News for April 12, 2000

Swapping classics

In June the UCI will decide about next year's calendar and it seems as the spring classics will be held in another order toward the end of the northern campaign. The Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège will be held after the Amstel Gold Race, following on from Paris-Roubaix. The following classics program has been suggested, according to news paper De Standaard in Belgium:

Saturday, March 24: Milan-San Remo (Ita)
Sunday, April 8: Ronde van Vlaanderen (Bel)
Sunday April 15: Paris-Roubaix (Fra)
Wednesday April 18: GP Scheldeprijs (Bel)
Sunday April 22: Amstel Gold Race (Ned)
Wednesday April 25: Waalse Pijl/Fleche Wallone (Bel)
Saturday April 28: Liège-Bastogne-Liège (Bel)

The organisers of the Scheldeprijs (Hector Janssens) and Amstel Gold Race (Leo van Vliet) agree with this proposal. Van Vliet: "Then we can have the Amstel Gold Race on a Sunday instead of a Saturday."

Museeuw ponders future and sells the jersey

Johan Museeuw will make a decision on whether he will continue his career or not in May. "First I will decide whether I will continue or not, and if it is a yes I will decide in which team. If I leave Mapei, Patrick Lefevre and I will stay friends", he says.

In May he will also decide if he is going to ride the Tour de France this year. He considers riding the Tour, the Olympics and the World's as impossible. His team mates' condition in May will be crucial for his decision.

Museeuw is also going to sell the jersey that he wore in Paris-Roubaix on an internet auction for the benefit of a six year old girl that is suffering from a rare illness. is the address and the bidding closes at 16.00 CET Saturday. His jersey from the Tour of Flanders was sold last week for 15.700 Belgian francs (375 US Dollars) while the jerseys of Peter van Petegem and Jo Planckaert went for one third of Museeuw's price.

Flèche Wallone/Waalse Pijl

The 64th edition of the Flèche Wallone/Waalse Pijl (1.HC) scheduled for later today, will once again covered live by Join us for the last 2 hours of the race, commencing at 14:00 CET.

Festina's Paris-Roubaix

The 'reborn' Festina team did not quite enjoy as much success at the Paris-Roubaix as they did at last week's Circuit de la Sarthe, where Marcel Wüst won four out of a possible five stages for them. He was not down to start the Hell of the North though, and the team used it more for experience. Auge, Reynaud, Clinger, Hernandez, Flickinger, Brard, and Huser were doing well until the Arenberg section (170 km) where the hell really starts. 150 riders into a 10 foot wide cobbled section do not tend to fit well, and bulges result.

US rider, David Clinger tumbled when he caught his brake lever in the barriers and went head-over-handlebars. He continued but called it a day at the second feed station. None of the team were able to finish within the time limit, with 21 year old Andy Flickinger just outside, in 72nd place.

The narrow roads also cost Festina team mechanic, Cyrille Perrin, a broken ankle as the "Jean Delatour" team car drove over his left lower leg as he executed a bike change for Rolf Huser. Narrow roads being more to blame than bad driving. Perrin continued working the race, executing at least one more bike change, despite being in immense pain. He will be out for at least 6 weeks.

New accusations against Michaelsen

By Tomas Nilsson, correspondent

Top ranked Dane Lars Michaelsen (66th on the UCI list for the moment) has once again accused of having used EPO. According to news paper Ekstra Bladet the former Festina sports director Bruno Roussel confirms in writing that Michaelsen was among the riders on the team that used EPO.

Michaelsen has sued the former Festina soigneur Willy Voet who was caught before the Tour in 1998 with various doping products in his car. This was the beginning of the so-called Festina affair which led to the team's exclusion from the Tour de France and subsequent investigations.

Roussel's statement comes as support for Voet, who has written in his book that Michaelsen took about 50 EPO injections in 1996. According to the newspaper, the short statement was shown to the newspaper's reporter at the office of Thibault de Montbriar (Roussel's lawyer) in Paris.

"Lars Michaelsen was among the riders on the team who doped themselves with EPO, as my staff informed me. But he was not among the riders that were most demanding to get the dope," writes Roussel according to Ekstra Bladet.

Four more in French doping affair

Another four cyclists (one ex pro and three amateurs) have been taken into custody Monday evening and Tuesday morning for questioning in the latest French doping affair. These riders are from eastern France, but the investigation is being conducted in Perpignan in the south where five other riders and ex-riders are involved.

The most well known of the four persons is 33 year old ex-pro Eric Magnin, a track points racer, three times French Champion in this discipline and also silver medallist at the World's in Hamar, Norway, in 1993. He also rode the Tour de l'Avenir for RMO in 1992.

Canadian attempts round Australia record

If you thought riding 270 kilometres in a day along cobbled roads in France was crazy, take some time out to consider Perry Stone. This eccentric Canadian long distance rider has set out to break his own round Australia record (currently 41 days, 22 hours and 15 minutes), and started last Friday. He aims at a conservative schedule, covering roughly 480 kilometres per day with a few hours sleep. This will get him around the Wide Brown Land in 30 days and 14,500 kilometres.

He started in Fremantle, WA and rode 420 kilometres the first day down to Albany in his anticlockwise circumnavigation of the continent. A little short, but he plans to make up for it in the coming days. He is now on the Nullabor plain after three days of riding, with 1219 kilometres covered, and is reported to be in good spirits.

Hopefully, he remembered his spare bidon.