News for April 19, 2000

Mapei want Klöden

Andreas Klöden
Photo: AFP

Mapei-Quick step is showing interest in this year's German sensation Andreas Klöden, Telekom, winner of the two HC races Paris-Nice and Vuelta a Pais Vasco.

"It's normal, it's a free market. Our contract with Andreas expires at the end of this year," said team manager Walter Godefroot who added that Telekom, like every year, will discuss the future for its riders in May. Klöden is of course a rider who will be offered to stay on the team.

"I believe that Andreas is satisfied with us, and about money we will negotiate," said Godefroot. He also played down any rumours that Jörg Jaksche was to join US Postal next year.

The rumours started after Mapei boss Patrick Lefevere told newspaper "Frankfurter Allgemeine" that the team is searching for a German rider after Dirk Müller and Tobias Steinhauser left the team at the end of last season.

Zabel for Amstel

Erik Zabel
Photo: AFP

Erik Zabel (Telekom) successfully defended his World Cup lead after Sunday's Liege-Bastogne-Liege and he now has a 79 point lead over Mapei's Johan Museeuw with Lotto's Andrei Tchmil in third. He survived LBL, but didn't gain any more World Cup points. However, neither did Tchmil or Museeuw so Zabel is still in the vertically striped rainbow jersey.

He will now ride the Amstel Gold race on Saturday, with hopes to improve his lead, as it is a course far more suited to his abilities. The 256 kilometre route is not a sprinters race like Milan-San Remo, but it is not as challenging (as far as climbs go) as the Ronde van Vlaanderen or LBL.

He will have a strong team to support him: Gianmatteo Fagnini, Rolf Aldag, Udo Bölts, Alberto Elli, Jens Heppner, Alexander Vinokourov and Steffen Wesemann. In the lead up to Amstel, Zabel will ride today's Cat. 1.1 Grote Scheldeprijs in Belgium.

New test for Bruylandts

Dave Bruylandts flew together with team manager Walter Planckaert to Lausanne on Monday. He has to undergo a new hematocrit test in a UCI-certified laboratory.

"I have tested my blood every two days in the last couple of weeks," he said. "Every time it was 49. Normally I'm between 47 and 48, so I'm not worried about the result and hope to start in the GP Scheldeprijs on Wednesday."

Luperini's back

Suspended Italian star, Fabiana Luperini (Gas Sport Team), is back racing again. She was seen in the peloton at the Italian G.P. Polisportiva Cavrie on the weekend looking "leaner and happier than ever" according to Karen Kurreck. She last raced in October 1999, and was due to be out for eight racing months after she tested positive for Nandrolone in August. However, she has been allowed to return somewhat earlier after it was found that her sample may have been contaminated.

Yvonne Schnorf, of the Swiss National Team was on the other end of the scale last week. She was not allowed to start in La Fleche Wallonne due to failing a hematocrit test. The limit for women is 47 percent, but Schnorf registered higher than this and will not be able to race for another week.

Atsma disagrees with Verbruggen

"The UCI are putting employment in cycling under threat as well as the number of races." This statement comes from Joop Atsma, chairman of the KNWU who said this at the 98th Congress of the KNWU in Utrecht on Tuesday night.

Atsma doesn't agree with the ideas of Hein Verbruggen (UCI chairman). Verbruggen's plans are to make divisions on the regional level for smaller races. That means races that are category 1.3 and lower in the Netherlands for example, are only allowed to invite riders from the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium and Great Britain.

"It's an attack on the number of races and the employment for the smaller teams. I discussed it with colleagues from Belgium and France last weekend in Lausanne. They think the same as I do. It is not acceptable that a German trade team 2 isn't allowed to start in the Ronde van Drenthe, or that smaller Belgian teams can't start just over the French border in the Vierdaagse van Duinkerken. Organisers want to attract the high quality riders to their races," he said.

De Canio signs with Linda McCartney

British professional team, Linda McCartney, have announced the signing of promising young American rider, Matt De Canio on a trial basis this year. De Canio, from Virginia is currently competing with the US National Squad in Europe and is trained by coach Chris Carmichael.

The offer came about after Matt firstly got to know Dave McKenzie (one of the team's sprinters) but was then recommended by former Motorola coach Noel de Jonckheere, who observed him racing in Europe. Team manager Sean Yates asked de Jonckheere's opinion on whether he knew any promising young riders, and came back with Matt de Canio as the answer.

De Canio arrived at team headquarters in Toulouse on Monday, and is looking forward to racing immediately, commencing with the Tour de Vendee on Sunday, and Paris-Camembert on Tuesday.

More US riders to Carribean

USA Cycling are sending more of their riders south - this time to the Memorial Denis Manette, an U23 stage race in Guadeloupe, April 20-24.

National champions, Michael Creed (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Ryan Miller (Kirkland, Wash.) and and Brad Buccambuso (Logan, Utah), will join Adam Craig (Exter, Maine), Skyler Reeves (Pinckney, Mich.) and Mike Luther (Blasdell, N.Y.). who are part of the USA Cycling resident athlete program.

Perry Stone update

The ride around Australia continues, and Perry Stone keeps plugging away. He has now completed the 3302 kilometres of stage one, arriving in Adelaide last Sunday at noon, an average of 370 kilometres per day. He is still short of his intended 480 kilometre a day average, but is confident that he can catch up, providing that no more of his bikes get run over.

He has been living off a liquid energy source, consuming approximately 1.5 kilos of Ensure per day - roughly 30,000 KJ or 7,000 Calories. In potato terms, that's 10 kilos of potatoes a day going into (amongst other more worthy goals) global warming.

Three more involved in French doping

More people have been questioned in relation to the French doping affair. Two pharmacists and a pharmacy employee, who also is an ex cyclist, were held for interrogation Monday night in Herault in the province of Var in south east France. The investigators from Perpignan in the Pyrenees are in charge of this questioning.

The two pharamacists are being detained in Agne and Montblanc. No details from the questioning have been revealed yet.