Second edition news for April 11, 2000

UCI rankings: Zabel moves up

The latest rankings have been released by the UCI after last weekend's Paris-Roubaix. Although ONCE's Laurent Jalabert (Fra) has an unassailable lead (for the time being) of nearly 800 points, Telekom's Erik Zabel (Ger) has benefited from his World Cup campaign moving into second place on 1695 points. He displaces Abraham Olano (ONCE) who is on 1666 but may well gain more if he places highly in the Cat 2.2 Tour of Aragon starting Wednesday.

Dutchman Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) continues his gentle slide down the rankings to 4th, but he has made it clear that he wants wins in certain races, not ranking this year. Tied on fifth are American Lance Armstrong (US Postal) and Italian Francesco Casagrande (Vini Caldirola), both on 1497 points.

In the teams, division one are still led by Mapei-Quick Step (2,548 pts) but Erik Zabel, with Andreas Klöden and Steffen Wesemann have pushed the Telekom team up to within striking distance, at 2,518 points. In third is ONCE-Deutsche Bank who would dearly love to take that number one spot from Mapei, and will keep winning the Spanish tours until they do. Embattled French team Cofidis, is hanging in there in sixth (1,293 points), although they will presumably lose a few in the coming months until their riders return to competition.

In the second division rankings, French Credit Agricole continues to lead, although they probably still consider themselves as first division. Italian Cantina Tollo are a couple of hundred points behind, with Euskadi-Euskaltel in third. Behind Laurent Brochard's Jean Delatour team (4th, 674 points) is US team Mercury, who have been gathering points on the continent with several wins and top finishes. It's the tours that count for a lot though, and having a good GC rider is essential for any second division team looking to finish at the top of the rankings by the end of the season.

Top 100 rankings as of April 9, 2000

1 Laurent Jalabert (Fra) O.N.C.E. - Deutsche Bank                            2,494.75 pts
2 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom                                     1,695.00
3 Abraham Olano Manzano (Spa) O.N.C.E. - Deutsche Bank                       1,666.75
4 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank                                             1,540.00
5 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service                                    1,497.00
5 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Vini Caldirola - Sidermec                       1,497.00
7 Romans Vainsteins (Lat) Vini Caldirola - Sidermec                          1,464.00
8 Jan Ullrich (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom                                    1,408.00
9 Andrei Tchmil (Bel) Lotto - Adecco                                         1,393.00
10 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Ag2R Prevoyance                                       1,370.00
11 Marcus Zberg (Swi) Rabobank                                               1,356.00
12 Roberto Heras Hernandez (Spa) Kelme - Costa Blanca                        1,319.00
13 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei - Quick Step                                    1,240.00
14 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Liquigas - Pata                                     1,179.00
15 Johan Museeuw (Bel) Mapei - Quick Step                                    1,105.50
16 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Deutsche Telekom                          1,105.00
17 Oscar Camenzind (Swi) Lampre - Daikin                                     1,103.00
18 Frank Vandenbroucke (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone                1,101.50
19 Mirko Celestino (Ita) Team Polti                                          1,040.00
20 Alex Zuelle (Swi) Banesto                                                 1,011.00
21 Marco Serpellini (Ita) Lampre - Daikin                                    1,006.00
22 Jeroen Blijlevens (Ned) Team Polti                                        1,000.00
23 Marc Wauters (Bel) Rabobank                                                 982.00
24 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre - Daikin                                       972.00
25 Mario Cipollini (Ita) Saeco - Valli & Valli                                 941.00
26 José Maria Jimenez Sastre (Spa) Banesto                                     929.00
27 Laurent Brochard (Fra) Jean Delatour                                        909.00
28 Sergio Barbero (Ita) Lampre - Daikin                                        899.00
29 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Mapei - Quick Step                                   897.00
30 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Saeco - Valli & Valli                                889.00
31 Dmitri Konyshev (Rus) Fassa Bortolo                                         881.00
32 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Farm Frites                                         873.50
33 Angel Luis Casero Moreno (Spa) Festina                                      865.00
34 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Cantina Tollo                                          859.00
35 Igor Gonzalez Galdeano Aranzabal (Spa) Vitalicio Seguros - Grupo Generali   854.00
36 Serhiy Honchar (Ukr) Liquigas - Pata                                        843.00
37 Fernando Escartin Coti (Spa) Kelme - Costa Blanca                           841.00
38 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Mapei - Quick Step                                 839.00
39 Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Farm Frites                                            826.00
40 Laurent Dufaux (Swi) Saeco - Valli & Valli                                  811.00
41 Jens Voigt (Ger) Credit Agricole                                            801.50
42 Tristan Hoffman (Ned) Memorycard - Jack & Jones                             799.00
43 Manuel Beltran Martinez (Spa) Mapei - Quick Step                            784.00
44 Juan Carlos Dominguez Dominguez (Spa) Vitalicio Seguros - Grupo Generali    776.00
45 Ivan Gotti (Ita) Team Polti                                                 754.00
46 Beat Zberg (Swi) Rabobank                                                   750.00
47 Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank                                                  747.00
48 Pavel Tonkov (Rus) Mapei - Quick Step                                       737.00
49 François Simon (Fra) Bonjour                                                730.00
50 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom                                  726.00
50 Leonardo Piepoli (Ita) Banesto                                              726.00
52 Maarten Den Bakker (Ned) Rabobank                                           722.00
53 Jean-Cyril Robin (Fra) Bonjour                                              690.00
54 David Etxebarria Alkorta (Spa) O.N.C.E. - Deutsche Bank                     689.00
55 Wladimir Belli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                                          688.00
56 George Hincapie (USA) US Postal Service                                     683.00
57 Marco Pantani (Ita) Mercatone Uno - Albacom                                 682.00
58 Alberto Elli (Ita) Team Deutsche Telekom                                    667.00
59 Marco Velo (Ita) Mercatone Uno - Albacom                                    665.00
60 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Festina                                             658.00
61 Raimondas Rumsas (Lit) Fassa Bortolo                                        651.00
62 Giuliano Figueras (Ita) Mapei - Quick Step                                  644.00
63 Gabriele Missaglia (Ita) Lampre - Daikin                                    636.00
64 Roberto Sgambelluri (Ita) Cantina Tollo                                     625.00
65 Jonathan Vaughters (USA) Credit Agricole                                    620.00
66 Lars Michaelsen (Den) La Francaise Des Jeux                                 613.00
67 Stéphane Heulot (Fra) La Francaise Des Jeux                                 593.00
68 José Alberto Martinez Trinidad (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                    587.00
69 Massimo Donati (Ita) Vini Caldirola - Sidermec                              586.00
70 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                                             582.00
71 Marcel Wust (Ger) Festina                                                   566.00
72 Tom Steels (Bel) Mapei - Quick Step                                         556.50
73 Leon Van Bon (Ned) Rabobank                                                 552.00
74 Gianni Faresin (Ita) Mapei - Quick Step                                     549.00
75 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Farm Frites                                             541.00
76 Aitor Osa Eizaguirre (Spa) Banesto                                          524.00
77 Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) La Francaise Des Jeux                                  518.00
78 Richard Virenque (Fra) Team Polti                                           514.00
79 Vjatceslav Ekimov (Rus) US Postal Service                                   509.00
79 Steffen Wesemann (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom                                509.00
81 Unai Osa Eizaguirre (Spa) Banesto                                           502.00
82 Geert Van Bondt (Bel) Farm Frites                                           499.00
83 Marc Streel (Bel) Ville De Charleroi - New Systems                          494.00
84 Salvatore Commesso (Ita) Saeco - Valli & Valli                              487.00
84 Roberto Laiseka Jaio (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                              487.00
86 Fabio Baldato (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                                           486.00
87 Mikel Zarrabeitia Uranga (Spa) O.N.C.E. - Deutsche Bank                     485.00
88 Servais Knaven (Ned) Farm Frites                                            472.50
89 Michael Blaudzun (Den) Memorycard - Jack & Jones                            464.00
90 Jan Hruska (Cze) Vitalicio Seguros - Grupo Generali                         463.00
91 Francisco Mancebo Perez (Spa) Banesto                                       462.00
92 Andrea Tafi (Ita) Mapei - Quick Step                                        456.00
93 Gilles Maignan (Fra) Ag2R Prevoyance                                        454.50
94 Niklas Axelsson (Swe) Ceramica Panaria - Gaerne                             452.00
95 Joseba Beloki Dorronsoro (Spa) Festina                                      448.00
96 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole                                        445.00
97 Christopher Boardman (GBr) Credit Agricole                                  443.50
98 Rolf Sorensen (Den) Rabobank                                                442.00
99 Nicolay Bo Larsen (Den) Memorycard - Jack & Jones                           438.00
100 Martin Rittsel (Swe) Memorycard - Jack & Jones                             431.00

Teams, GS I

1 Mapei - Quick Step                                                         2,548.00 pts
2 Team Deutsche Telekom                                                      2,518.00
3 O.N.C.E. - Deutsche Bank                                                   2,122.75
4 Farm Frites                                                                1,901.00
5 Rabobank                                                                   1,675.00
6 Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone                                           1,293.00
7 Vitalicio Seguros - Grupo Generali                                         1,229.00
8 Kelme - Costa Blanca                                                       1,158.00
9 Banesto                                                                    1,099.00
10 Fassa Bortolo                                                             1,063.00

Teams, GS II

1 Credit Agricole                                                              1,146.00 pts
2 Cantina Tollo                                                                  929.00
3 Euskaltel - Euskadi                                                            756.00
4 Jean Delatour                                                                  674.00
5 Mercury Cycling Team                                                           639.00
6 Palmans - Ideal                                                                408.00
7 Bonjour                                                                        348.00
8 Uniao Ciclista Da Maia/MSS                                                     297.00
9 Team Gerolsteiner                                                              263.00
10 Alessio SGM                                                                   241.00

Teams, GS III

1 De Nardi - Pasta Montegrappa                                                   461.00 pts
2 Bosch Hausgeräte - Sport Kärnten                                               403.00
3 Team Shaklee                                                                   298.00
4 Team Hohenfelder - Concorde                                                    241.00
5 Stabil Steiermark                                                              204.00
6 Axa Professional Cycling Team                                                  121.00
7 Kia - Villiger Suisse                                                          112.00
8 Jelly Belly Cycling Team                                                       111.00
9 7Up - Colorado Cyclist                                                         107.00
10 Barbot - Torrie                                                                77.00


1 Italy                                                                       10,560.00 pts
2 Spain                                                                        9,562.75
3 Belgium                                                                      7,856.00
4 France                                                                       7,792.25
5 Germany                                                                      7,106.50
6 Netherlands                                                                  6,752.50
7 Switzerland                                                                  6,657.00
8 U.S.A.                                                                       4,612.00
9 Russia                                                                       4,112.00
10 Denmark                                                                     3,827.00

Peers and Dominguez out, Ullrich OK

Cofidis' Chris Peers has become the next member of the team to temporarily depart the racing scene, after he crashed in Sunday's Paris-Roubaix. Peers suffered a fractured wrist and will have to have it in plaster for three to four weeks, meaning that he will be unlikely to race again before late May, although he will be able to train on a stationary bike. The Cofidis team has had a dreadful start to the year, losing Christophe Rinero (knee operation), Frank Vandenbroucke (various), Jo Planckaert (injured but recovered now although not in form), Nico Mattan (crashed in the Tour of Flanders, out for at least six weeks).

Maybe they are planning another all out assault on the Tour?

Juan Carlos Domínguez (Vitalicio Seguros) will unable to defend his title in the Tour of Aragón, starting Wednesday. He suffered a fall in Sunday's GP Primavera in Amorebieta, fracturing the fourth finger of his right hand. He will have it in plaster for several days.

He told Spanish newsagency EFE that he is under doctors orders not to use it for a month, which may prevent his contesting the Giro d'Italia, one of his main objectives for the year. Although he might manage to recover in time, he will not be in good form and may miss the race as he will do so with the Tour of Aragón.

On the other hand, Jan Ullrich (Telekom) has been given the go ahead by his team doctor, Andreas Schmidt, to train again. He was suffering from a virus for the past week and had to put off his scheduled start in the Tour of Aragón.

"He is clinically healthy and he can start training again, but he can't give 100 percent over more than 150 kilometres for the moment. When he is in form again, he will return to race. In May and June, there are sufficient races before the Tour de France," said director Walter Godefroot.

Dr Schmidt believes that Ullrich can reach top form, provided that nothing further goes wrong before the Tour. The German has not raced since the middle of March.

Beat Zberg will ride again

Swiss Rabobank rider, Beat Zberg who was badly injured on the weekend in the Tour of the Basque Country, may be able to race within three months or less, according to the latest hospital report. Zberg crashed on a descent during stage 5a and broke several vertebrae in his back, as well as sustaining internal bleeding in the kidneys. It was thought at first that he would be unable to ride for a year - possibly meaning the end of the career for this 29 year old rider ranked in the top 50.

He has been under observation and treatment in a hospital in San Sebastian, Spain for the past few days. By the end of the week, he will transfer to a specialised hospital closer to home in Zürich, where he will stay for at least another two weeks. Doctors say that he may be able to ride quite soon, and race again within 8-12 weeks.

French doping: Baal still afraid

The president of the French Cycling Federation, Daniel Baal, has been none too impressed with the latest doping scandal to hit France. This time it is in the elite 2 (amateur) ranks, although one of the main suspects is an ex-professional, Thierry Laurent. The French have taken great pains to try and clean up the sport in the wake of the 1998 scandal, and have certainly been amongst the leaders in drug reform and more rigorous testing. Hence Baal's displeasure.

He said in a recent AFP interview that the first blanket health control this year to be carried out on the Elite 2 riders will take place before the end of this month. "Until now, it was only necessary to have a physiological examination to obtain a licence. It was necessary to wait until April to launch the biological followup for a purely administrative reason - to inform the ministry of Youth and Sport of the laboratories that were able to do the testing," he explained.

Although there has only been one such blood test carried out on the Elite 2 riders to date, Baal is quite concerned about the number of riders between the 45 and 50 percent hematocrit range. "One cannot draw conclusions from this, but I ask myself questions," he said. "I think that the use of EPO is just better controlled now. There are sometimes suspicions about certain riders, and the business of Narbonne - Lyon shows that when one has doubts, sometimes they are founded."

He doesn't believe that there is widespread use of EPO, but is more worried about corticoids. He has made it clear that he wants these substances tested for in anti-doping controls. Baal also thinks that doping in the amateur ranks is in the minority and the whole scene is not "gangrenous", but is not sure whether attitudes are changing. On the elite level, he is optimistic because they are professionals and have responsibilities and - hopefully - more common sense. The stricter controls help as well.

He rejected out of hand the suggestion of controlled, legalised doping. "Undoubtedly that does not satisfy me, as you well know. I cannot say today that it will always be the case. It is however, a feeling that one can maintain."

He intends to continue France's effort to minimize drug use in cycling, but believes it can only be done by finding the culprits and their sources. However, for this a lot of work and resources have to be put into policing and justice. Rider education, he says is not working that well: "I point out to you the study made in the Loire region on the use of teaching aids placed at the disposal of clubs. Less than ten percent of them were used," he concluded.

Kupfernagel's new team

Although she is starting a little late this season, last year's world number one, Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany), has finally got her own team together. It is called, strangely enough "Radteam Kupfernagel", directed by Torsten Wittig-Kupfernagel. Its eight riders include Dutch cyclocross champion, Daphny van den Brand and, of course, World cyclocross champion and current number two Hanka Kupfernagel.

The team will not be competing in round three of the World Cup, La Flèche Wallone, but will start full time competition soon.

Team roster:

Team Manager: Torsten Wittig-Kupfernagel
Assistant Team Manager: Johannes Zanoli

Riders & UCI rank:

Meike De Bruijn (Ned) 75th
Brigit Frädrich (Ger)
Valentina Gerasimova (Rus) 82nd
Katja Karstedt (Ger)
Ita Kryjanovskaia (Rus)
Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) 2nd
Sandra Missbach (Ger)
Daphny Van Den Brand (Ned)

Harald Morscher signs with Nürnberger

Courtesy of Theo Muller

Austrian pro, Harald Morscher who rode last year with Saeco, has signed a contract this year with German team Nürnberger. The 27 year-old has won the Austrian Rundfarht in 1994 and Steiermark Rundfahrt in1996. In his first two seasons as a pro in 1998 and 1999, he was a domestique just winning one stage of the Tour of South Africa.