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News for October 27, 2000

Tour de France 2001

The complete route for the 2001 Tour de France was unveiled yesterday in Paris by the Societe du Tour de France, directed by Jean-Marie Leblanc. The 88th edition of the 20 stage race breaks with a few traditions next year, especially the final week where it avoids the flat stages on the East Coast, choosing instead to go through the Corrèze region in central France.

The entire route is the third shortest in history at 3,462 kilometres, but still averages 173 kilometres a day, including all time trials (205 km/day without). Leblanc has certainly not followed in the footsteps of the Vuelta 2000 which was under 3,000 kilometres, but was still considered to be sufficiently hard.

There will only be one Apline stage (along with a mountain time trial), but three Pyreneean stages next year, meaning that the race will have five mountain top finishes. The two rest days are scheduled around the mountain stages, as opposed to "transition stages" being used.

Although Leblanc had considered the idea of 22 teams of 8 riders, he has stuck with 20 teams of 9 riders in 2001. The first sixteen will be announced around mid-January, with the final four to be decided 30 days before the start of the race. At the moment, US Postal, Kelme, and Mapei are automatically qualified according to his criteria.

Complete stage list and summary

Boardman's hour

Chris Boardman will, for the last time in his career, attempt to break the World Hour Record today in Manchester (1545 UK time/1445 GMT). Boardman, who holds the current absolute record of 56.375 kilometres, will make the attempt on a 'standard' bike in accordance to UCI rules. A steel, triangular frame, with (unbladed) spoked wheels of identical size, drop handlebars and no aero helmet, will be used to try and beat Eddy Merckx's 49.431 kilometres set in Mexico City in 1972.

Merckx himself considers the rule change to be ridiculous, and has repeatedly said so. Yesterday he told French daily, L'Equipe the same, but adding "For me, all the riders who beat the one-hour world record have the same merit, the more so as I have always refused to compare between different periods."

"Some say equipment has had too much influence over performances in recent years but can you imagine a pole vault specialist being asked to drop his fibreglass pole for a bamboo one?," he said.

Boardman is aiming to become the "dual World Hour Record holder" and will be the first male to tackle the record under the new UCI rules. Just over one week ago, Anna Wilson became the first rider to do so, after she set a mark of 43.501 kilometres in Melbourne's Vodafone Arena.

So far, things look good for Boardman, as he has carried out two 30 minute tests on the Manchester velodrome at 50 km/h and 49.6 km/h. His schedule is for 49.6 kilometres.

Successful or not, Boardman will finish a career that has been full of highlights, including Olympic Gold at Barcelona, two World Championships, and three Tour de France prologues. For the past two years, he has been suffering from a form of osteoporosis, a bone wasting disease, and made the decision earlier this year to retire.

History of the hour record

35.325 km: Henri Desgrange (Fra) May 11, 1893 in Paris (Buffalo)
38.220 km: Jules Dubois (Fra) October 31, 1894 in Paris (Buffalo)
39.240 km: Oscar Van den Eynde (Bel) July 30, 1897 in Paris (Vincennes)
40.781 km: Willie Hamilton (USA) July 9, 1898 in Denver (USA)
41.110 km: Lucien Petit-Breton (Fra) August 24, 1905 in Paris (Buffalo)
41.520 km: Marcel Berthet (Fra) June 20, 1907 in Paris (Buffalo)
42.360 km: Oscar Egg (Swi) August 22, 1912 in Paris (Buffalo)
42.741 km: Marcel Berthet (Fra) August 7, 1913 in Paris (Buffalo)
43.525 km: Oscar Egg (Swi) August 21, 1913 in Paris (Buffalo)
43.775 km: Marcel Berthet (Fra) September 20, 1913 in Paris (Buffalo)
44.247 km: Oscar Egg (Swi) June 18, 1914 in Paris (Buffalo)
44.588 km: Jan Van Hout (Ned) August 25, 1933 in Roermond
44.777 km: Maurice Richard (Fra) August 29, 1933 in Saint-Trond
45.067 km: Giuseppe Olmo (Ita) October 31, 1935 in Milan
45.375 km: Maurice Richard (Fra), October 14, 1936 in Milan
45.535 km: Frans Slaats (Ned), September 29, 1937 in Milan
45.817 km: Maurice Archambaud (Fra), November 3, 1937 in Milan
45.848 km: Fausto Coppi (Ita), November 7, 1942 in Milan
46.159 km: Jacques Anquetil (Fra), June 29, 1956 in Milan
46.393 km: Ercole Baldini (Ita), September 19, 1956 in Milan
46.923 km: Roger Rivière (Fra), September 18, 1957 in Milan
47.346 km: Roger Rivière (Fra), September 23, 1958 in Milan
48.093 km: Ferdinand Bracke (Bel), October 30, 1967 in Rome
48.653 km: Ole Ritter (Den), October 10, 1968 in Mexico City
49.431 km: Eddy Merckx (Bel), October 25, 1972 in Mexico City
50.808 km: Francesco Moser (Ita), January 19, 1984 in Mexico City
51.151 km: Francesco Moser (Ita), January 23, 1984 in Mexico City
51.596 km: Graeme Obree (GBr) July 17, 1993 in Hamar
52.270 km: Chris Boardman (GBr) July 23, 1993 in Bordeaux
52.713 km: Graeme Obree (GBr) April 27, 1994 in Bordeaux
53.040 km: Miguel Indurain (Spa) October 2, 1994 in Bordeaux
53.832 km: Tony Rominger (Swi) October 22, 1994 in Bordeaux
55.291 km: Tony Rominger (Swi) November 5, 1994 in Bordeaux
56.375 km: Chris Boardman (GBr) September 6, 1996 in Manchester

McGrory to contest points race

Olympic champion, Scott McGrory, will fly the flag for Australia this weekend at the World Track Cycling Championships in Manchester, England in a bid to add a world title crown to his Olympic gold medal. Last month, 30 year old McGrory teamed with Brett Aitken to win gold in Sydney in the debut Madison event, thrilling the crowd with a spectacular display of tactics and sprinting talent. However, the two did not opt to combine again in Manchester yesterday for the double.

Since the Olympics, things have been "hectic" according to McGrory, who also added his name to the "Just Married" cyclists list this month when he wedded fiancée Donna. Most of Australia's other Olympic track cyclists have finished their program for the year, but McGrory had been considering riding the points race in Manchester.

"The Olympic gold and the impact of that has made it very difficult for me to organize enough time for the specific training required for the points race but at the same time it's been very easy to stay mentally focussed because I've always wanted to be the World Points Champion," said McGrory from Manchester.

His wife Donna has been "really helpful in restoring some sense of normality and keeping me on track," he added.

A week after the World's, McGrory will head straight to the European winter Six-Day circuit, where he is one of the top ranked riders.

Festina: Day 4 - More allegations

Click for larger image
Thomas Davy
Photo: © AFP

There were further allegations today in Lille about systematic drug programs in top teams, as the Festina trial continued into its fourth day. Former Banesto rider, Thomas Davy told Judge Daniel Delegove that the Castorama, Banesto, Telekom and La Francaise des Jeux teams had also "done the job" (doped) at some point in time.

Castorama were widely known to be using corticosteriods, according to Davy who said that "understatement was the rule," when speaking about doping.

Davy said that during his time at Banesto in the mid-90's, it was quite possible to obtain EPO from the team doctor. "A system of medically assisted doping existed," he said.

When asked if five time Tour de France winner, Miguel Indurain used EPO as well, Davy replied: "I don't know. I didn't go into every room, but I think he did."

He added that Belgian soigneur Jef D'Hondt was providing the EPO when he was with La Française des Jeux in 1997. "I know for sure I got the EPO from Jef."

Erwan Menthéour, another former professional (and book writer) said that during his time at La Francaise des Jeux in 1997, his director Marc Madiot simply didn't want to know whether his riders were doping. "Madiot said 'If you test positive, I am not there'," claimed Menthéour.

He too criticised former FdJ soigneur Jef D'Hont ("Mr Dopor"), who is also on trial. "If Marc Madiot hired him for Francaise des Jeux, it was not for his qualities as a masseur, but for his competence in doping matters. That's what he was there for - Madiot is much too intelligent. He did not want to take responsibility for doping," said Menthéour.

"Doping is everywhere...In my whole career, I only came across a couple of riders who were not taking anything," said Menthéour who took drugs himself for a time. He also said that Festina were not among the worst teams in the peloton taking drugs, "A lot of riders wanted to go to Festina because their policy was not as extreme," he added.

Judge Delegove is trying to ascertain how widespread doping was in the peloton at that time, to determine whether Festina was a special case or not. "If the system was widespread, it tones down their responsibility," he said.

Finally, Menthéour attacked the UCI for their "hypocrisy in fixing a hematocrit level of 50%, allowing riders who are at 38% to take EPO to boost their value to 45% without having to worry, while a rider who has a natural level of 45% can take nothing for fear of testing positive."

UCI consultant, Mr Philippe Verbiest responded quickly that there was no threshold and that the taking of EPO was strictly prohibited, but not yet sufficiently controllable.

UCI president Hein Verbruggen and FFC president, Daniel Baal will be called for questioning next Monday and Tuesday.

Dangerous mix

French Pharmacists Pepin and Devaux were witnesses on day 4 of the trial, and they were impressed with how much doping there was in the Festina team. Pepin (head of the lab in Paris which investigated blood, urine and hair sampleds of the 1998 Tour) commented that "They were living dangerously with the mixes they made."

Later Richard Virenque said, "I will see that in the future years."

Nothstein awarded

Olympic champion in the match sprint, Marty Nothstein was honoured last night at the 25th anniversary of the MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Dinner of Champions held in the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton New York Towers. Others who were similarly honoured included gold medal winners Bonnie Blair, Lenny Krayzelburg, Brooke Bennet, Tara Nott, and Eric Bergoust. The MS fund-raiser also awarded 17-year-old Michael Reiss, who raised an MS record $86,000.

Nothstein described himself as "honoured at being a part of this special cause. I'm proud to be associated with this incredible group of people who are trying to raise money for this devastating disease."

He is continuing his "gold medal tour" with an appearance to welcome and award cyclists at the New Jersey Special Olympics this Sunday in Princeton, NJ. "It's been pretty hectic these last few weeks with all the appearances," he said. "But, I truly love doing these events as well as showing off the Gold Medal. I especially love the faces of the children when they hold the medal. Hopefully, I'm inspiring some future Marty Nothstein," he added.

Japan Cup 2000

The second last UCI ranked one day road race of this season is the Japan Cup, held this Sunday, October 29. This year it is ranked 1.3, and will see six invited European teams compete alongside eleven Japanese teams for a total of 85 competitors. Notable riders include Sergio Barbero, Marco Serpellini and Gabriele Missaglia (Lampre), Stefano Garzelli (Mercatone Uno), Andrei Tchmil (Lotto), Jo Planckaert (Cofidis), as well as five man teams from Farm Frites and Ag2r-Prevoyance.

The 151.3 km race will start at 10:00am on the Forest Park Circuit course, Utsunomiya City, and will proceed for 10 x 14.1 laps, followed by one 10.3 kilometre lap. In addition to the usual finishing prizes, there will be special primes awarded to the first to the top of the mountain summit on each of the 3rd, 6th and 9th laps.

Partial start list

LAMPRE-DAIKIN

Sergio Barbero (Ita)
Marco Serpellini (Ita)
Gabriele Missaglia (Ita)
Massimo Codol (Ita)
Marco Pinotti (Ita)

MERCATONE UNO-ALBACOM

Stefano Garzelli (Ita)
Marco Velo (Ita)
Oscar Mason (Ita)
Massimo Cigana (Ita)
Massimo Podenzana (Ita)

LOTTO-ADECCO

Andrei Tchmil (Bel)
Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel)
Sebastien Demarbaix  (Bel)
Fabien De Waele (Bel)
Christophe Detilloux (Bel)

COFIDIS

Peter Farazijn (Bel)
Jo Planckaert (Bel)
Thierry Loder (Fra)
Angelo Lopeboselli (Ita)
Claude Lamour (Fra)

FARM FRITES

Steven Kleynen (Bel)
Martin Van Steen (Ned)
Justin Spinelli (USA)
Nico Ruyloft (Bel)
Dirk Ronellenfitsch (Ger)

AG2R PREVOYANCE

Benoit Salmon (Fra)
Laurent Estadieu (Fra)
David Delrieu (Fra)
Philippe Bordenave (Fra)
Alexandre Grux (Fra)

Japanese Teams:

JPCA
JPCU Tochigi Medalist
Shimano Racing Team
Miyata-SUBARU Racing Team
Team Bridgestone-Anchor
Sumita-Ravanello-Pearl Izumi
Kinan-Maruishi
Aisan Racing Team
RT Nippon Hodo
YCST
Cheblo-Artnature

Final US NRC Rankings

Gord Fraser of Mercury and Autotrader.com's Tina Mayolo clearly finished on top of the USA's National Series Rankings for 2000. Fraser, who won three of the BMC Software Grand Prix races, collected 1,321 points on this year's NRC schedule which inlcluded over 50 races. He also won the Wendy's International Cycling Classic, Xcelerate Twilight and Tour de Toona. This is the third year that Fraser has won the men's title.

His Mercury teammate Henk Vogels (Australia) finished second on 1,029 points, closely followed by Shaklee's John Lieswyn with 1,022 points. The top 10 also featured Olympians Antonio Cruz (Saturn, 6th), Eric Wohlberg (Shaklee, 8th) and Fred Rodriguez (Mapei, 9th).

In the women's individual rankings, Tina Mayolo-Pic (Autotrader.com) led the way with 1,571 points to beat World number 1, Diana Ziliute (Acca Due O) by nearly 500 points. Saturn's Anna Wilson came third with 1026 points. Mayolo-Pic (20th in the 1999 NRC rankings) won the Tour of Somerville, BMC Software Tour of Arlington, Bear Mountain (N.Y.) Road Race, Michelin Classic and Sunshine Cycling Classic.

The top 10 in the women's individual rankings featured seven Olympians: Anna Wilson (Saturn, 3rd), Sarah Ulmer (Elita, 5th), Jeannie Longo (Vitall/Office Depo, 6th), Petra Rossner (Saturn, 7th), Mari Holden (Timex, 8th) and Lyne Bessette (Saturn, 9th).

Triple NRC teams winner, Mercury won the men's team points score with 4,228 points, breaking the record they set in 1999 with 3,059 points. Shaklee finished second on 2,922, followed by Saturn on 2,744 points. Overall, Mercury had three of the top four in the standings (Fraser, Vogels, Scott Moninger, 4th)

In the women's team rankings, Saturn edged out Autotrader.com to win its second successive NRC women's team crown. Rounding out the top five women's teams were Charles Schwab, Elita and Timex.

Final rankings, October 26, 2000

Men's individual:

1 Gord Fraser (Can) Mercury                             1,321 pts
2 Henk Vogels (Aus) Mercury                             1,029
3 John Lieswyn (USA) Shaklee                            1,022
4 Scott Moninger (USA) Mercury                            860
5 Trent Klasna (USA) Saturn                               818
6 Antonio Cruz (USA) Saturn                               801
7 Eddy Gragus (USA) Jelly Belly                           732
8 Eric Wohlberg (Can) Shaklee                             698
9 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Mapei Quick Step                   660
10 Vasily Davidenko (Rus) Navigators                      644
11 Chris Horner (USA) Mercury                             576
12 Clark Sheehan (USA) 7Up-Colorado Cyclist               463
13 Derek Bouchard-Hall (USA) Mercury                      442
14 Graeme Miller (NZl) Shaklee                            438
15 Mark McCormack (USA) Saturn                            407
16 Harm Jansen (Ned) Saturn                               401
17 George Hincapie (USA) U.S. Postal Service              388
18 Dave McCook (USA) Shaklee                              361
19 Shawn McCormack (USA) CCB Volkswagen                   346
20 Adham Sbeih (USA) Navigators                           345

Women's individual:

1 Tina Mayolo-Pic (USA) autotrader.com                  1,571 pts
2 Diana Ziliute (Ltu) Acca Due O-Lorena/HP LF           1,090
3 Anna Wilson (Aus) Saturn                              1,026
4 Nicole Reinhart (USA) Saturn                          1,025
5 Sarah Ulmer (NZl) Elita                                 882
6 Jeannie Longo (FRa) Vitall/Office Depot                 811
7 Petra Rossner (Ger) Saturn                              798
8 Mari Holden (USA) Timex/U.S. National                   790
9 Lyne Bessette (Can) Saturn                              752
10 Pam Schuster (USA) autotrader.com                      742
11 Julie Young (USA) autotrader.com                       681
12 Laura Van Gilder (USA) Charles Schwab                  662
13 Katrina Berger (USA) Charles Schwab                    563
14 Kimberly Bruckner (USA) autotrader.com                 511
15 Karen Dunne (USA) Elita                                511
16 Karen Kurreck (USA) Alto Velo                          500
17 Catherine Cardwell (USA) Charles Schwab                466
18 Dede Demet Barry (USA) Saturn                          465
19 Nicole Freedman (USA) Charles Schwab/U.S. National     423
20 Tracey Gaudry (Aus) Timex                              408

Men's teams:

1 Mercury                                               4,228 pts
2 Shaklee                                               2,922
3 Saturn                                                2,714
4 Navigators                                            1,740
5 7-Up/Colorado Cyclist                                 1,269
6 Jelly Belly                                           1,181
7 U.S. Postal Service                                     951
8 Mapei-Quick Step                                        720
9 MROZ-Supradyn                                           705
10 Memory Card-Jack&Jones                                 662

Women's teams:

1 Saturn                                                4,132 pts
2 autotrader.com                                        4,092
3 Charles Schwab                                        2,427
4 Elita                                                 1,948
5 Timex                                                 1,667
6 HP Lithuania/France                                   1,235
7 Great Britain Natl Team                                 866
8 German National Team                                    816
9 Procter & Gamble                                        674
10 Office Depot                                           638