22.03 8. Symeko Jochinke (SA) 39.24.50 9. Toireasa Ryan (NSW) 39.54.32 10. Sarah Carrigan (Qld) 40.14.23
World Cup rider killedDave Carr from Napa reports that an 18-year-old Costa Rican cyclist Luis Costillo was killed by a car while he was training in California's Napa Valley. The alifornia Highway Patrol said that Luis Costillo was riding with four others on State Highway 29 approaching the north end of Kelly Road around 17.15 on Tuesday. The riders apparently pulled in front of a northbound 1994 Volvo while it was changing lanes. The driver Gregory Beach (47), a local of Napa, attempted to evade the bikes but hit Costillo. Costillo and his Costa Rican teammates were preparing for the Napa Valley World Cup Mountain Bike Races to be held in Napa this weekend. No charges were laid.