|Tech Features Road MTB Cyclocross Track News Photos Feedback|
News for June 26, 2000
More Tour teams finalised
After the French National Championships on the weekend, the six French teams in the Tour de France have finalised their lineups. Credit Agricole already announced most of their team a couple of days ago (Anthony Langella got the final spot) but La Francaise des Jeux, Ag2r-Prévoyance, Cofidis, Festina and Bonjour had yet to decide.
La Française des Jeux
Their team of Stéphane Heulot, Frédéric Guesdon, Xavier Jan, Emmanuel Magnien, Christophe Mengin, Jean-Patrick Nazon, Grzegorz Gwiazdowski, Frank Hoj, and Sven Montgomery (replacement: Yvon Ledanois) seems to be geared for stage wins and publicity attraction. Nazon is their best sprinter (no Jimmy Casper this year), while most of the others are good in breakaways. Heulot is their best climber and GC rider, and the French will be hoping that he can go one better than his Alpe d'Huez breakaway effort of last year.
Their selection is Jaan Kirsipuu, Christophe Agnolutto, Lauri Aus, Pascal Chanteur, David Delrieu, Arturas Kasputis, Andrei Kivilev, Gilles Maignan and Benoît Salmon (replacement: Stéphane Barthe).
Once again, the team will be based around Kirsipuu, who will try and repeat his feat of last year to win the yellow jersey in the first week. He has plenty of support from riders like Kasputis, Kivilev, and Aus, as well as the French element of the team. Time triallist, Gilles Maignan may be one to look out for in those events, though most likely for a top 10.
The team lineup: Frank Vandenbroucke, Laurent Desbiens, Laurent Lefèvre, Massimiliano Lelli, Nico Mattan, Roland Meier, David Millar, David Moncoutié and Chris Peers (Replacements: Claude Lamour and Steve De Wolf).
Frank Vandenbroucke, who is finally regaining some form after the Belgian Championships it seems, will captain this team of rouleurs and time triallists. VDB is riding the Tour with designs on the general classification (or at least having a good shot at it), although he will decide after the first week what approach to take. They have no real sprinter, so will have to rely on making a small breakaway group to win stages. Millar is valuable for the time trials, but may not be up to the level of certain other riders who are peaking for the Tour.
This French team has only three French riders in their Tour squad, with five Spaniards and one German to complete it. Christophe Moreau, Joseba Beloki, Angel Casero, Felix Garcia-Casas, Jaime Hernandez, Pascal Lino, Laurent Madouas, David Plaza, and Marcel Wüst (replacement: Fabian Jeker) are the men in blue for the 2000 Tour.
Finally, Marcel Wüst is part of the Festina Tour de France team, after posting several good wins this year in bunch sprints. Last year's quadruple Vuelta stage winner might give Erik Zabel and the others something to think about in a couple of stages. The rest of the team is looking to be strong contenders for the team time trial, with riders such as Moreau, Beloki, Plaza and Casero all capable of driving the train. Casero and Plaza would be their men for the GC, however the former has struggled a lot this year with an achilles tendon injury.
If Jean Delatour have their way, we might even see a Bonjour/Delatour team, but the courts and Jean-Marie Leblanc will decide that this week. The Bonjour team is the lowest ranked of all the Tour teams, but have some firepower: Jean-Cyril Robin, Walter Bénéteau, Franck Bouyer, Pascal Déramé, Christophe Faudot, Damien Nazon, Olivier Perraudeau, Didier Rous and François Simon (Replacement: Franck Renier).
Robin was third at last year's World's, but hasn't done a great deal since then. Nazon is quite handy in a bunch sprint, and Didier Rous and François Simon are strong riders for the GC. Bonjour will have to attack in the same manner as Memorycard in order to give their sponsors some exposure.
With Mapei dominating two of the biggest National Championships on Sunday (Italy and Belgium), Cofidis' Frank Vandenbroucke was unable to take the Belgian race. Axel Merckx was a very proud winner, and described it as a "dream come true. I'm happy and very proud to wear the jersey of my country this year," said Merckx, 27, who will not ride the Tour de France this year for Mapei.
Second placed VDB will be riding though, and described his race in Rochefort as "very hard". "With four Mapei riders leading, it was almost mission impossible," he said. "I won't be 100 percent for the Tour, far from it in fact. It will be difficult for the overall standings."
However, he was hopeful that he would ride himself into form in the first week.
Dutchman Michael Boogerd, after he stopped in the Netherlands National Championships with cramps after just four laps, was not happy: "I don't know what it was. After the Tour de Suisse I rested for two days. When I trained yesterday, the cramp came in my right leg. I couldn't ride anymore and Steven de Jongh had to push me home. Today everything went well - until 3.5 laps. The problem is that I can't ride with cramp. Normally you can ride with pain and wait till the pain leaves, but with cramp that's impossible."
"The doctor said it isn't an inflammation. So I'll go to hospital on Monday for some research and scans. I'm not so happy with this and hope to be okay for the Tour within a few days," said the 1997 and 1998 champion.
Italian disabled athlete, Fabrizio Macchi (30) set a new world hour record last Saturday, June 24 on the Velodrome in Varese. Amputee Macchi rode 38.562 kilometers in 60 minutes to beat the previous record of 38.388 kilometres.
Another World record was recently ratified by the UCI - that of the 500 metre standing start in the 65-69 year old Masters category. Ron Trueman (Australia) set the record in the Australian Masters Track Championships at the Dunc Gray Olympic Velodrome on March 28. His time was 39.381 seconds for 500 metres.
Australian licences centralised
Cycling Australia has recently decided to scrap the state issuing license system in favour of a nationwide-based one. At a meeting last weekend, this was one of the policy changes that they will incorporate in 2001. The current system is handled by each state, and can result in lengthy delays getting licences out to members once the season has started. It is hoped that the new system will provide a more expeditious format.
In other licensing issues, it was decided to trial Day Permits for the MTB national series (AMBA) over the next six months. Day permit entrants will be able to race in all categories, including expert classes, and compete for all prizes on offer that round. However, their results will not contribute to series ranking points, as participation in the overall series competition will be limited to full CA members only.