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News for December 6, 2000

Longo postpones

After flying back to Mexico City to make another attempt on the world hour record, Jeannie Longo has been forced to postpone her attempts in the past few days. Poor weather conditions in Mexico City on Sunday and Monday prompted the decision, and she will now make an attempt on Tuesday, local time.

Festina pays

A judge in Barcelona has ordered Festina to pay salaries to Alex Zülle (Euro 295,000) and Laurent Dufaux (Euro 120,000). The money was owed to them for the months October-December, 1998, after the doping scandal in the Tour de France.

Ferrari trial possible

An Italian judge will decide whether to launch a trial against sports doctor Michele Ferrari (a former assistant of professor Conconi) and 16 other suspects (pharmacists, doctors and team managers) on January 25. Some riders (Gotti, Bugno, Chiapucci, Cipollini, Merckx and Tonkov) will probably be called as witnesses if it goes ahead, however they have not been accused.

The charges would relate to "sporting fraud" - similar to the ongoing Pantani case in Forli. The public prosecutor in Bologna has worked for two years on this case, and it is related to an investigation in Ferrara into professor Francesco Conconi. This case, headed by prosecutor Pierguido Soprani, involves the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) in a "state led doping affair" orchestrated by Conconi on 63 top athletes.

News travels fast...

The chairman of the BWB and head of the UCI cyclocross committee, Laurent de Backer, sent a lot of faxes to members of the committee on Monday. He asked to confirm whether two pit areas are allowed on cyclocross tracks for the rest of the season: one for changing to another bike, the other for changing wheels only.

"I don't understand the decision of the UCI commissaires in Leudelange last Sunday," said de Backer. "We agreed the riders can ask for a second pit area, and Sven Nijs asked for it. That was confirmed as the compromise between the riders and the UCI some weeks ago."

In doing this, De Backer wanted to prevent problems from the riders in the coming races. "We have to solve this problem. A strike or demonstration by the riders isn't good for the sport," he said.

It didn't take long for the news to filter through, and a response was received: A majority of the UCI cyclocross committee agreed to allow two pit areas for the rest of the season in World Cup and Superprestige races.

Van der Poel leaves

Adri van der Poel left the hospital in Brasschaat on Monday evening, after a week's stay. However, he has to stay at home in bed until next Friday.

"It goes better and better. I made the agreement with the doctors that they will check me every week, but they don't think there will be a structural problem with my kidney. We hope that the recovery takes six weeks," said van der Poel.

Lemond joins Mercury

It's been confirmed that Greg Lemond's new team is US-based Division Two squad Mercury, and he's taking Peter Van Petegem with him as team leader. Lemond has been unable to firm up a deal with Viatel and therefore he and the riders who were linked to that team have taken the fallback option mentioned over the weekend by Van Petegem. Geert Van Bondt, Laurent Chotard and Plamen Stoianov will also join Mercury. Of course, this assumes that the "Van Petegem soap" goes according to plan (i.e. he will find an inexpensive way out of his contract with Farm Frites). If it does, then Mercury will certainly be a force to be reckoned with in the Classics.

What you didn't know about World Online...

The new head sponsor of Danish team CSC, World Online is an internet service provider with its roots in the Netherlands. However, it does not have a particularly good name there, after its former boss Nina Brink floated the company on the stock market.

Brink went to the Amsterdam stock exchange in March this year with a big marketing campaign, and managed to introduce the company at 43 Euro(!) per share. However, in a few days the company plummeted, and several thousand minor shareholders lost a lot of money. Brink then sold her part in the company soon afterwards for plenty cash.

A shareholders union has now asked World Online for at least 220 million Dutch guilders (Euro 100 million/ $US 88 million) to pay more than 10,000 people who lost money on the deal. They claim that they represent 4 million shares at Euro 25 per share. They are expecting a reaction from World Online by Christmas.

Italian teams: Part III

By Jeff Jones

Today we present four of the best first division Italian teams in the peloton for 2001: Lampre, Liquigas, Mapei and Mercatone-Uno. The series will conclude tomorrow with the five remaining teams.

Lampre Daikin

The division I team of Lampre Daikin finished fourth in the UCI rankings at the end of this season, after performing in a similar fashion to Fassa Bortolo: winning a lot of one day races, with a GC presence in the Giro d'Italia. The core of the team remains very similar in 2001, with the only additions being Brazilian neo-pro, Luciano Pagliarini and of course, the Walloon Whirlwind, Frank Vandenbroucke. Can Vandenbroucke fill the yawning chasm that Franco Ballerini (to Mapei in 2001) will leave? If he can even remotely approach his former form, then the answer is yes.

The team's main climber Gilberto Simoni had some comments today about his role next year, and his adversary Pantani. After performing well in the Giro and also on the Vuelta's toughest stage to El Angliru, Simoni is no longer scared of Marco Pantani. "Pantani does not frighten me," he said. "When I was an amateur, I raced against him. Next year I want a team entirely at my disposal in the giro like Pantani does."

"The Giro is suited to Casagrande who will finally have a true team at his disposal," he added. "Me, I would be satisfied with a place on the podium. I also like the Tour, especially the mountain time trial."

Roster

Team Manager: Giuseppe Saronni
Director: Pietro Algeri
Division: I

Riders

Matteo Algeri (Ita)
Sergio Barbero (Ita)
Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat)
Simone Bertoletti (Ita)
Rubens Bertogliati (Swi)
Oskar Camenzind (Swi)
Massimo Codol (Ita)
Marco Della Vedova (Ita)
Ludo Dierckxsens (Bel)
Matteo Frutti (Ita)
Juan Manuel Garate Cepa (Spa)
Robert Hunter (RSA)
Gabriele Missaglia (Ita)
Luciano A. Mendoca Pagliarini (Bra) (Neo)
Mariano Piccoli (Ita)
Marco Pinotti (Ita)
Marco Serpellini (Ita)
Gilberto Simoni (Ita)
Zbigniew Spruch (Pol)
Jan Svorada (Cze)
Frank Vandenbroucke (Bel) (Cofidis)
Johan Verstrepen (Bel)

Liquigas Pata

Liquigas is about halfway down the pecking order of first division teams, are is currently ranked 12th. They have some star riders in Davide Rebellin and Serhiy Honchar, with Gorazd Stangelj showing some good results in his first season. They lost Khazakh Andrei Teteriouk to Mercury for 2001, but will essentially retain their line up from this year, with 19 riders in total. Important additions are Gianni Faresin (Mapei) and Fabio Malberti (Amica Chips).

Roster

Manager: Fabio Bordonali
Directors: Roberto Amadio, Paolo Dotti, Giancarlo Perini
Division: I

Riders

Ramon Bianchi (Ita) (Neo)
Paolo Bono (Ita) (Neo)
Stefano Cattai (Ita)
Daniele Contrini (Ita)
Fausto Dotti (Ita)
Gianni Faresin (Ita) (Mapei)
Cristiano Frattini (Ita)
Serhiy Honchar (Ukr)
Fabio Malberti (Ita) (Amica Chips)
Fabio Marchesin (Ita)
Mirko Marini (Ita)
Giancarlo Raimondi (Ita)
Ellis Rastelli (Ita)
Davide Rebellin (Ita)
Cristian Salvato (Ita)
Davide Scalmana (Ita) (Amica Chips)
Gorazd Stangelj (Slo)
Denis Zanette (Ita)
Marco Zanotti (Ita)

Mapei Quick Step

The hardest thing about being number one is maintaining your position at the top of the (quite large) pile. Mapei have done this through sheer strength of numbers meaning that they sign a lot of top quality riders. The team has will have the same number of riders (39) for 2001, but will undergo quite a few changes. The most important names departing are Axel Merckx, Johan Museeuw, Wilfried Peeters, Fred Rodriguez, Max van Heeswijk, William Chann McRae, and Pavel Tonkov (Rus) to Domo and Mercury, as well as manager Patrick Lefevere and director Marc Sergeant.

However, there is a considerable new influx of talent, after Mapei snapped up most of the top espoirs in the world (Cancellara, Gasparre, Petrov, Sinkewitz, and Rogers), as well as Stefano Garzelli as a GC man in big stage races. The team for 2001 looks to be almost as formidable as this year, and many will be interested to see how the young riders perform.

Roster

Head Manager: Aldo Sassi
Team Manager: Alvaro Crespi
Directeur Sportives: Roberto Damiani, Fabrizio Fabbri , "Matxin" Fernandez Rodriguez, Serge Parsani, Jesus Suarez Cueva, Erik Vanderaerden
Division: I

Riders

Elio Aggiano (Ita) (Vitalicio)
Adriano Baffi (Ita)
Franco Ballerini (Ita) (Lampre)
Michele Bartoli (Ita)
Manuel Beltran Martinez (Spa)
Paolo Bettini (Ita)
Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun)
Davide Bramati (Ita)
David Canada Garcia (Spa) (ONCE)
Fabian Cancellara (Swi) (Neo)
Giampaolo Cheula (Ita) (Neo)
Dario Cioni (Ita)
Crescenzo D'Amore (Ita)
Bernhard Eisel (Aut) (Neo)
Paolo Fornaciari (Ita)
Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa)
Stefano Garzelli (Ita) (Mercatone-Uno)
Graziano Gasparre (Ita) (Neo)
Pedro Horrillo Munoz (Spa) (Vitalicio)
Kevin Hulsmans (Bel)
Philippe Koehler (Fra)
Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita)
Bart Leysen (Bel)
Daniele Nardello (Ita)
Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita)
Andrea Noé (Ita)
Luca Paolini (Ita)
Evgueni Petrov (Rus) (Neo)
Filippo Pozzato (Ita)
Eddy Ratti (Ita)
Antonio Rizzi (Ita)
Michael Rogers (Aus) (Neo)
Luca Scinto (Ita)
Patrick Sinkewitz (Ger) (Neo)
Tom Steels (Bel)
Andrea Tafi (Ita)
David Tani (Ita)
Charley Wegelius (GBr)
Stefano Zanini (Ita)
Pavel Zerzan (Cze) (Neo)

Mercatone Uno-Albacom

This team has been built around Marco Pantani for the past few seasons, and of course suffered after he took the latter half of 1999 and the first half of 2000 off. However, they received a not totally unexpected surprise when Stefano Garzelli won the Giro, although he subsequently moved to Mapei. Pantani's future is uncertain given his legal situation, but he will again be the key member of the team in 2001.

Roster

President: Felice Gimondi
Team Managers: Giuseppe Martinelli, Manuela Ronchi, Roberta Gasperoni
Division: I

Riders

Michael Andersson (Swe
Igor Astarloa Askasibar (Spa)
Simone Borgheresi (Ita)
Ermanno Brignoli (Ita)
Maurizio Caravaggio (Ita)
Massimo Cigana (Ita)
Daniele de Paoli (Ita)
Fabiano Fontanelli (Ita)
Riccardo Forconi (Ita)
Oscar Mason (Ita)
Gianmario Ortenzi (Ita)
Marco Pantani (Ita)
Massimo Podenzana (Ita)
Marcello Siboni (Ita)
Marco Velo (Ita)
Daniel Clavero Sebastian (Spa) (Polti)
Gianpaolo Mondini (Ita) (Cantina Tollo)
Cristian Moreni (Ita) (Liquigas)
Luca De Angeli (Ita)
Roberto Savoldi (Ita)

Sources: La Gazzetta dello Sport/Cycling4all

Jens Lehmann to Team Nürnberger

According to the TEAG Team Koestritzer in Erfurt, their Olympic Champion Jens Lehmann has signed a two year contract with the professional team Nürnberger. "We can not be competitive with such an offer from Team Nürnberger and we won´t make any difficulties for Jens. We parted in a fair way," said Olaf Albrecht, the TEAG team manager.

Jens Lehmann has been a part of the TEAG team for three years and won the gold medal in the team pursuit in Sydney and silver in the individual pursuit. He will keep his membership at the SSV Gera.

Daniel Becke (from Team Coast and another Olympic Champion) is also rumoured to be joining Nürnberger.

New US team: Noble House(?)

There are rumours that a new US 3rd division team, Noble House, will be formed next season. Names that have been thrown up include: Marty Jemison (US Postal), Jonathan Hall (Festina), Jon Hamblin (Navigators), and amateurs Alex Lavallee, Mark Light, Mike Luther, Shawn McCormack, Chris McGovern, Eric Saunders and Jon Wirsing.

The team will be sponsored by Reading/Lancaster based brokerage, Noble House International LLC, and built by Rod Myers. In addition to their professional presence (which may go as high as division II), the team will also field an amateur Cat. 1/2 squad. Finally, there may also be an indoor track/sports centre built in Lancaster, funded by the sponsors.

Courtesy of J. Alain Ferry/velospeed.com

Broadmark Capital adds Kiwi

Seattle based Broadmark Capital Cycling Team have added a top flight New Zealand rider to their roster. The team, which started in October have formed a squad of elite talent from the Pacific Northwest, but have now added an international rider to their roster - Geoffrey Burndred from New Zealand.

20 year old Geoffrey Burndred was a member of the New Zealand national team, and produced some good results including a 6th overall in this year's Tour of Wellington and a stage win at the Tour of Tahiti. More recently, he beat a tough field including professional, Graeme Miller and members of the New Zealand Olympic Team, on his way to winning the Hamilton to Whangamata Open.

He will once again race the Tour of Wellington in January 2001, before making the trip to the States to join his new team. His ultimate aim is a good result in the U23 World Championships in Lisbon, Portugal next year.

Vendée-U-Pays de Loire

This French amateur squad has announced its 2001 lineup. The team loses Salumets, Saunders, Magnin and Marais:

Juniors: Giovanni Bernaudeau (ex-VCP La Chataigneraie), Alexandre Bousseau (ex-VCP La Chataigneraie), Mathieu Claude (ex-CV Fontenay), Willy Dugleux (ex-VC Parthenay), Vincent Jérôme (ex-OCC Laval), Stéphane Pazé (ex-VCP La Chataigneraie), Mathieu Letellier (ex-VC Castelsarrasin), Perrig Quemener (ex-VS Lesneven).

Espoirs: Olivier Cambet (ex-VC Oloron-Haut Béarn), Jimmy Engoulvent, Yohan Gene, Anthony Geslin, Maryan Hary, Christophe Kern (ex-VC Nord-Alsace), Mickaël Malle (ex-COC Sourdeval), Rony Martias, Franck Ménard, Jérôme Pineau, Dietrich Plumerat, Aurélien Poupin, Samuel Torrès, Jean Zen (ex-Lavaur VC).

The team is trained and managed by Nicolas Guillé, Christophe Faudot, and Christian Guiberteau.

Courtesy of www.velomania.net