|Tech Features Road MTB Cyclocross Track News Photos Feedback|
News for June 25, 2000
More tour team news
Mapei with Rodriguez but without Museeuw
Italian team Mapei announced their team line up today, with the balance in favour of their sprinter, Tom Steels. Michele Bartoli, Manuel Beltran Martinez, Paolo Bettini, Daniele Nardello, Fred Rodriguez, Tom Steels, Andrea Tafi, Max van Heeswijk and Stefano Zanini
Team captain will be Michele Bartoli, who has been riding quite well since his return to competition in the Tour of Germany last month. Bartoli may have what it takes to be a Tour winner, but it's unlikely to be this year. He is climbing well as evidenced in the Tour de Suisse on Stage 8 where he finished 4th. Mapei's other GC men are Paolo Bettini (Liege-Bastogne-Liege winner), Daniele Nardello with Manuel Beltran riding as support, though their team will more likely go for stage wins and the green jersey.
Tom Steels is their number one sprinter, but look out for USPRO champion Fred Rodriguez, winner of several big races this year. We'll be seeing more of him come Tour time. Steels will not have the support of Bart Leysen this year (injury from Tour of Germany), but will have the services of the other Mapei domestiques, Andrea Tafi, Max van Heeswijk and Stefano Zanini.
There will be no Tour this year for Merckx, Peeters, and Museeuw either. Perhaps due to some internal politics with these three leaving the team for Domo next year, or more likely for other reasons: Merckx rode the Giro as a goal for this year, Peeters was left out in favour of other, more in form domestiques, and Museeuw wants to prepare for the Autumn classics.
Memorycard select their best
There were no dramatic surprises in the Danish Memorycard-Jack&Jones team for the Tour: Jesper Skibby, Bo Hamburger, Tristan Hoffman, Michael Sandstød, Michael Blaudzun, Arvis Piziks, Nicolaj Bo Larsen, Martin Rittsel and Allan Johansen will form the nine man lineup.
Team captain will be 36 year old Jesper Skibby, who will do his best to keep some of the younger members of the team under control. In the first week, it will be all out racing from the Danes as they look to make a big impact in their first Tour. Danish Time Trial Champion, Michael Sandstød will be trying for a yellow jersey at the 16 kilometre prologue in Futuroscope, as will Four Days of Dunkirk winner, Martin Rittsel. A yellow jersey would be a huge prize for this team who have certainly had their ups and downs this year.
They are clearly a team of strong men, with a few handy sprinters: Blaudzun, Piziks and Hoffman, and Nicolaj Bo Larsen, Bo Hamburger, and Allan Johansen making up the balance. A lot of eyes will be watching them this year.
Polti without Goubert
The 8 rider Polti team is currently: Jeroen Blijlevens, Rossano Brasi, Mirco Crepaldi, Pascal Hervé, Eddy Mazzoleni, Fabio Sacchi, Richard Virenque and Bart Voskamp.
Stéphane Goubert (Polti) won't be riding the Tour, as he will shortly undergo an operation to fix a serious knee injury that caused him to quit the Tour de Suisse. He will be replaced by either Daniel Clavero Sebastian or Rafael Mateos Perez.
Note: we'll keep the Tour page updated with the teams information as it comes to hand.
Domo starts out small but with a solid backbone
The new Belgian superteam, Domo, may have the cash at the moment but it doesn't have all the riders. At their official press conference last Friday in Oudenaarde, director Patrick Lefevere revealed the names of the riders he has for the team. Johan Museeuw, Wilfried Peeters, Max Van Heeswijk and Lief Hoste. He is in negotiations with Axel Merckx and Frank Vandenbroucke this weekend, and the Belgian Championships could be an important part of these. The complete team is expected to be finalised after the Tour.
This core Belgian team looks to be very strong on paper, and maybe Lefevere can keep Vandenbroucke in check. Other riders Lefevere is looking for to enhance the squad include several young talents from the Eastern European countries. The reason for this is that Domo has manufacturing and marketing interests there.
Melchers and Van-Moorsel for Dutch team
After placing first and second in the Dutch road championships this weekend, Mirjam Melchers and Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel (Farm Frites-Hartol) officially received their invitation to the Sydney Olympics squad. They have both been the most consistent performers throughout this season and cemented their spots with this latest performance. The third position is yet to be decided, as is the time trial spot. Logic would have it that Van Moorsel rides the time trial, but she has previously expressed disinterest, saying that the course was too technical and too hilly.
It's hilly in Colombia
While the Europeans are taking time out from tour racing to compete in their national championships this weekend, there is one UCI stage race still going on, and that is the Vuelta Colombia. Ranked as 2.5, it is actually a very solid tour - 2 weeks long with some, shall we say, hilly terrain. Stage 13 on Friday was an interesting one, as a look at the profile will show. Starting at 1250 metres, the riders enjoyed a nice descent down to 400 metres in the first 35 kilometres of the stage. After about 110 kilometres, the race went up...and kept going up to 2600 metres over the next 50 kilometres, before a flattish 20 kilometres to the finish.
A match for an Alp any day, and the Colombians certainly have been thriving in their home terrain. After the first four stages were taken by a Latvian (Andris Nauduzs a.k.a. the "Blonde Beast"), it was Colombia all the way basically. The top 10 on GC are all from Colombia, as are most of the top 10 stage placings. The country is undergoing a lot of political upheaval at the moment, but it's good to see that there is some room for cycling.
Follow the final two stages of the Vuelta courtesy of Haroldo Camacho (a Colombian living in LA), who has provided a wealth of information so far.
Alayna Burns' update from Buttgen
Note: Buttgen, Germany is the traditional European training base for the Australian Institute of Sport track team. One of its members, pursuit/points rider Alayna Burns, writes of her jovial experiences in the town.
I am writing from sunny Buttgen - the sun has shone for two whole days, quite different to the Buttgen I saw when I first arrived. Whenever I come here it seems to rain and nothing ever seems to change.
Buttgen is a small town about a half hour from Dusseldorf, Germany. Cut off from civilisation is has absolutely no appeal whatsoever. The town consists of a few shops and a town square. We are living in a hotel attached to the Velodrome Last year it underwent renovations and is now not the Buttgen many of the older riders have come to know.
I am the only female in the Australian camp over here so I am lucky enough to have a room all to myself. Being the only girl has it's advantages and disadvantages. Having two brothers has served me well and I am known affectionately as 'One of the boys'. The only thing Buttgen is good for, is the training. Here we have access to a great track and can train without any distractions, and there is also the added bonus of road racing.
Although it becomes quite boring over here we manage to soak up some of the German culture. The Shutzen Fest starts on the 26th of June. A parade through through the town square kicks off a week of Music, Rides, Bratwurst, Beer and Candy. I might make an effort to check out the show this year but something tells me I may not be able to scrape myself off my bed. Weeks of heavy training makes you think twice about any unnecessary effort.
Nothing really happens over here. The days seem to pass quickly when you are in full training. So I can't tell any exciting or even remotely funny stories! Ask anyone else who has been to Buttgen and they will give you the same reply. The town's pretty dead, (I say this peering out my window overlooking a cemetery). It wasn't that funny was it? Oh well neither is Buttgen.