Edited by John Stevenson
Domo-Farm Frites patron Eddy Merckx will be assuming responsibility for Richard Virenque's salary for the coming two seasons, after an additional sponsor could not be found. It was proposed that the money would come from Qatar, which will host a brand new stage race in January 2002. Eddy Merckx travelled to the oil-rich nation together with Tour de France boss Jean-Marie Leblanc, who helped set up the race. However, there was not enough interest in Qatar to acquire a unique sponsor for Richard Virenque.
Merckx says that he will continue looking for a sponsor in Europe, but if none can be found, he will fund the salary himself. Virenque signed for three months in the second half of 2001, reportedly for $US4,000. It's expected that after his Paris-Tours win, his market price skyrocketed.
By Ted Arnold
The US Postal camp roster is set and 13 riders will attend the week-long camp held in Austin starting today. The riders should be blessed with favourable weather conditions as the forecast calls for mild temperatures through the finish of camp. If the camp goes with tradition the team will train in the quiet hills west of Austin, the roads usually frequented by three-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. This is the third consecutive season the team has used Armstrong's hometown as the base for its first camp of the season. The team has also planned a second camp in Arizona in 2002 before beginning its domestic and European campaigns.
The riders to look out for if you're in Austin this week are:
Christian Vande Velde
A Chicago motorist was convicted Tuesday of first-degree murder after the April 26, 1999 death of a bike messenger, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune. A jury in Cook County found that Carnell Fitzpatrick deliberately ran down Tom McBride after McBride swore at Fitzpatrick after a near-collision.
"When you have a three-ton vehicle and maybe a 20-pound bicycle, that is no even match," said Assistant State's Attorney Lynda Peters after the verdict. "It's very skewed."
The jury took 16 hours over two days to reach a verdict at the end of a long and emotional trial that saw the courtroom frequently full of local messengers and other cyclists. During its deliberations, the jury had to ask the judge for clarification of the definition of reckless homicide and was allowed a second viewing of the videotaped testimony of an eyewitness to the accident.
The verdict was announced in dramatic style, with six courtroom deputies standing between the two halves of the court gallery to separate McBride's friends and family from Fitzpatrick's.
The victim's mother, Mary Ellen McBride afterward expressed her gratitude to the prosecutors, saying, "We're grateful for them. They put on an outstanding case."
George Christensen, a friend and colleague of McBride, said he hoped the verdict would send a signal to drivers that "vehicles are murder weapons." He added that he thought the trial's outcome would give "bicyclists a little insurance that the law is on their side."
"It could have happened to any of us," he said. "We've all had these confrontations."
The full Chicago Tribune report is here
The 2002 Lampre-Daikin line-up meets for the first time in Bardolino, Italy next week. The team's camp, from December 10-13, will include the unveiling of the new team strip, and a press conference on December 13 with all the riders as well as team manager Giuseppe Saronni and president Emanuele Galbusera.
Lampre-Daikin will kick off its 2002 season with the Tour of Qatar, 21-25 January. Team members not riding in Qatar will attend a training camp in Latino, Otaly.
Domo-farm Frites rider Thomas Konecny was hit by a car earlier this week while training. The Czech rider was not seriously hurt but will be spending a little time off the bike to recover from a blow to the head sustained in the crash.
Steven Kleynen, also of Domo, is to undergo a knee operation during the off-season. The Dutch rider will have an old injury repaired.
Javier Pascual has extended his contract with Kelme until 2003. Next year, Pascual is likely to follow a similar program to 2001 riding the Vuelta a Castilla León and La Rioja before preparing for the Tour de France.
Marco Pantani's Mercatone Uno-Stream TV will begin its 2002 campaign early this year with a start in the February 17-21 Vuelta a Andalucia "Ruta Ciclista Del Sol". Pantani and Mercatone Uno desperately need some successful rides in the early season next year if they are to have any hope of selection for next year's Tour de France.
Its beginning to look like the 2002 mountain bike downhill World Cup series is in serious trouble, after the cancellation in the last week of planned rounds in Leysin, Switzerland and Arai, Japan. Only four rounds remain, though the UCI is reported to be attempting to find replacement venues for the Arai and Leysin rounds.
Fort William, Scotland has been rumoured as a possible replacement for Arai, while there is no word on a replacement for Leysin.
Ford has not renewed its sponsorship of the UK's Kona-Ford Focus mountain bike team, putting the team's future in jeopardy.
Following the successes of the British team at the 2000 Olympics, British Cycling (formerly the British Cycling Federation) has been granted UK£4 million per year for the next four years by UK Sport, the body that distributes National Lottery funding.
The Clif Bar-sponsored LUNA Chix women's mountain bike team, which includes world champion Alison Dunlap, will ride Santa Cruz bikes for 2002.
However far up cycling's career ladder they've climbed, all riders started at the bottom, racing in local club events and being helped and coached by older, wiser riders. When Velo Club LaGrange meets for its annual ride and dinner, club alumnus and U.S. Postal rider Tony Cruz returns to his roots to thank the club that got him started. VC LaGrange member Josh Horowitz writes about meeting Cruz on his most recent visit to his old club.
USA Cycling announced yesterday that its under 23 team will be outfitted by cycling clothing maker DeFeet. The North Carolina company, known for its colourful and quirky socks, will supply the team with jerseys, shorts, gloves, caps, vests, arm and leg warmers, under layers, and casual wear.
The US under 23 squad will be led in 2002 by riders such as Michael Creed and Jon Retseck when it returns to competition in the Spring. Creed, who won 17 US national titles as a junior, is 2001 U23 US national champion, and won a stage of the Ronde de L'Isard d' Ariege. Retseck's eight-race European campaign this year included third place in Belgium's Trophee Haspengouw.
The team will feature in DeFeet's advertising for 2002, according to USA Cycling Vice President of Marketing Sean Petty.
Serguei Outschakov, a member of Alexia Alluminio's 2001 roster, is one of the remaining handful of pros without a ride for the 2002 season. The 33 year old Ukrainian, who turned pro in 1993, has a palmares that includes stage wins in all three Grand Tours. His career peaked in 1995 with six wins while riding for Polti, and he finished that year ranked 60th in the world. His star has rather faded in the last two years, however, and he doesn’t figure at all in the UCI's current top 2000.
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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