News for October 22, 2000

Zabel stays on top

Erik Zabel
Photo: © AFP

Despite abandoning just 20 kilometres into the last World Cup race of the season, the Giro di Lombardia, Telekom's Erik Zabel has finished on top of the World Cup standings for 2000. In the end, he had a 62 point buffer to last year's winner, Andrei Tchmil, who could only manage 17th in the tough, hilly classic. Zabel laid the base for his success in the important early part of the season, winning Milan-San Remo and the Amstel Gold Race, and placing 4th in the Ronde Van Vlaanderen and 3rd in Paris-Roubaix. A fourth place in HEW Cyclassics in August gave him enough points to make life very tough for Tchmil, who has also had another consistent year.

Zabel (30) has been pro since 1992, riding with his current team Telekom since 1993. He has won 97 races and is currently ranked 3rd on the UCI classification. His 2000 season started in January, when he won a stage of the Tour Down Under in Australia. This paved the way for a very impressive early classics season, followed by yet another Tour de France green jersey win. He has lost some form recently (as most do), overtaken by end of season tiredness and illness.

His victory list this season puts him at the top of the professionals, with 17 UCI classed races to his credit.

Brief Bio

Born: July 7, 1970 in Berlin
Height: 1.76 m; Weight: 69 kg
Lives: Unna, near Dortmund, Germany
Married to Cordula with one son, Rik
Professional since: 1992
Teams: Fröndenberg (1992), Telekom (1993-2000)

Major wins:


1 stage, Tirreno-Adriatico (one stage win)


Classic Haribo
3 stages, Vuelta a Aragon
4 stages, Tour de l'Avenir
1st, Paris-Tours


1 stage, Tirreno-Adriatico
1 stage, Vuelta a Aragon
2 stages, Quatre Jours de Dunkerque
2 stages, Tour de Suisse
2 stages, Tour de France
Six Days Munich (with Etienne De Wilde)


1 stage, Vuelta a Andalucia/Ruta del Sol
3 stages, Setmana Catalana
Hannover-Berlin 'Airportrace'
1 stage Quatre Jours de Dunkerque
1 Rund um Köln
1 stage Tour de Luxembourg
2 stages Tour de France
1 stage Ronde van Nederland
Six Days Dortmund (with Rolf Aldag)


1st, G.P. Palma (Vuelta a Mallorca)
1st overall, Vuelta a Andalucia/Ruta del Sol (+ stage)
1st, Trofeo Luis Puig
1 stage Vuelta a la Comunidad Valenciana
1st, Milano-San Remo
1st, Scheldeprijs
2 stages, Bayern Rundfahrt
1 stage, Tour de Luxembourg
1 stage, Tour de Suisse
3 stages, Tour de France
1 stage, Ronde van Nederland


G.P. Palma (Vuelta a Mallorca)
1 stage, Vuelta a la Comunidad Valenciana
3 stages, Tirreno-Adriatico
1st, Milano-San Remo
2 stages, Vuelta a Aragon
2 stages, Bayern Rundfahrt
1 stage, Tour de Luxembourg
1 stage, Route du Sud
1st, German Road Championship


2 stages Tour Down Under
1 stage Vuelta a la Comunidad Valenciana
1 stage Vuelta a Aragon
1st, Rund um den Henninger Turm
2 stages, Bayern Rundfahrt
1 stage, Deutschland Rundfahrt
2 stages Volta a Catalunya


1 stage, Tour Down Under
1 stage, Vuelta a Andalucia/Ruta del Sol
1st, Trofeo Luis Puig
1 stage, Vuelta a la Comunidad Valenciana
1 stage, Tirreno-Adriatico
1st, Milano-San Remo
2 stages, Setmana Catalana
1st, Amstel Gold Race
1 stage, Bayern Rundfahrt
3 stages, Deutschland Tour
2 stages, Volta a Catalunya
1 stage, Tour de France
1st overall, World Cup

Jalabert and MemoryCard: Win-win

It has taken longer than he thought, but Frenchman Laurent Jalabert finally signed a contract with a division I team. The winner of 130 races announced in July that he was leaving Spanish team ONCE after nine successful years with them. With only a few years left in his career, it was certainly harder to find a team that would pick him up - for the right price and working conditions.

Jalabert lives in Geneva, Switzerland but has said that he would like to ride in more French races towards the end of his career. Naturally this would be easiest with a French team, but the two main candidates, Francaise des Jeux and Bonjour didn't have the necessary funds - Jalabert was asking for FRF 8 million ($US 1 million) Net, and an addtional FRF 1 million ($US 125,000) Net for his brother Nicolas. The taxation in France would have crippled these two teams, leaving Jalabert with fewer options.

His former team director, Manolo Saiz told him during the World's that there was still a place for him in the team, but by then things were already well under way with Bjarne Riis and his recently sponsor-enhanced CSC/Memorycard team. They had the cash, and were willing to accept Jalabert's conditions knowing that it would save their first division status and make a start in next year's Tour de France far more likely.

MemoryCard first contacted Jalabert at the Olympic Games in Sydney via Johnny Weltz, a former ONCE colleague. From there, things progressed very rapidly and Bjarne Riis made the trip to Plouay to confirm his signature. Interestingly, Riis and Jalabert were not the closest of people during the 1998 Tour de France, when Riis appointed himself as the peloton's spokesman. Riis' speech with Jean-Marie Leblanc during a protest stage in the Alps did not impress Jalabert at all. Jalabert had not spoken to Riis since then, but it seems at they are willing to work together now.

Jalabert will look to competing in the Tour de Mediterranean, Tour de Haut Var, Paris-Nice, Milan-San Remo, and the Ronde Van Vlaanderen, with Paris-Roubaix another option. He will have the full support of the team including the experienced Rolf Sörensen, domestique Arvis Piziks, and several renewals including Bjarke Nielsen, who decided against going to Fakta.

Vainsteins definite

Patrick Lefevere received the documents to authorise Domo's buyout of Romans Vainsteins, who today rode in the Giro di Lombardia in his Vini Caldirola Rainbow Stripes in one of his few appearances in it. So Romans Vainsteins can now officially start for Domo next season.

More Frites for Lindberg

Madeleine Lindberg
Photo: © AFP

By Tomas Nilsson, correspondent

World's bronze medallist Madeleine Lindberg has signed for one more year with Farm Frites-Hartol. Nationally she will switch from Borlänge CK to team Mälarenergi with its head quarters in her home town Västerĺs. Apart from the bronze medal, she has also won the Ronde van Drenthe, a stage in the Tour of Holland as well as the Swedish Championships.

Czech World's team


Ondrej Sosenka (PSK Unit Expert) Individual Pursuit
Milan Kadlec (Mobilvetta Design-Rossin) Points Race, Team Pursuit
Martin Polak (Dukla Brno) 1km, Olympic Sprint
Pavel Buran (Dukla Brno) Sprint, Kerin, Olympic Sprint
Ivan Vrba (Dukla Brno) Sprint, Kerin, Olympic Sprint
Hromadka - Olympic Sprint (subst)
Kaòkovský (Dukla Praha) Team Pursuit
Hlaváè (Dukla Praha) Team Pursuit
Bláha (Favorit Brno) Team Pursuit
Kozubek (Dukla Praha) Team Pursuit


Lada Kozlikova (Rostex-Quantum Vyskov) Individual Pursuit, Points Race

Courtesy of Tom Svoboda

Donati names

Outspoken anti-doping expert and member of the Italian Olympic Committee, Sandro Donati, has told an anti-doping conference in Köln that 22 of Italian top sportsmen used EPO in the beginning of the 1990's. The group of 22 included Maurizio Fondriest and Claudio Chiappucci as well as the Olympic long distance Nordic skiers, Manuela di Centa and Maurizio de Zolt. Di Centa became an IOC member last year.

Donati based his statements on documents obtained from 1990-1993, which are being used in the investigation of Professor Conconi, who is being accused of doping athletes.

Bassons doesn't just blame the riders

French cyclist and anti-doping campaginer, Christophe Bassons, has given his view on French radio on the upcoming Festina trial. Speaking to radio RMC, Bassons said that the Festina affair in 1998 encompassed far more than just Bruno Roussel, Willy Voet and the riders involved.

Bassons cited the whole system as being at fault, and criticised the weak sanctions in place for riders who were found guilty. "You can have techniques to control things, but there are not severe punishments," he said.

"Before Festina, liberties were much greater. Now there is fear. The riders did not understand that it was bad for their health, but they understood that it was dangerous with respect to the law."

Keil out of the action

The French judge who presided over the Festina affair in 1998, Patrick Keil, will not be overseeing proceedings on Monday, October 23 when the case resumes in Lille. He was just 35 when he was handed the case by chance in July, 1998, starting the biggest doping scandal to ever hit cycling. At the time, he was renowned for his hard line questioning that resulted in the imprisonment of several people involved in the case.

Ironically, some have made a handsome profit by writing and selling their stories. Willy Voet's "Massacre ŕ la Chaîne" (Calmann-Lévy) sold 100,000 copies by early 1999 and probably would sell significantly more if there was an English version available. Voet's second book, "Sexe, Mensonges et Petits Vélos" (Sex, lies and small bicycles) was not quite up to the same level, although it did sell well in Belgium. Richard Virenque put out "Ma Vérité" (My Truth) last year, in which he explained his involvement in the business.

Virenque is the only cyclist that has been called back to the court, as he was considered the "Moral leader" of the Festina team, and was one of the few that pleaded not guilty. He and nine others will face a different judge on Monday, as Keil has now changed his career focus to deal with economic and financial affairs, tax, customs and road traffic law.

Escalada a Montjuich

The traditional Spanish season closer is the Escalada a Montjuich, in its 37th year this year. The race is divided into two parts - a 24.3 km road race with three climbs, finishing at the top of Barcelona's famous Montjuich; followed by an 8.7 km time trial with an identical finish. The winner is the rider with the lowest combined time.

The race has a prestigious winners' list, including Federico Bahamontes, Raymond Poulidor, Eddy Merckx (6 time winner), Michel Pollentier, Marino Lejarreta, Claude Criquielion, Vicente Belda, Alex Zulle, Tony Rominger, Claudio Chiapucci, and Laurent Jalabert. Last year's winner, Andrei Zintchenko will not start, but second placed Melchior Mauri (Benfica) and two time winner, Fabian Jeker (Festina) will.

If Roberto Heras was in his Vuelta winning form, then he could be considered the favourite, but the Kelme rider has not been racing a great deal in serious competition for a month. Former world champion, Oscar Freire will be racing, as will probable Kelme new recruit, Eladio Jiménez (Banesto). Others to look for include Manuel Beltrán (Mapei), Carlos Sastre (ONCE), Jose Luis Rubiera (Kelme) and Santos González (ONCE).

Start list

1 Roberto Heras (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
2 Oscar Freire (Spa) Mapei-Quick Step
3 Santiago Blanco (Spa) Vitalicio-Seguros
4 Eladio Jiménez (Spa) Banesto
5 Santos González (Spa) ONCE-Deutsche Bank
6 Melcior Mauri (Spa) Benfica
7 Fabian Jeker (Swi) Festina
8 Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Relax-Fuenlabrada
9 Pavel Tonkov (Rus) Mapei-Quick Step
10 Jose Luis Rubiera (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
11 Fabio Roscioli (Ita) Jazztel-Costa Almería
12 Alberto Martínez (Spa) Euskatel-Euskadi
13 Juan Carlos Vicario (Spa) Vitalicio Seguros
14 Jon Odriozola (Spa) Banesto
15 Carlos Sastre (Spa) ONCE-Deutsche Bank
16 Félix García Casas (Spa) Festina
17 Martín Garrido (Arg) Relax-Fuenlabrada
18 Manuel Beltrán (Spa) Mapei-Quick Step
19 Angel Edo (Spa) Maia/MSS
20 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) Kelme Costa Blanca
21 Carlos Torrent (Spa) Jazztel-Costa Almería
22 Iker Flores (Spa) Euskatel-Euskadi
23 Francisco Javier Cerezo (Spa) Vitalicio Seguros
24 José Luis Arrieta (Spa) Banesto
25 Xavier Florencio (Spa) ONCE-Deutsche Bank
26 Jaime Hernández (Spa) Festina
27 José M. Vásquez (Spa) Relax-Fuenlabrada
28 Josu Sillóniz (Spa) Euskatel-Euskadi
29 Eleuterio Anguita (Spa) Jazztel-Costa Almería
30 Ramón Medina (Spa) Vitalicio Seguros

Former stars to grace Spanish crits

The end of year Spanish criterium season is in full swing at the moment, giving professional riders a chance to earn some money on the side by racing in a more "relaxed" fashion. The criteriums usually consist of several events, similar to track racing, with an overall winner being decided at the end. Points and elimination races are common, as are team pursuits - all raced on a road circuit rather than a track. Other novelty events also feature.

The 11th edition of the Criterium Internacional de Ciclismo de la Comunidad Valenciana-Gran Premio CAM (October 29) will see former professional Claudio Chiapucci and skater Sheila Herrero come up against each other in a "duel". Chiapucci will start from a standstill on his bike, while Herrero will be given a flying start. The race will be held over one lap of the course. Chiapucci bade farewell to professional cycling one year ago in this race.