News for April 18, 2000

Latest UCI rankings

After last week's Ardennes classics, there have been several changes at the top of the UCI men's rankings. World number one, Laurent Jalabert (ONCE) is still on top, although he did not perform quite as well as last year. His lead is such that it will be some time before any others manage to come close, but the new guy in second place (from 5th) is Vini Caldirola's Francesco Casagrande (Ita) who has overtaken Erik Zabel (Telekom) for the time being.

Michael Boogerd continues to drop down, as he did not have a stellar Ardennes campaign - he is now 11th, while Paolo Bettini has moved from 13th to 8th as a result of his win. Despite being considered a super domestique, he is Mapei's number one rider at the moment!

In the division one teams, Mapei still lead quite comfortably, on 3096 points, with Telekom in second, over 400 points behind and O.N.C.E. creeping up in third. Another 500 point gap to the Dutch teams Rabobank and Farm Frites, then another to Banesto in 6th place on 1430 points. In division two, Credit Agricole remains on top, closely followed by Cantina Tollo who gained some points with Mondini's second placing in the final stage of the Tour of Aragon.

Slovakian team, De Nardi-Pasta Montegrappa have the lead (464 pts) in division III, ahead of the Austrian Bosch Hausgeräte - Sport Kärnten team, with US team Shaklee back in third on 298 points. The nation rankings are, as usual, topped by Italy who have a 1,500 point lead over Spain, and 3,000 over France.

UCI rankings as of April 16, 2000

1 Laurent Jalabert (Fra) O.N.C.E.-Deutsche Bank               2,632.75 pts
2 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec          1,725.00
3 Erik Zabel (Ger) Deutsche Telekom-ARD                       1,664.00
4 Abraham Olano Manzano (Spa) O.N.C.E.-Deutsche Bank          1,656.75
5 Romans Vainsteins (Lat) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec             1,496.00
6 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service                     1,449.00
7 Jan Ullrich (Ger) Deutsche Telekom-ARD                      1,408.00
8 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                        1,395.00
9 Andrei Tchmil (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                            1,375.00
10 Jann Kirsipuu (Est) Ag2r Prévoyance-Décathlon              1,370.00
11 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank                             1,368.00
12 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Liquigas-Pata                        1,332.00
13 Roberto Heras Hernandez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca           1,319.00
14 Markus Zberg (Swi) Rabobank                                1,315.00
15 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Deutsche Telekom-ARD            1,182.00
16 Johan Museeuw (Bel) Mapei-Quick Step                       1,110.50
17 Oscar Camenzind (Swi) Lampre-Daikin                        1,022.00
18 Marco Serpellini (Ita) Lampre-Daikin                       1,011.00
18 Alex Zuelle (Swi) Banesto                                  1,011.00
20 Mirko Celestino (Ita) Polti                                1,008.00
20 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Daikin                        1,008.00
22 Jeroen Blijlevens (Ned) Polti                              1,005.00
23 Marc Wauters (Bel) Rabobank                                  982.00
24 Serguei Gontchar (Ukr) Liquigas-Pata                         943.00
25 Laurent Brochard (Fra) Jean Delatour                         940.00
26 Mario Cipollini (Ita) Saeco-Valli & Valli                    926.00
27 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Mapei-Quick Step                    921.00
28 Sergio Barbero (Ita) Lampre-Daikin                           909.00
29 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                      902.00
30 David Etxebarria Alkorta (Spa) O.N.C.E.-Deutsche Bank        891.00
31 Dmitri Konyshev (Rus) Fassa Bortolo                          886.00
32 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Farm Frites                          878.50
33 Frank Vandenbroucke (Bel) Cofidis                            861.50
34 Fernando Escartin Coti (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca              861.00
35 Igor Gonzalez Galdeano Aranzabal (Spa) Vitalicio Seguros     860.00
36 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Cantina Tollo-Regain                    859.00
37 Angel Luis Casero Moreno (Spa) Festina-Lotus                 856.00
38 Laurent Dufaux (Swi) Saeco-Valli & Valli                     854.00
39 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Saeco-Valli & Valli                   850.00
40 Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Farm Frites                             836.00
41 José Maria Jimenez Sastre (Spa) Banesto                      829.00
42 Leonardo Piepoli (Ita) Banesto                               807.00
43 Wladimir Belli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                           801.00
44 Manuel Beltran Martinez (Spa) Mapei-Quick Step               792.00
45 Jan Schaffrath (Ger) Deutsche Telekom-ARD                    762.50
46 Pavel Tonkov (Rus) Mapei-Quick Step                          755.00
47 Ivan Gotti (Ita) Polti                                       754.00
48 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Deutsche Telekom-ARD                    738.00
49 Beat Zberg (Swi) Rabobank                                    737.00
50 François Simon (Fra) Bonjour-Toupargel                       722.00
51 Tristan Hoffman (Ned) Memory Card-Jack & Jones               719.00
52 Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank                                   707.00
53 George Hincapie (USA) US Postal Service                      683.00
54 Marco Pantani (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Albacom                    682.00
55 Jean-Cyril Robin (Fra) Bonjour-Toupargel                     680.00
56 Alberto Elli (Ita) Deutsche Telekom-ARD                      672.00
57 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                              669.00
58 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Festina-Lotus                        668.00
59 Juan Carlos Dominguez Dominguez (Spa) Vitalicio Seguros      624.00
60 Jonathan Vaughters (USA) Crédit Agricole                     620.00
61 Giuliano Figueras (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                     616.00
61 Marco Velo (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Albacom                       616.00
63 Roberto Sgambelluri (Ita) Cantina Tollo-Regain               610.00
64 Lars Michaelsen (Den) La Française des Jeux                  608.00
65 Stéphane Heulot (Fra) La Française des Jeux                  598.00
65 Gabriele Missaglia (Ita) Lampre-Daikin                       598.00
67 Massimo Donati (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec                 591.00
68 Leon Van Bon (Ned) Rabobank                                  588.00
69 José Alberto Martinez Trinidad (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi       587.00
70 Raimondas Rumsas (Ltu) Fassa Bortolo                         566.00
71 Maarten Den Bakker (Ned) Rabobank                            557.00
72 Tom Steels (Bel) Mapei-Quick Step                            556.50
73 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Farm Frites                              544.00
74 Marcel Wust (Ger) Festina-Lotus                              536.00
75 Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) La Française des Jeux                   518.00
76 Gianni Faresin (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                        516.00
77 Richard Virenque (Fra) Polti                                 514.00
78 Servais Knaven (Ned) Farm Frites                             512.50
79 Unai Osa Eizaguirre (Spa) Banesto                            509.00
79 Steffen Wesemann (Ger) Deutsche Telekom-ARD                  509.00
81 Joseba Beloki Dorronsoro (Spa) Festina-Lotus                 507.00
82 Aitor Osa Eizaguirre (Spa) Banesto                           499.00
82 Geert Van Bondt (Bel) Farm Frites                            499.00
84 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                            495.00
84 Mikel Zarrabeitia Uranga (Spa) O.N.C.E.-Deutsche Bank        495.00
86 Marc Streel (Bel) Ville de Charleroi-Newsystems              494.00
87 Salvatore Commesso (Ita) Saeco-Valli & Valli                 487.00
87 Roberto Laiseka Jaio (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                 487.00
89 Fabio Baldato (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                            486.00
90 Vjatceslav Ekimov (Rus) US Postal Service                    485.00
91 Mauro Gianetti (Swi) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec                 468.00
92 Peter Farazijn (Bel) Cofidis                                 465.50
93 Michael Blaudzun (Den) Memory Card-Jack & Jones              464.00
94 Jan Hruska (Cze) Vitalicio Seguros                           463.00
95 Andrea Tafi (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                           461.00
96 Gilles Maignan (Fra) Ag2r Prévoyance-Décathlon               454.50
97 Christopher Boardman (GB) Crédit Agricole                    448.50
98 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Crédit Agricole                         445.00
99 Francisco Mancebo Perez (Spa) Banesto                        444.00
100 Nicolay Bo Larsen (Den) Memory Card-Jack & Jones            438.00

Teams, division I

1 Mapei - Quick Step                                          3,096.00 pts
2 Team Deutsche Telekom                                       2,667.00
3 O.N.C.E. - Deutsche Bank                                    2,507.75
4 Rabobank                                                    2,004.00
5 Farm Frites                                                 1,981.00
6 Banesto                                                     1,430.00
7 Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone                            1,427.00
8 Fassa Bortolo                                               1,365.00
9 Vini Caldirola - Sidermec                                   1,344.00
10 Vitalicio Seguros                                          1,330.00
11 Kelme - Costa Blanca                                       1,283.00
12 Lampre - Daikin                                            1,206.00
13 Lotto - Adecco                                             1,203.00
14 Memorycard - Jack & Jones                                    974.00
15 Liquigas - Pata                                              939.00
16 Ag2R Prevoyance                                              928.00
17 La Francaise Des Jeux                                        776.00
18 Festina                                                      773.00
19 US Postal Service                                            708.00
20 Mercatone Uno - Albacom                                      562.00
21 Saeco - Valli & Valli                                        487.00
22 Team Polti                                                   486.00

Top 15 Teams, division II

1 Credit Agricole                                             1,157.00 pts
2 Cantina Tollo                                               1,011.00
3 Euskaltel - Euskadi                                           858.00
4 Jean Delatour                                                 705.00
5 Mercury Cycling Team                                          639.00
6 Palmans - Ideal                                               481.00
7 Bonjour                                                       396.00
8 Alessio SGM                                                   312.00
9 Uniao Ciclista Da Maia/MSS                                    297.00
10 Team Gerolsteiner                                            263.00
11 Linda Mccartney Racing Team                                  229.00
12 Amica Chips - Tacconi Sport                                  216.00
13 Collstrop - De Federale Verzekeringen                        209.00
14 Bigmat Auber 93                                              184.00
15 Tönissteiner - Colnago                                       173.00

Top 10 Teams, division III

1 De Nardi - Pasta Montegrappa                                  464.00 pts
2 Bosch Hausgeräte - Sport Kärnten                              403.00
3 Team Shaklee                                                  298.00
4 Team Hohenfelder - Concorde                                   244.00
5 Stabil Steiermark                                             204.00
6 Axa Professional Cycling Team                                 129.00
7 Jelly Belly Cycling Team                                      113.00
8 Kia - Villiger Suisse                                         112.00
9 7Up - Colorado Cyclist                                        107.00
10 Barbot - Torrie                                               77.00

Top 10 Nations

1 Italy                                                      11,075.00 pts
2 Spain                                                       9,609.75
3 France                                                      7,939.25
4 Belgium                                                     7,717.50
5 Germany                                                     6,902.50
6 Switzerland                                                 6,636.00
7 Netherlands                                                 6,349.50
8 U.S.A.                                                      4,573.00
9 Russia                                                      4,119.00
10 Denmark                                                    3,818.00

Ullrich back in the Midi-Libre

Jan Ullrich's latest race schedule has him returning to competition in the Midi-Libre (mid May), after not having raced with his Telekom team since March. The 1999 World Time Trial champion and Vuelta winner has been suffering from illness since then and did not wish to enter into competition until he was fully fit. He also intends to race in the Tour of Germany - the race which put him out of action last year - on May 26.

Team director, Walter Godefroot has made it clear that he does not want to push the return of Ullrich to racing until he is ready. He will have 6 weeks of competition before the Tour, provided he starts in mid-May.

Lance for Camembert

US Postal's Lance Armstrong, who recently quit the last stage of the Tour of Aragon, will compete in next week's category 1.2 race, the Paris-Camembert (April 25). This will follow this weekend's Amstel Gold Race (April 22), his first classic since Milan-San Remo in March where he finished 108th. Also on the program is the GP Gippingen in Switzerland (April 30) - all part of the grand plan for the Tour 2000.

Tour of Germany

The presentation of the Tour of Germany (Deutschland Rundfarht) was held today in Bonn. The second edition of this category 2.3 race will go for seven days, from May 26 to June 1. Last year, it gained some notoriety for taking out several top riders, and destroyed Telekom's chances in the Tour de France that followed. This year, they will be back with Ullrich and Zabel, the latter who will be aiming for sprint stage wins against Festina's fast man, Marcel Wüst who has now won five races this year. Udo Bölts and Jens Heppner (last year's winner) will be there to help Zabel and Ullrich, while Wüst will have his Festina colleagues there to try and fine tune him for the Tour de France this year.

However, the course is designed for tour riders, rather than sprinters according to the organisers. The hardest stage is number three, from Pforzheim to Bad-Dürkheim (215 km), which contains several climbs including the Kandel.

The organisers are keen to increase the race's standing to that of a higher category, e.g. Hors Categorie or Grand Tour. They will need to add another two weeks and a few more mountain stages if the latter is to occur.

Farm Frites for Amstel

The final round of the first half of the men's road World Cup concludes this Saturday, with the Amstel Gold race in the Netherlands. Dutch squad, Farm Frites have named six of their eight riders to contest the event: Geert van Bondt (Bel), Serguei Ivanov (Rus), Steven Kleynen (Bel), Servais Knaven (Ned), Michel Lafis (Swe) and Peter van Petegem (Bel). They have three options for the last two positions: Miquel van Kessel (Ned), Wim Vansevenant (Bel) and Koos Moerenhout (Ned) to be decided on Friday.

They will contest the Grote Scheldeprijs in Belgium (Cat 1.1) tomorrow with a similar team (van Bondt, van Petegem, Ivanov, Klier, Knaven, Lowik, McEwen and van der Ven). The following day, in the French 1.3 race, G.P. Denain, new signing Dirk Ronellenfitsch (Ger) will make his debut for the team.

Davidson signs

Australian Brad Davidson, currently competing in Italy with the GS Vezza Brunero team, has been riding well enough (he has won two races this year) to attract the attention of one of the country's biggest professional teams - Saeco Valli & Valli. Davidson was offered a two-year contract which he signed recently with Mario Cipollini's squad, commencing in September 2000.

Pantani has to wait

Marco Pantani, whose blood is currently the subject of scrutiny in Forli, Italy, will have to wait a few more days to find out whether prosecutor Luigi Russo will continue with his investigation, according to Pantani's lawyer, Gaetano Insolera. The Pirate is being examined in relation to his alleged high hematocrit (60.1 percent) discovered after his crash in the 1995 Milan-Turin race. Pantani was taken to hospital after the incident, where he was operated on but doctors also noticed that his blood contained more red blood cells than normal.

He was initially investigated by Rafaele Guarinello in Turin, however Pantani's lawyers argued that the case should be transferred to Forli (near Pantani's home), where the alleged hematocrit boosting would have occurred. They succeeded and the new judge will have to decide whether to shelve it or to continue prosecuting.

Zberg moves

Swiss rider, Beat Zberg will be transported to a hospital in Zurich tonight. He has been undergoing treatment for a torn right kidney and broken pelvis in San Sebastian since his fall in the Tour of the Basque country. Doctors still believe that he can return to competition within two or three months.

Museeuw's jersey

A small but important point: the jersey auctioned on the weekend (refer to item in yesterday's news), did in fact go for BEF555,000, which is equivalent to US$12,000 (not $1,200).

Survey update

The survey competition to win the Spinergy wheels has now closed, and we are currently processing all the entries. The winner will be announced tomorrow, but if you have just logged on to find out you have missed a once in a lifetime chance to win a pair of wheels, never fear as there will be more competitions throughout the year. A big thank you to everyone who participated, as your responses will help us develop the site to reflect your interests.