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News for August 22, 2000
Jalabert out of Vuelta
Past winner of La Vuelta a España, Laurent Jalabert (ONCE) will not be riding this year according to team leader, Manolo Sáiz. The decision was made after the Championship of Zurich, where Jaja did not finish, and was made "for sporting reasons only".
Although there may have been some tension between the two after Jalabert opted to leave the team next year, this was not evident according to Saiz. "There is no problem between us. The relationship continues to be the same as always," he said in an official statement on the team's website.
"Jalabert means a lot to the Vuelta, ONCE and Spanish cycling and it is not right that we allow him to dispute the Spanish tour when he is not in good condition. His absence in the Vuelta does not have to do with his leaving of the team. In fact, I am going to try and ensure that he prepares well for the Olympic Games. It is a sporting decision that we have both agreed to."
Jack & Jones out - unhappy with Riis
By Tomas Nilsson, cyclingnews.com correspondent
Memory Card's co-sponsor Bestseller, owner of the Jack&Jones trade mark, will withdraw from sponsoring the team immediately. The company was to leave the team at the end of this season, but have made their decision sooner. The reason is the coup-like employment of Bjarne Riis as managing director for Professional Cycling Denmark (PCD), the company that runs the team.
Bestseller writes in a statement that since the basic ideology of PCD no longer exists, the company no longer is able to support a continuing cooperation. Bestseller also writes that the team should immediately cease to expose the J&J logos.
John Trolle, chairman of the PCD board and chief executive of main sponsor Memorycard issued a press statement Sunday saying that Riis was hired as managing director for PCD. According to one of the four board members in PCD, Johannes Poulsen, the hiring of Riis was done without any discussion on the board and without the knowledge of the now resigning PCD managing director Torben Kølbæk, who also is a member of the board. Poulsen calls this a "very, very unusual procedure".
After the turmoil around Nicolay Bo Larsen's high haematocrit level at the Tour of Flanders this spring, Bestseller stated that they wanted to end the engagement at the end of this season. The team has since then tried to find another co-sponsor, so far without success. Memorycard Technologies have however issued a guarantee that the company will cover the expenses for new riders for next season until a co-sponsor in engaged.
Bjarne Riis was one of the owners of PCD when the team was founded, but was later more or less forced to sell his shares (50 percent) to Herning Cycle Club when he was accused of doping by the media during his years in Italy in the mid and early nineties. The chairman of the club, Preben Sørensen, was the only other member of the four men board who was informed about the hiring of Riis.
"It could be understood as a coup. But it was necessary. The outgoing manager, Torben Kølbæk was not able to get another sponsor that could go on with Trolle. The riders started to become nervous about their contracts which is why we had to react rapidly and drastically," said Sørensen to newspaper Berlingske Tidende.
"I am really sad that Torben doesn't want to go on with us. We had a position as PR manager in mind for him but he turned it down. It's known that he and Bjarne don't get on too well together but I think that it would have been a possible solution," added Sørensen.
John Trolle issued another statement late Monday saying that a settlement had been reached with Kølbæk who will be able to "have some peace to find other challenges". Kølbæk however is surprised and said, according to news paper BT, that he has had discussions with Trolle, some cornerstones have been set but an agreement is yet to be reached and signed.
Herning Cycle Club and Memorycard Technologies control 75 percent of the shares in PCD. It has been announced that Riis will also re-enter as part owner again.
Ullrich number one, but for how long?
By Jeff Jones, online editor
German Jan Ullrich is the new leader of the UCI rankings, jumping ahead of Francesco Casagrande as he has done on the road in the past week. His win in the Coppa Agostoni (1.2), fourth in the Tre Valle Varesine (1.1) and second in the Championship of Zurich (CDM) helped to give him sufficient points to overtake the Italian, who managed third in Zurich and has been number one since the Giro d'Italia. However, Ullrich's time at the top could be short lived depending on how he fares in the rest of the season. He will have to win the Vuelta again and the World Championship time trial (or the Olympics) to keep his points. By contrast, Casagrande will have to match his fourth place in the World's to keep his points, a slightly less formidable task.
Erik Zabel still lurks in third, and he is a chance for the top rung should he perform well in the latter half. The remainder of the riders in the top 10 have at best an outside chance, so the end of year battle looks to be between three riders.
Once again, Mapei keep their position at the top of the team rankings, with Telekom and Kelme second and third. Banesto and Kelme should have a close contest in the Vuelta though, but the lads in green should hold their own. In the second division, Credit Agricole will have to stave off Euskaltel-Euskadi as the latter will make some impression during the Vuelta. Both teams would dearly like to "win" the second division, which allows an automatic entry into division I next year.
Men's rankings as of August 21
1. Jan Ullrich (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom 2 471,75 2. Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec 2 353,00 3. Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom 1 807,00 4. Romans Vainsteins (Lat) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec 1 590,00 5. Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service 1 549,00 6. Davide Rebellin (Ita) Liquigas-Pata 1 386,00 7. Andrei Tchmil (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 1 296,00 8. Marcus Zberg (Swi) Rabobank 1 268,25 9. Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 1 266,00 10. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) O.N.C.E.-Deutsche Bank 1 210,75 11. Oscar Freire (Spa) Mapei-Quick Step 1 210,00 12. Roberto Heras (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 1 195,00 13. Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Albacom 1 187,00 14. Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank 1 186,00 15. Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank 1 185,25 16. Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (Spa) Vitalicio Seguros 1 102,00 17. José Maria Jimenez (Spa) Banesto 1 097,00 18. Christophe Moreau (Fra) Festina 1 093,00 19. Leonardo Piepoli (Ita) Banesto 1 057,00 20. Dmitri Konyshev (Rus) Fassa Bortolo 1 049,00 Teams: 1. Mapei - Quick Step 7,783.45 2. Team Deutsche Telekom 7,617.25 3. Kelme - Costa Blanca 5,096.00 4. Banesto 4,772.00 5. Fassa Bortolo 4,684.00 6. Vini Caldirola - Sidermec 4,575.00 7. O.N.C.E. - Deutsche Bank 4,551.75 8. Rabobank 4,540.75 9. Lampre - Daikin 4,181.00 10. US Postal Service 3,611.20 Second division: 1. Credit Agricole 2,614.00 2. Euskaltel - Euskadi 2,497.00 3. Cantina Tollo 1,937.00 4. Bonjour 1,569.00 5. Jean Delatour 1,491.00 6. Amica Chips - Tacconi Sport 1,306.00 7. Mercury Cycling Team 1,232.00 8. Palmans - Ideal 1,188.00 9. Team Gerolsteiner 980.00 10. Alessio 910.00 Nations: 1. Italy 12,027.35 2. Spain 9,231.75 3. Germany 8,621.50 4. Belgium 7,980.00 5. France 6,564.75 6. Netherlands 6,265.60 7. Switzerland 5,322.50 8. U.S.A. 4,796.75 9. Russia 4,064.00 10. Denmark 3,697.85
Armstong happy at Zurich
US Postal's Lance Armstrong managed a surprising fifth at last weekend's World Cup race in Zurich, after he made the final eight man break but could not hold onto Ullrich, Dufaux and Casagrande on the last climb. It was just his fifth race since winning the Tour de France last month, and Armstrong and the team were last minute starters in Switzerland.
"It was a little surprising because it was not really expected," said directeur sportif Johan Bruyneel. "We did no special training for the classic because he is training specifically for the (Olympic) time trial. It was surprising for him and me, too."
Armstrong's best in this race was fourth in 1996 when it was known as the GP Suisse and it was the team's best World Cup performance this year. His schedule for the Olympics is geared towwards time trials, with two events on the agenda - the GP Eddy Merckx this Sunday (with Viatcheslav Ekimov), and the GP des Nations on September 16. The Olympic time trial is on September 30.
Telekom put more emphasis on Olympics
Although the new World number one, Jan Ullrich (Telekom) is the defending champion in this year's Vuelta, his team said that they would prefer him to win an Olympic Gold Medal in Sydney rather than the golden jersey of the Vuelta winner. Ullrich will contest the 55th edition of the Spanish Tour with excellent condition and a good chance to win overall if he puts his mind to it. However, another three weeks of hard slog across the Spanish countryside may possibly wear him down too much to put in 100 percent in the Olympic Time Trial on September 30.
Ullrich will be supported by Rolf Aldag, Ralf Grabsch, Kai Hundertmarck, Danilo Hondo, Giovanni Lombardi, Matthias Kessler, Alexander Vinokourov and Andreas Kloeden. It is a comparatively weaker team to that which helped him to second in the Tour de France, however it might be enough if the results of last year are anything to go by.
"If costs me too much strength, I will contest the general classification, but primarily I want to prepare for Sydney to help my friend Andreas Kloeden," said Ullrich to DPA. His main targets will be the three time trials in Malaga, Barcelona and Madrid.
Mapei get five Farm Frites
The public relations manager of Mapei, Gabriele Sola, confirmed on Sunday that the team will contract five Farm Frites-riders: Peter van Petegem, Servais Knaven, Geert van Bondt, Wim Vansevenant and Andreas Klier.
"But we have to wait to see what will happen with their contracts with Farm Frites. We don't want to buy them out or go to the arbitration committee of the UCI," said Sola.
Museeuw has a good op
Johan Museeuw has had a successful operation on his left collarbone on Monday morning in Gent hospital, it was announced by spokeswoman, Marie Laure Solie. They have set the broken bone and are hoping that soon Johan can move his shoulder normally. This was one of the injuries sustained by the Belgian star after a motorbike accident last week in his home town of Gistel.
In addition, the wounds on his leg are healing well and there are no further operations planned according to hospital staff. He is still under observation in the neurological unit, and is not able to be released at the moment. "His status continues to improve, but the doctors cannot make a forecast. A good deal of care will be necessary for a while yet."
Italian trackies questioned
Italian Track Team nominees, Andrea Colinelli (Gold Medallist in Atlanta 1996) and Mauro Trentini (3rd in last year's World's in Berlin) have been called for in questioning this Friday by the Italian Anti-Doping Committee. The summons came after after a police control at the Swiss border on August 2 where they were travelling to a training camp. They allegedly were found in possession of more goods than normally allowed, and some without certification. It is not known whether there were potential doping products in the car.
However, both riders claim that "we have nothing to hide. In our cars there was nothing connected to any sort of doping practice". Trentini added that he was OK and had just "left the certification at home."
US Track team: Witty vs. Thomas
Despite being named as one of the sprinters in the US track team in July, speedskater Chris Witty will not be going to the Olympics after she failed to show up for a ride off against Tammy Thomas on the weekend. The latter had challenged Witty's nomination to the track cycling team and rode 35.497 for 500 metres on the Superdrome in Frisco, Texas.
However, this was not due to laziness on Witty's behalf, as she has filed an appeal against Thomas' appeal, and this is likely to be heard this Saturday. She cited legal reasons as to why she could not participate in the ride off.
Witty is a past Olympic medallist in speedskating, winning the silver in the 1000 meters at Nagano, and the bronze in the 1500. She is aiming to become the first US Woman to win medals at the Summer and Winter Olympics. Her best performance in the 500 metre time trial in cycling was at the 1998 World Championships where she finished fourth.
With only three weeks to go until the track cycling starts in Sydney, this legal battle is proving to be a distraction for the US team.
US Track Championships
Meanwhile, eleven members of the fourteen in the US team will be competing in this week's EDS track nationals (August 22-26) at the 7-Eleven Velodrome in Colorado Springs. This will be the last domestic competition for the US team before the Olympics and will be of interest to many.
Experienced Olympians, Marty Nothstein, Erin Hartwell (medal winners in 1996), and Mariano Friedick and Jame Carney, will join Olympic debutants, Marcelo Arrue, Johnny Bairos, Derek Bouchard-Hall, Jonas Carney, Tanya Lindenmuth, Tommy Mulkey, and Erin Veenstra-Mirabella in the five day meet. Christian VandeVelde and Dylan Casey will not compete, as they are training in Europe. It is expected however that Tammy Thomas and Chris Witty will compete, as they are both in town, and that will definitely be an interesting match.
Tickets are priced at $5 for adults and $2 for children under 12 and seniors for the evening sessions, while the morning sessions are free.
Tuesday, Aug. 22, Morning
10 a.m. Men Individual Pursuit Qualifier
Tuesday, Aug. 22, Evening
7 p.m. Women Individual Pursuit Semifinals
Wednesday, Aug. 23, Morning
10 a.m. Women Match Sprint Qualification
Wednesday, Aug. 23, Evening
7 p.m. Women Match Sprint Quarterfinals Ride 1
Thursday, Aug. 24, Morning
10 a.m. Men Match Sprint Qualification
Thursday, Aug. 24, Evening
7 p.m. Men Team Pursuit Semifinal
Friday, Aug. 25, Morning
10 a.m. Men Points Race Heats
Friday, Aug. 25, Evening
7 p.m. Men Match Sprint Semifinal Ride 1
Saturday, Aug. 26, Morning
10 a.m. Men Olympic Sprint Qualification
Saturday, Aug. 26, Evening
7 p.m. Men Olympic Sprint Final
Spanish track team
The ten member Spanish track team has been named today by the Spanish Federation of Ciclismo (RFEC), and approved by the Comité Spanish Olímpico (COE). World madison champions, Juan Llaneras and Isaac Galvez headline the team, along with 1998 women's World points race champion, Dori Ruano.
The male sprinters are: David Cabrero, José Antonio Escuredo, Salvador Meliá and José Antonio Villanueva, while the endurance riders are Miquel Alzamora, Sergi Escobar, Isaac Gálvez, Juan Llaneras and Toni Tauler. Dori Ruano is the sole female representative. Reserves: José Francisco Jarque and Carles Torrent.
Llaneras will ride the madison, but it is not known yet who he will partner: Galvez or Alzamora. Escuredo, Meliá and Villanueva will comprise the Olympic sprint team, while Escobar, Isaac Gálvez, Llaneras, Alzamora and Tauler will ride the team's pursuit. One of these will ride the individual pursuit. The entire team will train this week in Valencia until September 4, and they will fly out of Madrid on September 5 to Australia.
In the mountain bike team, Jose Antonio Hermida, Robert Lezaun, Daisy Fullana and Silvia Rovira are the riders for Sydney, announced at the beginning of the year. The road team has yet to be decided, with five men and three women to be selected. However, it is likely that they will be named before the end of the week.,
Spanish Track Team
David Cabrero (Sprint)
Dori Ruano (Points)