News for November 29, 1999

Armstrong takes Reuters award

The Reuters awards for sportspeople of the year/decade/millennium continued in London, with the first cyclist to take out an award, Lance Armstrong, winning the "Sports Personality" of the year. Armstrong beat other highly fancied athletes such as Michael Johnson (athletics), Andre Agassi (tennis) Maurice Green (athletics) and Tiger Woods (golf) in U.S. dominated list.

His incredible achievement at overcoming cancer and then winning the Tour has seen him win several awards, although this is one of the few major "inter sport" awards that he has won.

The list is as follows:

1. Lance Armstrong, U.S.A. (Cycling) 	122 
2. Michael Johnson, USA (Athletics) 	108
3. Andre Agassi, USA (Tennis)	 96
4. Maurice Greene, USA (Athletics)	 78
5. Tiger Woods, USA (Golf)		 72
6. Ronaldo, Brazil (Soccer) 		 49
7. Mika Hakkinen (Finland) Motor Racing  46 
8. Steffi Graf, Germany (Tennis) 	 31
9. Gabriela Szabo, Romania (Athletics)   26
10. Lennox Lewis, Britain (Boxing)	 22

55th Vuelta route

La Vuelta Ciclista a Espaņa will be staged next year between August 26th and September 17th, starting in Malaga. The race will revisit the climbs of El Angliru and los Lagos de Covadonga, with the full route to be revealed on December 20th this year.

New MTB Event for Oz

Courtesy of Steven Hodge

The Yass Shire Development Corporation, with support from the Woolmark Company and the Canberra Off Road Cyclists (CORC) will be holding an exciting new 2-day mountain biking event from Friday, December 3rd to Sunday, December 5th. The inaugural Mountain Tour '99 has attracted Australia's leading mountain bike competitors including 1999 World Cup Champion Cadel Evans, as it provides a last major test before the Oceania Games Olympic qualification events one week later.

The new National category Mountain Tour is a rare chance for Australian competitors to race against the likes of top MTBer's Cadel Evans and Mary Grigson. The entire Olympic squad will be there, including Australian Men's Champion, Paul Rowney. The Mountain Tour '99 is the only chance (together with the Oceania Games event in Sydney one week later) that the public will have to see the entire Olympic squad racing together before the Olympic Games in 2000.

The mountain bike event will comprise the spectacular Netti prologue in the centre of Yass, a point-to-point stage from Yass to Wee Jasper, and criterium and cross-country stages in Wee Jasper. Close to 200 competitors of all levels and ages are expected to compete over the weekend.

The following elite competitors are confirmed for the race: Cadel Evans, Mary Grigson, Paul Rowney, Craig Gordon, Hanneke Geyson, Josh Fleming, Dellys Franke, Matt Wallace, Anna Baylis and Rob Woods.

New sponsor for Saeco

Saeco-Cannondale will undergo a name change next year to incorporate their new sponsor, Gaggia (part of the Saeco company). Although Cannondale will remain their equipment suppliers, the team's name will now be Saeco-Gaggia.

No Tour for Vitalicio

Spanish team, Vitalicio Seguros have announced that they do not intend on starting the Tour de France next year, according to sport director Javier Minguez. The main reason given was that the team will be weakened due to the departures of Daniel Clavero, Angel Casero and Oscar Freire to other teams. The team does not have the strength, either in numbers or money to ride all three of the "Grand Tours", and has opted just to do the Giro and the Vuelta.