Held over 227 kilometres tomorrow is the 21st edition of Clasica San Sebastian, marking the resumption of World Cup hostilities after the Amstel Gold Race in April. In the absence of favourites Lance Armstrong and Jan Ullrich, the race is open for another Italian victory perhaps. Double winner Francesco Casagrande will be there, as will Michele Bartoli, who showed signs of form mid-week by winning the GP Camaiore. 1997 winner Davide Rebellin can also not be ruled out, although he has not raced a lot during July.
The Basque orange people, Euskaltel-Euskadi, will be keen for a victory as they are competing on home turf. David Etxebarria and Iban Mayo are probably the two favourites in this team.
Others to watch for include CSC's Laurent Jalabert, who has ridden in nine post-Tour criteriums, and of course last year's winner Erik Dekker, who is the leader in the World Cup standings at the moment and chose not to earn extra cash by riding the criteriums.
If it comes down to a mass sprint, then Latvia World Champion Romans Vainsteins (Domo) will be a threat, or perhaps Rik Verbrugghe (Lotto) for a late breakaway.
Catch all the action of San Sebastian as it unfolds on Cyclingnews, with live coverage from 15:00 CEST.
Full preview and start list
It's official that Lance Armstrong will not be competing in the Vuelta a España this year, confirming the speculation published recently. Directeur sportif Johan Bruyneel said that Armstrong would miss both the Vuelta and the Clasica San Sebastian (tomorrow) to "fatigue" after a series of post-Tour appointments and receptions back home in the USA.
His return to the peloton has been put off until the Vuelta a Burgos (August 20-24), followed by the Championship of Zurich (August 26), Ronde van Nederland (August 28-September 1) and the San Francisco GP (September 9). Note: This last event is in part organised and promoted by Thom Weisel, who has been closely involved with Armstrong throughout his career. It will also be Armstrong's last race for 2001.
Marco Pantani (Mercatone Uno) also will not race in San Sebastian.
The recently fired assistant directeur sportif of the Mercury team, Alain Gallopin, said today that he would not accept the conditions of his dismissal. "I think I was laid off without any reason, in an abusive manner and without any respect for the appropriate procedures in France. I have given my dossier in the hands of a lawyer," he stated.
Gallopin was sacked on Wednesday "as a result of his violation of long-standing team policy and procedures," according to the Mercury statement. "Various actions undertaken by Gallopin have been in direct conflict with specific directives mandated by senior team management."
Gallopin has been openly critical of the Mercury team's financial problems in recent weeks, especially the solution employed to take the team through to the end of the 2001 season.
A current and a former associate of the Festina team will be directing their energies into managing the floundering German division I Team Coast next season. Marcel Wüst, who was unfortunate enough to end his career as a result of a crash in a French criterium last year, and current Festina director Juan Fernandez, will both move to Team Coast.
34 year old Wüst will sign a contract next week to manage the team until 2004, beginning his role on January 1, 2002. Fernandez (44) will act as an assistant manager to Wüst, and he will have the opportunity to work again with Fernando Escartin, who was a member of Clas and Mapei while Fernandez was there.
Triple Olympic gold medallist Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel will travel to the Manchester velodrome between August 20-23 for tests on the track, as part of her World Hour Record preparation. She intends on going for the record on September 12 on the same track, and will try to beat Jeannie Longo's 45.094 kilometres, set last year in New Mexico at altitude. Leontien will start in the women's Ronde van Nederland on September 2, but will not finish it, riding a maximum of three days.
Mercury's Peter Van Petegem says that he will ride for "a completely different team" next year, but will not say any more than that according to reports in the Belgian press. There were no comments on team politics in relation to the Gallopin sacking, and about stand-in DS, Eddy Borysewicz, he commented: "I have seen him once, yes."
Van Petegem is reportedly in negotiations with CSC-Tiscali, Gerolsteiner and Phonak for the future.
Euskaltel-Euskadi's Iñigo Chaurreau will ride for Vincent Lavenu's Ag2r-Prevoyance team for the next two seasons, after he was not able to reach an agreement with his current team. Chaurreau finished 12th in the 2001 Tour de France - the best of any Euskaltel rider - and received offers from several teams in recent weeks. He initially wanted to renew his contract with Euskaltel, but the Basque team could not match the offer from Ag2r.
"Ag2r made a good offer, economically as well as for sporting reasons, said Chaurreau who may also have his cousin Mikel Astarloza riding as a neo-pro with Ag2r.
Swedish rider John Nilsson, currently riding with CC Etupes in France, will ride as a stagiaire with division II St Quentin-Oktos for the last part of the season, with the Tour de l'Avenir high on the agenda. The team will also probably trial another young French rider for this race.
Courtesy of Xavier Dopiéralski
The Koninklijke Nederlandsche Wielren Unie (KNWU) has named René Kos as the national junior coach, taking over from Egon van Kessel on January 1, 2002. Van Kessel will stay as an off-road coach for the juniors.
Kos (45) was a professional racer for 9 years, mainly on the track. He won a World Stayers Championship in 1981.
Some figures released by Dutch NOS TV for minutes of sport screened in 2000 (compared with 1999) reveal that cycling was third on the list behind soccer and tennis. Note, that there were more total minutes of sport screened due to the European championships in soccer, and the Olympic Games.
2000 1999 1 Soccer 27,644 1 Tennis 20,900 2 Tennis 21,858 2 Soccer 20,503 3 Cycling 12,319 3 Cycling 9,881 4 GP Formula 1 7,211 4 GP Formula 1 6,197 5 Speed Skating 6,771 5 Speed Skating 5,626
Major Races and Events
September 7-29, 2002: Vuelta a España (GT) - Preview, stage list
May 11-June 2, 2002: Giro d'Italia (GT) - Preview, stage list, photos
July 6-28, 2002: Tour de France (GT) - Full preview & official route details
December 8: Superprestige Rd 5 (Cat. 1) - Erwin Vervecken
November 29-December 4: Six Days of Noumea (6D) - Sassone/Neuville victorious
November 26-December 1: Six Days of Zurich (6D) - Day 6 - McGrory/Gilmore/Schnider win
December 1: Melbourne Cup on Wheels (IM) - Scott Moller, Keirin, Sprint, Support races
December 2: Cyclo-cross World Cup #2 (CDM) - Sven Nijs again
November 24-December 3: Juegos Deportivos Centroamericanos (JR) - Final results
December 8-9: Frankfurter Rad-Cross (Cat. 2) - Alex Mudroch, UK National Trophy Series #4 (Cat. 3) - Roger Hammond, Grote Prijs Industrie Bosduin - Kalmthout (Cat. 1) - Bart Wellens, Int. Radquer Obergösgen (Cat. 2) - Björn Rondelez, Trofeo Mamma e Papa Guerciotti (Cat. 3) - Enrico Franzoi, Premio Egondo (Cat 3) - David Seco, Irish cyclo-cross championships - Robin Seymour
Results: local racing
Australia - CycleWest Promotions Omnium Series #2, Eastern Suburbs Summer Criterium Series, Carnegie Caulfield Tuesday criterium, Southern Cross Junior Track Open & Madison Cup, Manly Warringah CC, George Town Track Carnival, Carnegie Caulfield CC, Randwick Botany CC, Gold Coast CATS CC, Caesar's Illawarra CC, Caesar's Illawarra (track)
Denmark - Danish cyclo-cross Post Cup #3
Italy - Gran Premio Città di Bassano
Luxembourg - GP De Kopstal
New Zealand - Cyco Criterium series
Spain - Elorrio cyclo-cross
USA - Georgia Cross Series Championship, Chimborazo Grand Prix cyclo-cross, Boulder Cross Rd 6, New Mexico State Cyclo-x Champs, Sorrento Cyclo-x & California State Champ's, Boulder Cross Rd 5, Verge New England series, Northampton CC Cyclo-cross Championships, Chris Cross International CycloCross
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