Edited by Jeff Jones
Mario Cipollini and six of his Acqua e Sapone teammates have left on a training camp to Cape Town, South Africa, which will finish on December 20. Cipollini will train with Mario Scirea, Giovanni Lombardi, Guido Trenti, Cesare Di Cintio, Daniele Bennati and Martin Derganc, with the aim being to prepare for the early season races. Cipollini will debut in the Tour of the Mediterranean (February 13-17, 2002) with his big goal being Milan-San Remo on March 23.
Jan Ullrich will also start his "operation yellow jersey" in South Africa, leaving shortly for a three week stint in the sun. Ullrich recently celebrated his 28th birthday in Tegernsee (Germany), which followed a month long break from training where he spent three weeks on holiday in Bali, did some mountain biking in the Black Forest, and went skiing.
Now it's time to start training again, and he plans to do 3000 kilometres in South Africa before December 23, when he will take a short break for Christmas back home. At the beginning of January, he will travel to Mallorca with the Telekom team for the next part of the training camp. He will spend a further few weeks in South Africa before his 2002 racing debut, which will be in the Tour of Valencia on February 26. In South Africa, he will be accompanied by his long time coach, Peter Becker, who has been freed of his duties with the Telekom U23 team and will concentrate on training Ullrich.
"I have my own style which I must develop," said Ullrich on his departure at the team meeting in Tegernsee. "I am still developing my strength and perseverance."
Jan Ullrich has not yet decided whether to race the Giro d'Italia, or to do the Tour of Germany and the Tour de Suisse as preparation for the Tour de France.
An interesting new addition to the Telekom team is American Bobby Julich, who finished third in the 1998 Tour de France, one place behind Ullrich. "For the first time in five years I am not a team captain and must qualify myself for the Tour," said Julich. "I realised and accepted that I will never be able to win a Tour. I will try to help Jan defeat Armstrong."
Telekom team manager Walter Godefroot was very happy with the signing of Julich: "He was on the market and very favourable. He is getting with us less than half what he was getting at Credit Agricole."
Two teams will hold their preliminary gatherings today, December 5. The UCI's number one ranked team in 2001, Fassa Bortolo, will meet in Spresiano near the main headquarters of Fassa Bortolo. This will be the first contact between the technical staff and the 24 riders for 2002, and team photos will be taken. Fassa Bortolo will hold two training camps next year in January and early February, with the team's official presentation to take place on January 18 in Castelfranco Veneto.
The US Postal team will hold its first meeting in Austin, Texas, the home of team leader Lance Armstrong. The team will discuss plans for next season, including the spring classic campaign which will feature Armstrong riding in support of George Hincapie, the Tour de France, which Armstrong wants to win for a fourth time, and the Tour of Spain, where Roberto Heras will try for a second title.
Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong competed in a local duathlon last weekend known as the "Dirty Duathlon", with the bike leg raced entirely off-road. According to Lancearmstrong.com, he was in contention for the podium, but punctured in the MTB section and had to settle for 6th place. The race was won by Brett Vaughan.
The Dutch mountain bike squad Be One has finalised its lineup for 2002. The team will be led by Frenchman Mickael Pascal, Dutchman Bas de Bever and Italian Annabella Stropparo. Anneke Beerten also renews her contract, together with several new arrivals. Czech BMX star Michal Pokop, Australian Cross Country specialist Anna Baylis and young Austrian riders Jörg Scheidenbauer and Daniela Luckinger complete the MTB team.
Be One also will have some cyclo-cross and road riders, with Dutchwoman Corine Dorland to dispute cyclo-cross races, and Bas van Dooren and Thijs Al (both BankGiroLoterij-Batavus) making occasional guest appearances in MTB races for Be One.
A new professional division III trade team will be unveiled today in Melbourne, Australia, led by a certain Giro d'Italia stage winner and former Australian cyclist of the year. The team will start with approximately 10 riders, with the view to expanding over the next few years, eventually reaching division I. The team's sponsor will surprise quite a few people!
Women's 2001 Tour de France winner, Joane Somarriba, has spoken out against what she believes is discrimination in women's cycling, particularly in Spain. Talking at a conference held in the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, she described herself as "disgusted" by all the "unfulfilled promises."
"With all that we sacrificed to gain victories all around the world, it does not seem normal that at the moment we are still without a team, and that nobody in our country wants to start a professional women's team. At victory time, everything is photos and promises, but nobody has fulfilled them."
Her compatriot Dori Ruano also expressed her disappointment. "When I won the medal in the World Championships, the only thing that I asked was a velodrome for my people, for all those girls who I can teach. But I have not seen that they have the intention to do it."
On Wednesday December 5 from 20:00 until 21:00 (probably 19:00 until 20:00 in the U.K.) the television channel Eurosport will broadcast a one hour documentary about the Tour du Faso 2001.
The World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) is currently holding a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland. A major setback occurred on Monday when the budget was not approved because the European Union refused to pay its half of the US$18 million budget (The International Olympic Committee provides the other half). Instead, it was up to the individual member countries to pay their share, rather than the EU as a whole. France opted to pay, and criticised the EU for backing out.
The next obstacle was to draft an anti-doping code that would be suitable across all sports and countries, not an easy task. "We must make just one shoe which would go on several feet", said WADA president Dick Pound.
The WADA must work with governments and sporting organisations to determine its responsibilities as well as coordinating cooperation, education and research on a global level. A reference document will have to be drafted that details the methods used to combat doping, laboratory accreditations, sample analysis methods, anti-doping controls, and list of banned products. This is hoped to be in a better form by April 2002.
Dick Pound also expressed his concern about the new EPO tests, in particular the fact that they may become obsolete because of the emergence of new drugs. He said that the Châtenay-Malabry developed test which detects recombinant EPO may not work against products that are closer to natural EPO.
"There are new types of EPO which require new tests to detect them," said Prince Alexandre de Merode, chairman of the IOC medical commission.
UCI president Hein Verbruggen contradicted this, saying that it was "unacceptable to spend millions to research new tests against new forms of EPO." Verbruggen believes that the existing test should be improved and more laboratories be accredited.
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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