News for August 13, 2000
Armstrong up and down
Despite suffering from stomach problems dinner "I knew I shoulda had the meat and not the fish..." before the start of the Clasica San Sebastian (which forced his withdrawal just 1.5 kilometres into the race), Lance Armstrong could at least console himself with winning the ESPN Internet Athlete of the Year. After making it through the preliminary rounds, Armstrong was up against baseballer Omar Vizquel in the final, and it was touch and go on Thursday, with readers having until Friday afternoon to vote.
However, according to the ESPN site, "LanceArmstrong.com, was judged better than OmarVizquel.com by a 62%-38% margin...it was neck-and-neck for awhile, but then Lance sprinted away from the Cleveland Indians shortstop in the final stages."
Thanks to all cyclingnews readers for voting, and thanks from Chris Brewer (webmaster of Lancearmstrong.com) for showing that Armstrong and the sport of cycling are worthy of some post-Tour de France glory.
There are rumours that ONCE's Laurent Jalabert is not satisfied with the team and will, after many years in Spain, head back to an as yet unknown French team. Another Frenchman unhappy with his lot is Richard Virenque (Polti) who may join Cofidis next year (again a rumour only). That team has just signed Belgian strongman, Nico Mattan until 2003. The attacking Mattan was originally hired as a helper for VDB, but has found his feet this year and has come close to pulling off some big wins.
Portuguese rider, José Azevedo (Maia-MSS) has received an offer that he can't refuse from ONCE, and will take up a postition with the Spanish outfit next year. Azevedo turns 27 this year, and has amassed 34 wins in his 6 an half year career. All of these have been in Portugal and Spain, but the move to ONCE could see him win abroad, as he's certainly got the talent. He is a good mountain climber as well as a time trialist, winning the Portuguese national championships in 1995 and 1997, and will be another weapon for ONCE's in stage races.
Festina riders David Clinger and Felix Garcia Casas are showing signs of good form coming into the Vuelta in two weeks, after finishing 13th and 27th in the seventh round of the World Cup, the Clasica San Sebastian today.
American Clinger proved that his month of training in the USA paid off as he also finished 4th in the final stage of the Tour of Burgos on Thursday, and then hung with the final group on the tough Cat 1 climb to be able to contest the group sprint in San Sebastian. Clinger is tipped to be Wüst's leadout man at the Vuelta starting in two weeks time.
Teammate Garcia Casas finished eighth overall the Tour of Burgos and provided support to Clinger in the closing stages in San Sebastian, finishing in the lead group.
The Spanish part of the team now competes at the Tour of Galicia (2.2) 14-18 August before resting up prior to the Vuelta. The team for which will include Beloki, Casero, Wust and Clinger. The "French" part of the team will continue with the Tour de Limousin (2.3) 15-18 August and then the eighth round of the World Cup in Zurich before the Tours de Poitou (23-27 Aug) and de l'Avenir 31 Aug-9 September)
Olympians to contest Hornsby to Swansea
The Westfield Hornsby to Swansea Cycle Classic in Australia comprises three events: a criterium in Swansea (September 8), followed by one in Hornsby (September 9) and the 180 km Hornsby to Swansea road race on September 10. This year, owing to its proximity (both in time and distance) to the Olympic Games in Sydney, a strong starting field is expected. The Australian Olympic Women's Road team (Anna Wilson, Tracey Gaudry and Juanita Feldhahn) has entered as part of their final preparation. In addition, the Australian Men's Olympic MTB team has entered for all three days of competition. Several other Olympic prospects from other nations have also expressed interest in the event, and it will make great racing.
Notes to non-Sydneysiders: Hornsby is about 30 km north of the city centre, while Swansea is about 150 km (2 hours by car). An account of the 1999 race (my first report for cyclingnews!) can be found here.
Slovenian Olympic team
There will be four Slovenian men going to Sydney for the raod race, but no Gorazd Stangelj (Liquigas Pata). The 2000 National Champion tested positive for ephedrine in that same race, and was suspended from August 5 - 19. Although only a "minor" infraction, the Slovenian Olympic Committee took a dim view, and he was left off the team.
For the latest Olympic team start list, please click to our special Olympic Section.
Slovenian Olympic Team
Martin Hvastija (Alessio)
Primos Strancar (Stop Team-Lee Cougan)
Thanks to Metod Mocnik for the information
Feys seriously hurt
29 year old Belgian rider, Wim Feys (Palmans) suffered serious injuries after he fell while racing in the GP Buggenhout on Friday. He lost his balance on the last corner, 500 meters before the finish and hit a parked car. He experienced a cardiac arrest but was saved by one of the doctors on hand, and was then taken to hospital in Dendermonde where he came out of a coma. Feys had to stay overnight in hospital, and although there were no broken bones, his whole body was covered with cuts.