News for August 25, 2001

Recent results and new features

Mapei-Quick Step for Zurich

The Mapei-Quick Step team has been decided for the Championship of Zurich that will be taking place on Sunday August 26. This will be the eighth race forming part of the World Cup.

The race will take place on a difficult circuit of 41,4 kilometres and will be repeated 6 times making a total of 248,4 kilometres. Michele Bartoli, winner of this classic Swiss race in 1998 will be taking part. Paolo Bettini and Stefano Garzelli, who were both protagonists this week in the first two Trittico Lombardo races - the Tre Valli Varesine and the Coppa Agostini will also be present. Completing the Mapei team will be Rinaldo Nocentini, Andrea Noè, Luca Paolini, Paolo Lanfranchi and Oscar Freire. Luca Paolini was one of the best racers at the recent Coppa Bernocchi. Paolo and Oscar have just returned from Spain where they have been taking part in the Vuelta a Burgos.

"The circuit is very selective but shouldn't leave room for surprises," says Mapei-Quick Step Sporting Director Serge Parsani. "I am sure that winner amongst the best racers group will be decided during the last lap. This race will also see the important return to racing by Oscar Friere; he proved that he was making a fantastic return to racing during the Vuelta a Burgos [winning the final stage]. I don't think he will be looking for an out and out result but will be using the race to refine and verify his physical conditions ready for the Vuelta Espana and the World Championships of Lisbon, races that are very important."

Saeco looking to win in Zurich

The Saeco Macchine per Caffè team will be looking to crown the five races won so far this month with another at the Championship of Zurich race on Sunday. The team, which will lead by Guido Bontempi, has a great chance in the Swiss race with 2000 edition winner Laurent Dufaux leading the squad along with Mirko Celestino, winner of Tuesday's Tre Valli Varesine race in Italy, and Salvatore Commesso, who recently won two stages at the Tour of Portugal.

Also riding are Biagio Conte, who won two stages at the Regio Tour in Germany and Paolo Savoldelli, looking for a good end of season. The other riders will be Armin Meier, Massimiliano Mori and Fabio Sacchi.

Saeco for GP Llodio and the Trofeo dello Scalatore

A Saeco team managed by Bruno Vicino will also ride the GP Llodio race tomorrow: Dario Pieri, Oscar Cavagnis, Pavel Padrnos, Marius Sabaliauskas, Francesco Secchiari, Torsten Nitsche and Justin Spinelli.

Antonio Salutini will manage the team for the Italian Trofeo dello Scalatore three day race series (28-30 Aug). Igor Pugaci, Marius Sabaliauskas, Nicola Gavazzi, Justin Spinelli and Christian Wegmann will ride there.

Anna Millward cleared of Lidocaine incident

An independent tribunal convened by the Australian Cycling Federation has cleared Anna Millward of any doping charge relating to the use of the anti-inflammatory substance Lidocaine.

The tribunal, chaired by Dr Judith Pearl, an adviser to the NSW Police Department, found that the cyclist had not gained any performance benefit from using the topical insect-bite cream called "Soov", an over-the-counter product which was actually supplied to the athlete as part of a personal medical kit from the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).

The CEO of the Australian Cycling Federation, Graham Fredericks, told Cyclingnews "the tribunal met on Wednesday and subsequently, we have advised the UCI that no disqualification be imposed. We accepted the position (of the athlete) that the positive test was due to the use of a local anaesthetic cream, which is used for the treatment of insect bites".

Fredericks has also requested that the UCI not record this incident as a first offence on the athlete's record, given that it is not a performance-enhancing substance.

At the time the positive test was announced in July, Millward told Cyclingnews that the substance was "a product called 'Soov' which is in all A.I.S. medical kits and is not be banned under Australian regulations. My main error was in not writing down that I used 'Soov' on my drug test form as if I had done that then the Lidocaine in my urine would have been explained, and it would not have registered as a positive test."

The world's number one ranked female cyclist used the substance during the Tour de l'Aude in France earlier this year to treat mosquito bites which became inflamed and in turn led to the use of a topical cream. The UCI does allow the use of certain topical creams that contain trace amounts of banned products, provided they are applied locally and are for a specific medical necessity.

In one of her recent diary entries on Cyclingnews, Millward wrote "It is definitely the worst thing imaginable for a professional athlete to record a positive test, whatever the circumstances. The ramifications are too horrible to fathom. Since the medical opinion seems to be that it is a pretty freaky thing that the Lidocaine from the cream showed up in my urine, I have requested that the B sample be tested."

The tribunal had to wait for the B sample to be tested, and Millward herself participated in the hearing by telephone, as she is currently in the USA riding for the Saturn team. Millward is also a qualified lawyer and it is understood that the AIS is embarrassed by a product it provided to an athlete resulting in a positive test.

"I think this has put the wind up them (the AIS) and blown it out the other side," said a senior source in Australia of the reaction within the AIS.

Related stories

Koerts DQ'd for "collusion"

In an uncharacteristically heavy application of the rules by the Belgian race jury, Dutch champion Jans Koerts (Mercury) has been disqualified from a kermis race in Erpe-Mere for "unlawful team formation" i.e. colluding with members of other teams to influence the outcome of the race.

The story was that with 50 kilometres to go in the race, US Postal rider Benoît Joachim had gone back to help his teammate Cédric Vasseur, who had lost contact with the leading group. Koerts also dropped out too, and was seen helping the two Posties try and regain the leaders. Vasseur made it back, to eventually finish 17th, but Koerts was hauled out of the race.

"I went back to Vasseur and Joachim to see what was happening. Shortly afterwards the jury told me I must stop the race," recalled Koerts. "It was an individual race and I had worked with US Postal. If I didn't do so immediately, I would have received a big fine."

"It's ridiculous. I was one of the few good riders in Erpe-Mere and they threw me out of the race. These guys will never see me in future, unless I am a spectator."

Tonkov signs for Lampre

By Tim Maloney, correspondent

Next week Gilberto Simoni will sign his new contract with Lampre-Daikin for 2002-2003. Last Wednesday evening, Lampre owner Mario Galbusera met with Simoni to outline all of the conditions to keep Gibi on board for the next two years at Lampre. Simoni's going to do some Italian races and start the Vuelta with hopes of being selected for the 12 man Italian team for the World's in Lisbon.

Simoni's big issue was that the team will be beefed up so that he has more support for a second consecutive Giro win. Thus the longtime friendship between Pavel Tonkov (Giro winner in 1996) and Galbusera came into play. The Russian will sign in 2002 for one year, after his negative experience with Mercury. He'll be Simoni's lieutenant in the mountains and a valuable asset to the team.

There's also a lot of interest by the Lampre team in Igor Pugaci (Saeco), Milan Kadlec (Mobilvetta) and Christian Moreni (Mercatone Uno).

Ballerini starts well

France Ballerini is so far is having a very positive reception as Italian national technical director. He's been at a lot of races, and the riders are very interested in riding for him. On the other hand, Antonio Fusi, who doesn't have the same relationship, has been 'demoted' to run the U23 team with which he has been quite successful. In this Sunday's European championships, watch out for Lorenzo Bernucci and if it comes down to a sprint, Alessandro Bilan.

Cycling commentator Adriano De Zan dies

Italian cycling has lost its "Voice of Cycling", with the passing away of TV commentator Adriano de Zan. The 69 year old has been suffering from leukemia for several months now, and died in the Policlinico di Milan today. He was last heard on TV on August 8 during the GP Camaiore, but had been forced to greatly limit his work this year.

De Zan was born in Rome in 1932 and started commentating on RAI in 1953, with Niccolò Carosio on the broadcast of Milano-San Remo. He became involved in the Giro d'Italia in 1955, and took part in its coverage every year since. In 1964, he began covering the Tour de France, along with the classics and other important national and international races. Although he 'retired' in 1997, he continued to work with RAI, bringing together Davide Cassani and Auro Bulbarelli, who are well known amongst modern Italian cycling fans and will carry on De Zan's tradition.

Adriano De Zan was known as someone who could capture the emotion of the race, and his voice was well loved by many Italians. He is succeeded by his son Davide, who is a TV sports news reader. His funeral will be on Monday in Milan.

'America's Ultimate Hillclimb' to take place this weekend

By John Alsedek

A capacity field of six hundred is prepared to take part in Saturday's Audi Mount Washington Bicycle Hillclimb. Now in its 29th year, the race - billed as 'an extreme sporting event before there were extreme sports' - is truly worthy of that moniker: the racers climb 4,727 vertical feet in just 7.6 miles, with an average grade of 12% that steepens to an amazing 22% wall in the final 100 yards. And gravity isn't the only thing working against competitors, as Mount Washington is known for having some of the worst weather conditions imaginable, including the world record for ground-based wind speed (an astonishing 231 mph!)

Despite, or perhaps because of, these characteristics, the Audi Mount Washington Bicycle Hillclimb has long been known as the ultimate test for climbers here in the United States. One look at the list of record holders should prove that, as the likes of U.S. Postal Service's Tyler Hamilton (50:21) and French legend Jeannie Longo (58:14) hold the men's and women's records, respectively. While neither of these stars will be in attendance this year, both races look to be highly competitive.

On the men's side, 2000 Audi Mount Washington Champion Tim Johnson (Saturn) will be back to defend his title against a powerful field of challengers that includes last year's runner-up, Scottie Weiss (Zaxby's), as well as Canadian rising star Gregory Sieniewicz (Ready Pac-Knapp's), who set the fifth-fastest time ever in the event as a junior two years ago, and mountain biker Pete Swenson (Tokyo Joe's), who last year placed fifth in the 140-mile epic Zinger Cycling Classic.

As for the women, the top candidates for victory look to be '97 Women's Champion Marilyn Ruseckas, a two-time Masters World Champion, as well as pro mountain biker Kerry Barnholt (SoBe-Headshok), and phenom Karen Bockel (Gatorade/Olbas), who last month won the West's #1 hillclimb, Mount Evans.

For more information about the Audi Mount Washington Bicycle Hillclimb, please visit our website at Proceeds from the event benefit the Tin Mountain Conservation Center.

Gatorade/Olbas Women's Cycling Team unveiled

After a month of 'submarining' some of the top women's teams in the country with a rotating roster that included one retiree and several neophyte racers, the Gatorade/Olbas Women's Cycling Team was officially announced today.

Originally put together as a one-off project in mid-July, the Gatorade/Olbas squad had enough early success to convince the title sponsors to commit to fielding a team for the remainder of the season, says team manager John Alsedek: "Our first - and what was expected to be our only - race was the Grand Prix de Rio Grande, a three-day event in Colorado. However, we took first and third there, and the sponsors were happy enough that they gave us enough resources to do a few more races."

More results quickly followed, including victories in the Mount Evans Hillclimb and the Saturn Cycling Classic. Following the burst of exposure generated at the latter, Gatorade and Olbas agreed to underwrite a team for the rest of the season.

Finding a competitive and compatible group of riders in mid-season was not the easiest of tasks, but the groundwork was actually laid at that very first race, continues Alsedek. "I'd brought in on loan a pair of young riders I was familiar with from the jane Cosmetics team, Trish Choo and Rebecca McClintock. Then the race promoter, Matthew Smith, suggested a first-year racer named Karen Bockel to me, and Julie Hanson suggested that I try to talk Dede Demet-Barry into racing, and it just sort of took off from there."

That last was the key factor: Demet-Barry, a long-time Saturn standout who retired from racing following a seventh-place performance at the 2000 World Road Championships, had returned to school full-time and had raced just once since last October. However, she missed racing, and the idea of working with a group of up-and-coming riders appealed to her, so Demet-Barry decided to return to racing on a part-time basis for the remainder of the 2001 season. And her presence made a world of difference: not only was she still capable of winning big races, such as the recent Saturn Cycling Classic, where she upset the powerhouse Saturn squad for the victory, but her experience and low-key leadership has been invaluable on a team without much experience.

Says Karen Bockel: "Dede isn't the kind to yell and scream, but she knows just what to say at the right time. Like in the Mike Horgan Hillclimb, we were in a breakaway, and she just rode up to me at one point and told me to attack. It doesn't seem like much, but if it wasn't for her knowing when the right time to go was, I might not have won."

Fortunately, Demet-Barry has a willing group of prospects to work with. Karen Bockel is a first-year racer who never even owned a road bike before January of 2001; she'd used her mountain bike for commuting, and that was pretty much it. However, since then, she's progressed from Category 4 to Category 2, and won two medals at the Collegiate Road Nationals. As a member of the Gatorade/Olbas team, Bockel has won the Mike Horgan Hillclimb, the Grand Prix de Rio Grande, and the prestigious Mount Evans Hillclimb.

Trish Choo had raced in her native Hawaii for two years before coming to the mainland to test herself against the 'big girls'. And she's done quite well, with results that include the California State Criterium title (where she lapped the field in the company of Saturn's Suzanne Sonye) and tenth overall in the Fitchburg-Longsjo Classic; more recently, Choo just placed fourth in the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix.

Then there's Rebecca McClintock. Already a veteran racer with two national titles at age 20, McClintock suffered a major crash at this year's Collegiate Nationals, breaking her jaw and leaving her unable to defend her Espoirs National Road Championship. However, McClintock returned to racing a few weeks later, taking the Colorado State Time Trial. It's a group with a lot of potential, says Hanson, who will be acting as road manager for the team at select events:

"Karen and Trish have come so far in such a short time, and, having coached Rebecca this year, I know what sort of potential she has. But maybe the biggest things they have going for them are their enthusiasm and camaraderie. I'm really excited to see what the team can do!"

So is Demet-Barry, who nearly won the USCF National Criterium Championship this past weekend when she initiated an audacious late-race breakaway that was reeled back in, ironically enough, by her erstwhile Saturn teammates. "I'm really having fun racing again, and this is a great bunch of girls.

Team Roster

Dede Demet-Barry
Karen Bockel
Trish Choo (on loan for certain events, courtesy of Jane Cosmetics)
Rebecca McClintock (on loan for certain events, courtesy of Jane Cosmetics)
One rider TBD

Team schedule for 2001 includes

Mount Washington Hillclimb (August 25th)
Chris Thater Memorial (August 26th)
Green Mountain Stage Race (August 31st-September 3rd)
San Rafael Grand Prix (September 8th)
Univest Grand Prix (September 15th)
Bear Mountain Road Race (September 16th)
Mercury Cycling Classic of Irvine (September 22nd)
Michelin Cycling Classic (October 13th-14th)
Sunshine Cycling Classic (October 21st)

Team Sponsors

Gatorade Energy Bars and Drinks
Olbas Herbal Remedies
Cannondale Bicycles
Mavic Wheels
Open Road Cyclery
Rock 'n Road Cyclery
Rudy Project Eyewear
Sparta Cycling Race Productions
Time Shoes, Pedals, and Forks

Recent results and new features on Cyclingnews

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

Recently on Cyclingnews
   Latest Photos - Olympic Armstrong, Boulder & California 'cross, More Pan-Am, Canberra, Boston & REI 'cross (December 13)
   Cyclingnews survey - Reader Poll 2001 - Vote for your favourite riders
   Letters - VDB, Lance, Boring Tour, Coastal Post, Respect (December 13)
   Cyclingnews Interview - Ryan Bayley - the KFC-fuelled world champ (December 13)
   Cyclingnews Interview - David McKenzie - Macca's back (December 12)
   Cyclingnews Interview - Laurent Jalabert - Jalabert looks ahead (December 11)
   Cyclingnews Interview - Charly Wegelius - A coffee stop with Charly (December 8)
   Cyclingnews Interview - Sven Montgomery - Moving up in the world (December 6)
   Cyclingnews Interview - Rochelle Gilmore - Road scholar (December 6)
   Tales from the Peloton - 12 Hours of Oleta - MTB endurance race in Miami (December 6)
   Tales from the Peloton - Tony Cruz - back to his roots (December 7)
   Marco Polo Diary - Tour du Faso - Part II - Nathan Dahlberg's report (December 3)
   Tech maintenance - Wheels - how to keep them true and tight
   Tech letters - Headsets, Pegoretti, Carbon cage, gloves & tubes (December 10)
   Tech news - Navigators power-tap, Headsets, Carbon cages (December 7)
   Tech- Recycling - How to protect your chainstay for free
   Tech Reviews: Egg Beater pedals; Park Tool belt; Shimano shoes; Speedplay
   Breaking the Chain  - Dope planning and testing - From Willy Voet's book

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