News for September 24, 1999

Rider updates

Escartin goes Dutch? TVM's sprint trio; Fred calls it a day

*A report on Belgian television claims that injured Spanish rider Fernando Escartin (Kelme), who took a nasty fall during the epic eighth stage of the Vuelta, has had offers from a team in France, but is close to agreement with the Dutch team Rabobank.

*Sprinter Jeroen Blijlevens will leave TVM at the end of this season. He has reached agreement with TVM-Farm Frites manager Cees Priem although he still has a contract for next year with TVM. Officially, Blijlevens' new team isn't known yet, but he is free to sign for two years with Polti.

*Meanwhile, TVM confirmed on Thursday it had reached agreement with Australian sprinter Robbie McEwen, currently with Rabobank. McEwen's two year signing will provide Priem with a handy complement of sprinters: Jans Koerts (Team Cologne) and Glenn Magnusson (US Postal) will also ride for TVM in 2000. McEwen, whose last race of this season will be Australia's Herald Sun Tour in October, said that: "My main goal with Farm Frites/TVM will be the Tour de France and other stage races". Priem said "These three riders are of the same level as Blijlevens. Maybe we are even stronger. But I know that without finding this three replacements I should not agree with the departure of Blijlevens. He had a contract with TVM for 2000 too." Besides the new riders Koos Moerenhout (Rabobank) and Dave Bruylandts (Palmans), Priem is also looking for two other new riders for the classics.

*Sprinter Frederic Moncassin (31) will finish his professional carreer after this season. The French rider won two stages in the Tour de France 1996 and also held the yellow jersey. Next year the sprinter will do public relations work for the Credit Agricole-team.

No friends for Danish team, but no link to 'Streel' affair

By Tomas Nillson, correspondent

Fisherman's Friend's English management has said no thanks to Brian Holm and Henrik Elmgreen and their attempt to rescue the remnants of Team Acceptcard for next season. "Well, I've had a feeling that it wasn't going to work out," said Holm.

He added that the "Marc Streel affair" had nothing to do with the English decision. "I don't think they even heard about it," Holm said, who still carries some hope for a Danish team for next year: "But we must admit that there's little time left and not so many good riders available, so a more realistic time table would give 2001 as a starting year."

Belgian rider Marc Streel was disqualified from the Grand Prix des Nations in France last weekend after a blood test revealed he had a hematocrit level of 52. The subsequent fallout reveals the differing attitudes towards violation of the UCI rules, which state that a rider's hct level must be no higher than 50.

Streel was subsequently sacked from his Danish team, Home Jack & Jones, and then one of the main sponsors of the Danish team, the "Home" real estate broking firm withdrew sponsorship from the team for next year, declaring that they aren't prepared to wait for the next doping scandal to hit.

Nevertheless, the Belgian cycling authorities selected Streel as a reserve - while still under the UCI's suspension - for the time trial in the upcoming world championships next month.

Denmark announces World's team

The Danish Cycling Union has announced a total of 12 riders for the upcoming world championship road race to be held in Verona early next month.

The riders are: Christian Andersen, Michael Blaudzun and Mikael Holst (Home Jack & Jones), Nicolay Bo Larsen (Kyneb), Allan Johansen and Nicki S÷rensen (Chicky World), Danny Jonasson and Morten Sonne (Acceptcard), Rolf S÷rensen (Rabobank), Bo Hamburger (Cantina Tollo), Lars Michaelsen (La Franšaise des Jeux), and Frank H°j (US Postal Service).

The reserves are Jacob Moe Rasmussen (Acceptcard) and Rene J°rgensen (Home Jack & Jones), while Michael Sandst°d (Home Jack & Jones) has been selected for the time trial.

Three Young Germans to Saeco

Three new riders have been signed for the Saeco-Cannondale next year - Neo pro Nitsche, winner of a stage at the Giro della Valle d'Aosta, who will be another part of the "red train" for Cipollini; Wegmann and Ludewig, winners of stages at the Tour de l'Avenir. It was rumoured that team manager Claudio Corti also tried to sign American rider David Clinger, who will be in fact riding for Mercury next year.

The new arrivals will join Pieri, Conte, Atienza and Padrnos along with confirmed riders Cipollini, Savoldelli, Dufaux, Commesso, Meier, Calcaterra, Scirea, Mori, Pugaci, China, Guerra and Secchiari.

Results from Belgium

September 22,  cyclocross, Bellem, Belgium, cat 3

1  Sven Nijs (Bel)
2  Adri van der Poel (Ned)
3  Peter van den Abbeele (Bel)
4  Erwin Vervecken (Bel)
5  Tom van Noppen (Bel)
Profcriterium Stekene, Belgium, 158 km

1 Wim Omloop
2 Berry Hoedemakers    18"
3 Heireweg