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News for October 27, 1999
More on Hamburger
By Tomas Nilsson, cyclingnews.com correspondent
Jack & Jones DS Alex Pedersen was a happy man when he presented his team including Bo Hamburger, in Copenhagen on Monday. "With Bo we have a good rider for the mountains, which we must have, according to Tour director Jean-Marie Leblanc, if we are to get a wild card. Hamburger will also widen our team and make it a complete one", said Pedersen.
The team will start the season with two parallel squads. Tristan Hoffman, Arvis Piziks will lead an outfit for the early World Cup races while Hamburger, Piil and Martin Rittsel will head for the Spanish stage races and then go up north for the later spring classics.
Bo Hamburger said during Monday's press conference that he was not coming home to take a step back in his career: "I'm sure that I have my best years ahead of me, even if I go down somewhat in pay (but he will be paid, ed. note) I haven't lowered my ambitions - quite on the contrary", Hamburger said, emphasizing the professional attitude of the team that he has signed a two year contract with.
"I'm happy about the confidence that (team manager) Torben Kølbæk and Alex Pedersen after all have in me. It would be a highlight in the career to ride the Tour with a National Team of sorts.
"I have understood that we will have the same tactics as with Casino last year, we ride for the guy with the best legs. So I'm ready to take a captain's role but also help others when ever there's a need for it."
"I had offers from Casino, Liquigas, Vitalicio, Kelme and Mapei, and some others but with my Italian experience (frozen salary at Cantina Tollo) Liquigas was out of the question and I would not risk "drowning" among all the riders at Mapei. In the end my racing ambitions and the security at home counted for most, and I'm sure that I will not regret my change of team."
Hamburger's season has been awful. He started as number 21 on the UCI list and as King of Danish cycling. An aching back gave him trouble. "I was simply worn out", he says. In nine months he sunk down "into the dim haze of mediocrity" (well, relatively) to number 260 in the world. But now his backpain is gone and he hopes for the best as does DS Alex Pedersen: "The bare name means a lot, and you shouldn't judge him by one season only. Normally he will gain around 600 to 800 points."
Contracts and teams
Alberto Benito and Denis Menchov will be moved up from Banesto's U 23 team to the elite squad next year. Also, Miguel Ángel Martín Perdiguero is rumoured to be negotiating with ONCE for another year, but Banesto and Maia are also interested in him.
Neo Rubins Bertoliati will ride for Lampre next seasaon.
Spar, a Belgian second division team, will have the computer company OKI as their co-sponsor for next year.
Colorado Cyclist and Seven Up (two American amateur teams) will form a third division team for next year under the management of Scott McAfee. Paul Collins and Mike Ley will come from Colorado Cyclist, while Seven Up will contribute with Jeff Corbett, Clark Sheehan, Steve Speaks and the Guatemalan ex-US Postal rider Anton Villatoro.
David Zabriskie will come from Nutra Fig and neo pros Michael Creed, Kevin Monahan and David Pate are also joining. Another two or three riders will join shortly.
Villatoro is right now leading the Tour of Guatemala in a Seven Up team with two compatriots: Oscar and Juan Carlos Piñeda, as well as Chris Fisher, Chris Baldwin and Wayne Roth.
Swiss Post director quits
Post Swiss Team will not renew its contract with its French sports director Jacques Michaud, 47, according to Télévision Suisse Romande (TSR). He will be succeeded by the Swiss pair Kurt Steinmann and Serge Demierre, winner of the 300 km plus long haul to Le Havre in the 1983 Tour de France as Swiss champion.
The team had a good 1998 with Niki Aebersold in the final drama of the World's and Markus Zberg in the leaders jersey of the Vuelta but the pair went to Rabobank and an aging Rolf Järmann was not able to fill the gap.
The team was ranked 21st but with the loss of it's two top riders it had to stay in second division, where it is ranked 13th today.
Dutch women's team for 2000
Dutch coach Jean-Paul van Poppel announced the national womens selection for 2000, consisting of: Ghita Beltman, Mariëlle van Scheppingen, Chantal Beltman, Arena Grimberg, Angela Hillenga, Mirjam Melchers, Mirella van Melis and Elsbeth Vink.
Sabine Gruters, Sonja van Kuik, Kristy Miggels, Sandra Rombouts, Afke Sijm and Janneke Vos will leave the team. However, for international races like the Tour de France, Tour de l'Aude, the World Championships and the Olympic Games, the selection can be enhanced.
Jack and Jones back to Oz
Fresh from their success at the Sun Tour, cyclingnews' favourite Danish team, Jack and Jones, are planning to revisit Australia this summer. They're main objectives will be the South Australian Tour Down Under, as well as the new Melbourne Soronto Classic, organized by John Trevorrow in place of the MT Buller Cup.