News for August 3, 2000

VDB in hospital

Frank Vandenbroucke's condition is considered to be quite serious now, after he was hospitalised yesterday in Roselare, Belgium for depression. He was later released, but is extremely thin (54 kilos) and deathly pale according to people who have seen him. Shortly after he quit the Tour de France on stage 10, he experienced mental problems, and has been out of contact with his Cofidis team since. The initial reason for his abandonment was claimed to be an old knee injury, but now it appears that that was not the case.

The details Vandenbroucke's life and career have never been far from the limelight in the world of professional cycling, but he has always managed to balance the bad with good results. However, this as well as the second half of last season have been his worst to date. After he was suspended by his Cofidis team over the Sainz-Lavelot affair in May last year, VDB returned in September to ride the Vuelta with a good degree of success. Then in the World Championships in October, he finished 7th but broke a bone in his wrist in the process. A few months afterwards, he announced that he would be breaking his contract to leave the Cofidis squad for another, but later decided to stay after talks with Francois Migraine, the Cofidis boss.

Things got worse after that when he withdrew from the biggest early season stage race - Paris Nice, the day before after he injured himself at home (or so it was said). He then spent some time in the USA before returning home, but then did not contest the first Classic of the season, Milan San Remo. Since then he has not raced a great deal, and has abandoned more often than not. His talent is undeniable, but his future career is shaky at the moment.

Tour 2000 officially clean

The final batch of drug tests taken at the last Tour de France has been pronounced clean by the UCI, who announced this today. There were some concerns over "the presence of substances whose use of is subjected to certain restrictions (e.g. glucocorticosteroids, beta 2 agonists)" which were detected in certain samples. However, these were justified by medical certificates that were recorded in the cyclists' health booklet, and the UCI were satisfied.

However, two riders (not among the top riders on GC) are currently being investigated for "having used substances subject to certain restrictions," they said. The initial blood analyses were very promising and gave results that were, according to the UCI, "are perfectly in line with the physiological evolution usually expected in a race of this length. "

They also emphasized that they will still be carrying out analyses "to detect the use of exogenous EPO will be performed on frozen samples as soon as the French method is definitively validated by the IOC as the only proven method."

British Olympic Track Team

After the conclusion of the British Track Championships in Manchester last weekend, the British Cycling Federation have named their trackies to go to Sydney. Twelve riders will go, ten men and two women, to contest ten events.

The men's sprint team consists of Jason Queally, Craig Maclean, Neil Campbell, and Chris Hoy, the former three placed 1,2 and 3 at the Nationals in the kilometre time trial. Queally and Campbell have been selected to ride this event in Sydney, while Hoy (a former BMX'er and MTB'er) and Maclean will contest the individual sprint. Maclean, 29, was born in Scotland but moved to Manchester to cut down on traveling time. Amongst his achievements, which include a silver at last year's World Championships in Berlin (Olympic sprint with Queally and Hoy), he also has worked as an undertaker, musician and piano tuner.

In the men's endurance squad, Rob Hayles leads the way in the individual pursuit, the points race and the madison. Hayles became the new national champion in the individual pursuit, which he added to his national criterium title this year. In the madison, he will partner young Brad Wiggins, 20, who was born in Belgium as his father was a former professional Six Day rider. Wiggins won gold in the 1998 Junior World Championships in the 3000m individual pursuit, and will ride in the team pursuit at the Olympics in addition to the madison.

The other members of the team pursuit are Jon Clay, Paul Manning, Chris Newton, and Bryan Steel. Manning finished second in the individual pursuit at the nationals, but set the fastest qualifying time of 4.22.01, breaking Graeme Obree's five year old record. Clay is an experienced road rider, and has worn the yellow jersey in the Milk Race, as well as being a former national time trial champion and finishing runner up in the road race this year. Newton, 26, rode in the Atlanta Olympics and is the current national time trial champion. He almost retired at the beginning of the year after he lost his road contract, but successfully switched to the track. Finally, Bryan Steel, 31, won a bronze medal at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland and silver four years later in Victoria, Canada, as a member of the England Team Pursuit squad. He rode in both the 1992 and 1996 Olympics, and the Sydney Games will be his third, where once again he is a member of the Team Pursuit squad.

The two women selected will contest the points and the pursuit race only. Emma Davies, 21, was runner up in this year's individual pursuit at the Nationals and fourth in the points race. She will contest the Olympic points race while the experienced Yvonne McGregor, 39 will ride the pursuit. McGregor is one of Great Britain's best performed female track riders, winning a gold medal in the points race at the 1994 Commonwealth Games, and a bronze in the pursuit at the 1998 Games, as well as coming fourth in that event in the 1996 Olympics. She also broke the hour record in 1995 when she covered 47.411 km around the Manchester velodrome.

The British track team


Craig Maclean (City Of Edinburgh RC)
Chris Hoy (City Of Edinburgh RC)

Jason Queally (Lancaster Cc)
Neil Campbell (VC St Raphael)

Craig Maclean (City Of Edinburgh RC)
Chris Hoy (City Of Edinburgh RC)

Olympic Sprint
Jason Queally (Lancaster CC)
Craig Maclean (City Of Edinburgh)
Chris Hoy (City Of Edinburgh)

Rob Hayles (Athletes 1)

Rob Hayles (Athletes 1)

Rob Hayles (Athletes 1)
Bradley Wiggins (SG Bollington)

Team Pursuit
Paul Manning ( BCF Private Member)
Bradley Wiggins (Sg Bollington)
Chris Newton (Middridge CRT)
Bryan Steel (Team Chiwell)
Jon Clay (SLBM)


Yvonne Mcgregor (Alsager Adidas MRT)

Emma Davies (GB Strada)

Spanish Olympic team preselection

The final five member Spanish Men's Olympic road team will be decided after La Vuelta a España on September 17 out of the following riders: Abraham Olano, David Etxebarria, Angel Casero, Vicente García Acosta, Oscar Freire, Miguel Martin Perdiguero, Juan Carlos Domínguez, and Alvaro and Igor González de Galdeano.

Tour of Denmark injured list

The Danish talent Jacob Nielsen, Cycling Horsens, had an operation on his back on Wednesday. The young Dane crashed heavily on the first stage of the Tour of Denmark and broke four vertebrae but he still has full mobility. He will be in a cast for six or seven weeks and then there will be rehabilitation training for several months. His back might be stiff in the future and the question is if he can resume his cycling career.

"It's too early to say how his injury might be in the long term. If he can sit on the bike he will be capable of riding again, but it is hard to say if he can come back at the high level he has today," said race physician Lars Juel Andersen about the U23 rider in the Horsens/Axa mixed team.

In addition, Ukrainian Sergei Gontchar fell and injured his hand on the first stage and couldn't start in the second stage of the Tour of Denmark. It is not known if the injury will stop him from participating in the Olympic time trial, where he is a strong medal candidate.

Tour de France popular

After a dip in TV ratings for the last couple of years, the Tour de France is once again growing in popularity, with near record TV audiences this year. According to estimates, 8.24 million people watched Pantani winning the stage into Courchevel on July 16, only marginally lower than the 8.26 million people who watched Laurent Brochard's win in Loundenvielle in 1997. The maximum daily audience in Italy was 2.18 million, and in Germany it was 4 million.

Six day racing in the Netherlands

After an absence of several years, there will be six day racing in the Netherlands again. The last one was in the Ahoy velodrome in Rotterdam. However next year there will be an event organised in the Amsterdam velodrome from September 11-16, 2001. In the same stadium the European Derny Championships will be on September 9.

Stander suspended

South African elite female rider, Annelise Stander, was found to have tested positive at the South African Time Trial Championships held in Port Elizabeth on 26th May 2000. She placed second in the event behind Ronel van Wyk, but a urinary analysis revealed the presence of Norandrosterone and Noretiocholanolene. She has been suspended for 1 year from July 20, 2000 to July 19, 2001 and fined an amount of R 4000 ($US 600).

Winners page updated

You can see two of the the three winners of our Trek-Nike/ACG competition in their full glory now on's Mission Accomplished page. Third placed Michael Chow will probably never hear the end of it...