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News for June 27, 2000
More Tour teams
Lotto pick their last
Lotto have named their 9th Tour rider today after the Belgian National Championships: Paul Van Hyfte. Kurt Van Lancker and Manu L'Hoir are first and second substitutes respectively. He will join the previously announced members, Rik Verbrugghe, Geert Verheyen, Mario Aerts, Kurt van de Wouwer, Sébastien Demarbaix, Thierry Marichal, Serge Baguet, and Jacky Durand.
The squad based around Fernando Escartin and Roberto Heras have made a few changes to their preliminary lineup. Their Tour squad is as follows: Fernando Escartín, Roberto Heras, Santiago Botero, Carlos Alberto Contreras, Javier Ochoa Palacios, Javier Pascual Llorente, Francisco Leon Mane, Antonio Tauler and José Á. Vidal Martinez.
Banesto look to be a little stronger this year, led once more by Alex Zülle, with José Maria Jimenez as their secondary captain. Jimenez recently won the Volta a Catalunya and is at last riding well again. These two will be joined by Leonardo Piepoli, Francisco Mancebo, Jon Odriozola, Orlando Rodrigues, José Vicente Garcia Acosta, José Luis Arrieta, and Dariusz Baranowski.
Their goal is fairly obvious: to win the general classification or die trying. They have no sprinter, but the team is packed with solid climbers and time triallists. Although Zülle has always threatened in the Tour, bad luck and crashes has seemed to cost him far too much time. In the 1999 event when he finished 2nd to Armstrong, the GC would have looked very interesting had he not lost a wad of time on the infamous "Passage du Gois" stage. However, staying up the front and on the bike is part of being a Tour winner, and it's not all down to luck.
Their team is: Romans Vainsteins, Roberto Conti, Guido Trentin, Marco Milesi, Gianluca Bortolami, Filippo Casagrande, Mauro Radaelli, Massimo Apollonio and Andrej Hauptmann. Although they have one Casagrande, it's not Francesco this time, as he is recovering from his efforts in the Giro, and has slid off the peak of form. They look to be a team geared towards getting Latvian sprinter Romans Vainsteins across the line in a few bunch sprints. However, they could turn in a few surprises.
After the weekend's National Championships, although Latvian Romans Vainsteins missed his because of a plane delay, Slovenian Andrej Hauptmann earned himself a spot by virtue of placing second in his National race.
Boogerd can start
Rabobank will likely have their main rider, Michael Boogerd in this year's Tour, after the Dutchman was given a checkup in Amersfoort hospital today following his withdrawal from the Dutch road championships. He was forced to retire from that race after just 30 kilometres due to muscle injury and cramps. Doctors told him that he could ride the Tour, although he will have to prove it first. He needs two days rest after an MRI scan showed a muscle tear in his upper right leg.
Tour without Champions
Unless Jean Delatour (or Big Mat) get a last minute call up for the Tour this year, there will be no French National Champions in the biggest French race of all. Francisque Teyssier, winner of the time trial is from Jean-Delatour, and they are awaiting the decision of a court case tomorrow to determine whether they can start. French road champion, Christophe Capelle rides for Big Mat, and it's very unlikely that they will get a run, although they too have appealed.
There will be no German, Spanish, or Belgian champions either. Rolf Aldag (Germany) was left out of the Telekom team, and may have been given the German championships as a "reward" for this, although he certainly was hungry enough for them. Spain's Alvaro Gonzalez de Galdeano rides for Vitalicio Seguros, who have no designs on the Tour this year, and won't exist with their present sponsor next year anyway. Belgian champion, Axel Merckx rides for Mapei who were very dominant in the race but will have Bartoli (the Italian champion) as their GC man this year.
On the other hand, there will be an Estonian champion, but it won't be Jaan Kirsipuu wearing the blue, black and white jersey. He was beaten by Ag2r teammate, Lauri Aus in the 223 kilometre race, also known as the GP Tallinn.
Rabobank will have their Dutch champion, Leon Van Bon in the team, but this is normal for the Dutch squad, as they have won the Dutch title since 1995. They also have Swiss champion, Markus Zberg in their lineup. The USA will have Fred Rodriguez sporting the stars and stripes jersey, again as part of the Mapei team, and the Danes (unless the court case goes the other way) have Danish champion, Bo Hamburger as part of the Memory Card-Jack & Jones team. Memory Card also will sport the Latvian champion, Arvis Piziks.
Luxembourg's champion, Benoît Joachim has a berth in the US Postal squad and it will be his first Tour as well. Finally, the Russian champion, Serguei Ivanov will once again wear his jersey as part of the Farm Frites team.
Other nations who will not have their national road champions in the tour include Austria, Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, South Africa, and Sweden (and several more).
Mínguez looks ahead
After his soon-to-be-defunct team, Vitalicio Seguros won their third Spanish road title in three years (Alvaro Gonzalez de Galdeano), director Javier Mínguez is now looking for a new sponsor. He is seeking to finalise the essential cash for 2001 by the end of the Tour de France.
"I am going to push the accelerator. The riders have been asked many questions and perhaps they can not give answers that satisfy them," he told European Press. "The message that I have given them is clear: until December 31, they must win races."
They have won races this year - all three of the Giro time trials, as well as a road stage. In total, they've won 48 races in the past three years. Their riders are in demand by other teams, but Minguez wants to continue his squad.
"I have the satisfaction that there are many riders that are faithful to me. Nobody has told me yet if they are leaving, but I know that they have had offers - that's logical. I have have made contacts with sponsors, and these will have to be finalised at the end of July. It isn't possible to start the Vuelta in a situation of uncertainty. It is even possible that some riders have already left," he said.
Vitalicio lost riders such as Casero, Freire, Zintchenko and Smetanine to other teams last year, but Minguez is confident that, come what may, he'll have a champion team for next year.
US increases track team
The US National Federation today announced the addition of three more track cyclists to their already large Olympic long team. The athletes earned their spots on the Olympic Long Team by virtue of their performances at the World Track Cup in Mexico City, June 16-18. The Olympic Long Team is comprised of athletes who have met the respective disciplines' qualifying procedures. More athletes can be added to the 2000 Olympic Long Team by meeting certain qualifying criteria.
Jonas Carney (Pacifica, Calif.) earned a spot on the Olympic Long Team for his fifth-place performance in the kilometer time trial (1:02.957). Adham Sbeih (Granite Bay, Calif.) recorded a fourth place in the men's 4,000 individual pursuit with a time of 4.32.471. Sbeih, who won the U.S. Cycling Federation (USCF) national individual time trial championship (road cycling) in May, also finished second in the individual pursuit at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Track Cycling in Frisco, Texas in April.
The final addition is Megan Troxell (Menlo Park, Calif.) who finished third in the women's points race, also placing fifth in the women's 3,000 m individual pursuit
The U.S. Olympic cycling team will be announced on the following dates; July 7 - men and women's track cycling; July 14 - men and women's mountain bike; July 19 - women's road cycling; August 1 - men's road cycling.
2000 Olympic Long Team (as of June 26, 2000)
Road (four medal events)
Lance Armstrong, Road Race, Individual Time Trial
Mountain Biking (two medal events)
Travis Brown, Cross-country
Track (12 medal events)
Marcelo Arrue, Match Sprint, Keirin, Olympic Sprint
No home coming for Møller
By Tomas Nilsson, cyclingnews.com correspondent
Dane Claus Michael Møller will stay another year on the Portuguese team Maia. He recently won the national stage race, Sport Noticias in Portugal but didn't start in the Danish Championships due to illness. Thus ended an affair that had made the Danish Sports Federation, the governing body for all sports in Denmark, change its rules just days before the championships.
Møller was caught in a doping control last year and was subsequently banned by the Danish Cycling Union in accordance with the rules for all Danish sports. But the UCI rules denoted a shorter sentence, so the Danish Cycling Union was caught between its international organisation (UCI) and its national all-sports organisation. The Solomonic solution was to exclude Møller from all national racing in Denmark for the longer period, ending August 5, but allow him to race internationally after the lifting of UCI's ban in April.
However, since the national championships are on the international calendar, Møller must be allowed to race with the Danish Cycling Union. On the other hand, the Danish Sports Federation (they issue the medals) decided days before the race not to issue any Danish Championship medals should Møller win the race. The rule was changed so it was explicitly written that people banned on doping charges couldn't be Danish Champions.
Now some bacteria solved the crisis but Møller will be back on Danish roads after the ban is lifted also in Denmark, in August. "The Portuguese season ends early so I intend to go home to race in national races in the fall", said Møller to the news paper BT. The Tour of Portugal is his main goal for the season and he has so far been one of the most successful riders in the Portuguese peloton.
Horsens to ride Tour of Denmark
The Danish division three team Cycling Horsens will ride the Tour of Denmark in a mixed team with two riders from the Dutch Axa squad.
Museeuw wants Sørensen to Domo
The new Belgian team Domo has shown interest in the Danish veteran classics rider Rolf Sørensen who leaves Rabobank after this season, according to Danish news paper BT. "Domo could be an attractive team in terms of sports as well as economy. I have spoken to Johan Museeuw and he is very interested in having me on. The team focusses on the spring classics so they can use a rider like me," said Sørensen to BT.
Danish Memorycard is still in the picture though for Sørensen. "We had planned to have some talks during the Tour but since I'm not on we might as well have the conversation this week", says Sørensen who is a bit disappointed with Rabobank.
"Obviously the decision to leave me out of the Tour was taken a long time ago and I think that I should have been told. A comfort is that the Vuelta will go a week earlier than usual so it will fit even better as a preparation for the Olympics. But after all it was the Tour I had prepared for," said the silver medallist from Atlanta.
Another Sørensen for Sydney
The Danish Olympic squad was presented Monday. Team Fakta's Nicki Sørensen will be the fifth rider on the team that also holds Lars Michaelsen and Frank Høj from Française des Jeux, Rolf Sørensen, Rabobank and Michael Sandstød, Memorycard, who also doubles in the time trial. His team mate in Memorycard, Michael Blaudzun, will be reserve.
National coach Jørgen Marcussen needed an extra nights thinking after the Danish Championships before he could make up his mind: "Lars Michaelsen wouldn't have been on if the race had been within ten days, he is not in top form right now. But the Olympics are in September and he is hard to go by, especially on a medium tough circuit like the one in Sydney."
The choice between Nicki Sørensen and Michael Blaudzun was difficult: "Nicki was more visible than Michael in the championship but on the other hand his team was not as good as Blaudzun's so maybe he just had to work more."
Nicolaj Bo Larsen, Jesper Skibby, Mikael Kyneb and Jacob Piil were also above the 200 UCI points level that Marcussen had put up as a qualification limit. Larsen is excluded from the national team due to his high haematocrit level at the Tour of Flanders, Skibby doesn't want to go, Piil will ride the Madison with Jimmi Madsen and Kyneb is simply not good enough for the time being.