News for December 7, 2000
Armstrong hits out at French investigation
In an interview with Bicycling magazine, Lance Armstrong has defended US Postal's practices in the Tour de France. Calling the ongoing judicial investigation "ridiculous", Armstrong said: "We had permission to bring every product we ever used in the Tour de France. We do it by the book. We get everything authorized by the French minister of health. It's stamped. It's approved. And that's all we bring."
"We have nothing to hide. We're going to defend ourselves very aggressively. I'm sick of it."
Merckx to Mallorca
Belgian champion Axel Merckx, who has received several nominations for cyclingnews.com's Gobsmackingly Brilliant Rides of 2000, will be one of the key members of Domo next year.
"We go with Domo to Mallorca today for a gathering. That's the place to talk about planning for next season. My preferred option is to start in Duinkerken in the Tour 2001. I wanted to start in 2000 too, but then the Giro was a good alternative. Domo won't start in the Giro 2001. My targets are the classics in Wallonie, a stage victory in the Tour and the World Championships," said Merkcx to Het Nieuwsblad.
French team war games
Following the in the bootprints of Laurent Jalabert's team's recent commando training, the juniors and espoirs of French team Vendée-U included paintball in training sessions last weekend, as well as more conventional pursuits like cyclo-cross and riding with the pro's of the Bonjour team.
Lotto to Italy
Lotto-Adecco will go for their first training camp to San Vicenzo, near Livorno from December 15-22. The team's second preparation for next season is in Toscane (Italy) from January 15-21, but then they will only have part of the team. At the same time, some riders will be doing the Tour Down Under in Australia. Lotto-Adecco has 23 riders next season, including 13 new ones.
Italian teams: Part IV
By Jeff Jones
The final installment our mini-presentation of the 17 Italian division I and II teams in 2001 details the Mobilvetta, Panaria, Saeco, Tacconi Sport and Selle Italia teams. Full team rosters for four of the five squads are shown here.
There is a small correction from yesterday's news regarding Mapei:
Neo-pro Patrick Sinkewitz (Ger) will be riding for them next year, and
not Nürnberger as was reported elsewhere. In addition, the entire
squad of sporting directors is: Roberto Damiani, Fabrizio Fabbri, "Matxin"
Fernandez Rodriguez, Serge Parsani, Jesus Suarez Cueva, Erik Vanderaerden
The division II Mobilvetta team will be co-sponsored by Formaggi Trentini next year, but will keep essentially the same lineup. Their biggest loss is sprinter Ivan Quaranta to Alexia Aluminio, however they have gained some experienced riders in Rodolfo Massi and Massimo Strazzer.
Directors: Stefano Giuliani and Fausto Boreggio
Francesco Arazzi (Ita)
The Panaria-Gaerne team will have a new name next year: Panaria-Fiordo, as well as several new riders. Neo-professionals, Stefano Guerrini, Cristiano Parrinello, Sergiy Matveyev, and Filippo Perfetto will form a significant percentage of the 15 rider team, but they will be partially balanced by their big acquisition from Mapei, Giuliano Figueras.
Manager: Bruno Reverberi
Paolo Bertoglio (Ita)
Known as Saeco Valli&Valli this year, the coffee machine sponsored division I team will be called "Saeco Macchine per Caffè" in 2001. With 24 riders it is amongst the bigger teams in the peloton, having as its figurehead the one and only Mario Cipollini. Although 2000 didn't exactly see Cipollini at his best, Super Mario is certain to try and make amends in 2001.
As for the other leading members of the squad, Salvatore Commesso, Laurent Dufaux, and Paolo Savoldelli all contributed important wins in 2000 and will be looking to build on that next season. There are several new riders (Oscar Cavagnis, Mirko Celestino, Brad Davidson, Nicola Gavazzi, Marius Sabaliauskas, Fabio Sacchi, and Justin Spinelli), most of whom will play supporting roles save for Celestino, who is being targeted at the World Cup.
The team will meet for the first time in Casciana Terme near Pisa on December 11, where they will undergo thermal cures, training, and technical sessions in which the programs of the riders will be planned. They will be staying at the Hotel San Marco until Wednesday, December 13, before transferring to the Hotel Bel Sit, where they will undergo medical tests.
Team Manager: Claudio Corti
Giuseppe Calcaterra (Ita)
Known as Aguardiente Nectar-Selle Italia this year, this second division Italian-Colombian team will reduce its large team roster to 22, and will also have a new co-sponsor for next year. They recently dominated the Tour du Faso (Burkina Faso), with new signing Mikhail Khalilov winning the GC.
The team will lose several of its Italians and Colombians. However, stalwarts, José "Chepe" Gonzalez Pico and Hernan Buenahora will remain with the team which will be bolstered by José Joaquim Castelblanco Romero (Kelme).
Directors: José Alfonso Lopez, Gianni Savio
Fortunato Baliani (Ita)
Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola
This will a new team in 2001, formed from a combination of Vini Caldirola and Amica Chips-Tacconi Sport. Most of the riders are from the existing Vini Caldirola team, without the big names Casagrande and Vainsteins. The 23 rider team is therefore likely to start in the second division next year.
Manager: Enrico Maggioni
Massimo Apollonio (Ita) (Vini Caldirola)
Sources: Cycling4all/La Gazzetta dello Sport
Noble House International - from division III to Le Tour in '05?
By John Alsedek, cyclingnews.com correspondent
The U.S. professional cycling ranks now officially have a new member, as the Noble House Professional Cycling Team was unveiled today. Sponsored by Noble House International, a financial brokerage firm that facilitates major monetary projects worldwide, the 15-rider squad is the centerpiece of a five-year, multi-million dollar cycling program that is aiming at a ride in the Tour de France in 2005 - and at revolutionizing the way professional teams are run along the way.
The Noble House Professional Cycling Team is the brainchild of Central Pennsylvania amateur racers Dennis Penny and Russell Blake, who approached Noble House Chairman & CEO Gary Coleman (a huge cycling fan) with the idea of starting their own pro formation, based in Lancaster, home of Noble House International. Coleman fell in love with the idea immediately, both because of his love of the sport and because he saw the natural synergy between professional cycling's worldwide popularity and Noble House's global interests. So he gave the 'green light' to Penny and Blake, who began building a team from the ground up, and in a way far different than the norm.
With a yearly budget rivalling that of domestic powerhouses Mercury and Saturn, they could have very easily lured in a group of 'name' veterans who would have given them instant recognition. However, they decided to do things differently, says assistant manager Russell Blake: "Instead of chasing UCI points, we took the cream of the crop of U.S. amateurs, and built from there."
That 'cream' included the likes of 2000 Nationals double silver medalist Shawn McCormack; '99 Espoirs National Time Trial Champion Aaron Olson; and Erik Saunders, an American expatriate who finished an excellent sixth in the prestigious French time trial, the Chrono des Herbiers. They then surrounded them with a young, but highly experienced, group of pros that could both relieve some of the pressure for the rookies to succeed immediately, and also contribute to the team's long-term goals: riders such as Festina stalwart Jonathan Hall, a former world duathlon champion; and Dominique Perras, a Canadian climbing ace who spent the 2000 season with the Swiss Phonak team.
But all that young talent needed just the right person to lead the way on the road, to mentor the riders on this fledgling pro formation...and that person was former U.S. Professional Champion Marty Jemison. It's a new role for the long-time U.S. Postal Service standout, but one that he eagerly embraces: "I look at this as a great opportunity to captain the team and use my experience to help mold these young riders."
Jemison will receive plenty of help in that task, as the Noble House Professional Cycling Team has gone to great lengths to provide the sort of infrastructure that will afford the riders every chance to succeed. Penny and Blake are paying their charges salaries sufficient enough so that they won't have to worry about working during the off-season, are providing health insurance, and have hired a crack staff that even includes a team doctor. It's a good situation, according to team director Skip Spangenburg, himself a long-time pro who competed in 25 different countries: "We're providing a good environment for these guys to grow in. I've been in some of the worst cycling scenarios you could imagine, and understand just how important what we're doing is in helping the riders develop."
That sentiment is echoed by neo-pro Jonathan Wirsing, who adds "it's really exciting - it's a totally new experience for all of us, and I really think it'll help us pull together as a team."
The team has set some very lofty goals for its inaugural season, including winning the First Union U.S. Professional Championship in Philadelphia, PA, and becoming the number one Division 3 team in the world. The goals only get tougher from there: move from Division 3 to Division 2 in the international professional ranks in 2002, run a full European program in 2003, and qualify for the Tour de France by 2005. However, there is uniform optimism that they can succeed in achieving each and every one of them: "We have a strong team of all-rounders", opines Spangenburg, "a lot of different guys who should be in the mix in all the big races."
Blake agrees, adding "This group of riders is suited to a very aggressive style of racing, one that's a lot of fun to watch. I think we're going to surprise a lot of people." And that's what they're most looking forward to; Dennis Penny speaks for all involved with the Noble House Professional Cycling Team when he says, "I'm looking forward to getting started!" The Noble House Professional Cycling Team's 2001 campaign will begin with a training camp in South Carolina at the end of January, with their first major race being the Redlands Classic, March 13th-18th.
Dennis Penny (Director of Operations/Team Manager)
Professional Cycling Team
Marty Jemison (35 yrs old; Park City, UT)
Elite Amateur Cycling Team
Masters Cycling Team
Noble House International
Swedish rider of the year
Swedish Cycling Federation's "Post rider" (rider of the year) awards, went to Dunkerque Four Days winner, Martin Rittsel (Memorycard) and World's bronze medallist Madeleine Lindberg (Farm Frites-Hartol).
Erik Jungåker, winner of the world's biggest cross country race, Birkebeinern, and Annica Jonsson, who won her 10th consecutive Swedish Championship, won the MTB awards.
Courtesy of Tomas Nilsson
More women's racing in Spain in 2001
Spanish women's cycling will receive a boost next year, with a new team and more races on the calendar. The new professional women's Junkers team, directed by Juango Peñalosa, will have riders such as Dori Ruano, Rosa Bravo, Berta Fernandez, Ruth Moll, Marta Vilajosana, Mari Carmen Soto, Azucena Lozano and Eneritz Iturrriaga. The team will be cosponsored by Acqua San Benedetto and the City Council of Noja.
In addition there will be five more one day races that are UCI classified. In 2000, only the Trofeo Manolo Perez was awarded UCI points, as well as three stage races (Navarra, Majorca and Emakumeen Bira). The women's Tour of Majorca has been upgraded to 2.9.1 next season, the same category as the Giro and the Tour.
French amateur team moves
Sebastien Bourdes has joined US Montauban 82, a move which should see the club's prospects improve after a flat 2000 season. However montauban loses Mathieu Lamothe who turns pro for the espoirs team of Crédit Agricole.
Nicolas Liboreau will ride for CM Aubervilliers in 2001. Liboreau had been in contact with Jean Floc'h but a deal was not struck.
Despite its withdrawal from Elite amateur ranks, VC Chartres keeps Adrian gagalal, Yohan Pasquier and Stéphane Gendron. Cédric Genty has joined Romorantin.
Courtesy of www.velomania.net
Giove, Minnaar, McCarroll in new downhill MTB team
Missy Giove, Greg Minnaar, Sean McCarroll and others will make up the roster of Global Racing, a new mountain bike team focusing on the downhill and dual slalom events and run by former UCI MTB head honch Martin Whiteley. Global Racing boasts a rider from every inhabited continent (we won't be picky and get into whether the bases on Antarctica count) and the full team roster is:
Markolf Berchtold, 20, from Santa Catarina, Brazil.
Global Racing has no title sponsor for its first year, which the team claims leaves it free to choose equipment to best suit its needs. A full list of suppliers will be announced later. Funding for the team is being provided by Whiteley's silent partner in management company 23 Degrees, a Japanese businessman who happens to be a huge mountain bike racing fan.
The team's management and support crew includes Whiteley as director; team manager Ben Monroe, who was event manager of the Olympics MTB race; soigneurs Jim Pazzano and Anne-Marie Ludekens and mechanics Patrick Griessen, Chris "Monkey" Vazquez, Mike van Zyl, and Adam Bonney. Official team launch will take place at the Sea Otter Classic, March 23.
Voreis to Haro
Kirt Voreis has signed a two year deal with the increasingly mighty US Haro squad.
Sydney MTBers go urban
Saturday December 9 sees the centre and Northern suburbs of Sydney, Australia lightly infested with mountain bikers in the first ever Tatonka Urban Polaris MTB event. 150 two-riders teams will take part in this competition, which requires riders to navigate between checkpoints, orienteering-style. Riders have eight hours to accumulate as many points as possible, with distant and otherwise hard-to-reach checkpoints carrying higher scores. There are severe point-loss penalties for going over the allotted time, so the event requires speed, pacing, planning and navigation skills.
Unlike the two-day off-road Polaris format, riders won't be required to carry camping and survival equipment, as a wilderness camp is unlikely to be necessary in the city. Organiser Huw Kingston says the urban event had its inception in a late night 'mad idea' during one of the off-road events, which just goes to show what fatigue does to the minds of event organisers.
Profile recalls Stiffy MTB stems
Profile Design has issued a recall notice on Stiffy threadless mountain bike handlebar stems sold between March 1997 and April 2000. If you are using one of these stems you should stop using it immediately and return it to a Profile Design dealer for a replacement or contact Profile Design on (888) 800-5999 ext. 161 or by email to email@example.com.
The recalled stems are identified using the following points of identification: (1) the recalled stems say only "Profile" on them and not "Profile-Design"; (2) the rear portion of the steer tube clamp (the portion that says "Stiffy") is sharply angled (45 degrees) at the top and bottom (later models not subject to the recall were not as sharply angled); (3) the front handlebar clamp only has two bolts and not three like later non-recalled versions; (4) the recalled stems were available in black, red, blue, yellow, and cream.