News for February 8, 2001

Recent results and new features

Camenzind aims to repeat '98

1998 world champion Oscar Camenzind is racing the Challenge Majorca mainly as a training exercise, according to his Lampre-Daikin team. His objective is to refamiliarise himself with the rhythm of racing before a three week training session at his home in Switzerland.

Camenzind is trying to build his form gradually, as he did in 1998, his most successful year to date in which he won the rainbow jersey and the Tour of Lombardy within a fortnight. In a classic case of the Curse of the Rainbow Jersey, Camenzind has been struggling to regain this form ever since.

"Maybe I have been seeking to hard and altered my scheme too much," he said. "Last year I wanted to win a spring classic. I reached the top of my physical condition very early and consequently at the time of Luik-Bastenaken-Luik my best period was already over."

"L-B-L still is my principal objective for this year. I would love to win the 'Doyenne' but you will not see me at the Tour of Flanders nor at Paris-Roubaix. Camenzind and cobblestones: No thank you!"

"This is the reason why I plan this season as in ’98 with as main objectives the Classics of the Ardennes, the Giro d’Italia and the Tour of Switzerland. I will not participate in the Tour in order to be ready for autumn. And believe me, I am still enjoying racing, in contradiction with what rumours might suggest!"

2001 is Camenzind's third year in Lampre-Daikin colours, and his sixth year with directeur sportif Pietro Algeri.

"[He is] a man of debate," said Camenzind about Algeri. "You can talk with him, he gives you the right to have your own opinion. It is rather extraordinary that he has managed to keep the same group of racers within Lampre-Daikin team for three years. It might be a cliché to say that he transfers the team into a 'family' but it is thanks to this family feeling that a few of us refused other, more lucrative offers from other teams. Yes, so did I, but just 'for a few dollars more' is not good enough. Last year Algeri led Lampre-Daikin to the fourth position of the UCI ranking."

High foreign entry in this year's FDB Milk Ras

FBD Milk Rás organiser Dermot Dignam today reported a high degree of interest from foreign teams in this year's race, which carries world ranking points for the first time after being elevated to a 2.5-graded international event last Autumn.

According to Dignam a large number of squads, including several small professional trade teams have applied to line out in the 8 day round-Ireland race, which runs from May 20-27th.

"There has been a much greater number of foreign teams trying to come over for the race", he said. "The world ranking points have made a huge difference, even though this is only the first year that they have been introduced. I would expect that the next few years will see an even bigger degree of interest, but as it is, it is already going to be case of limiting the field so that we don't exceed the maximum permitted of 200 riders."

Fortunately, Dignam has repeated earlier assurances that there will be no sudden jump in the level of foreign teams, which could suffocate the chances of Irish competitors. "I think that it is important to gradually raise the quality of the field to bring on the home riders. There will be no huge changes this year, but over the next few editions of the race I would expect that the standard will rise."

Because of the high subscription rate, Dignam has been forced to impose an earlier-than-usual closing date of March 18th for county teams. The route, which he has described as "difficult", will be announced next week with the identities of foreign teams to be revealed from March onwards.

Giove on the mend

After a training accident January 19 in which she sprained ligaments in her knees and cracked the head of her right tibia, downhill racer Missy Giove (Global Racing) is recovering rapidly. No surgery was required and the initial prognosis was for full recovery in six to eight weeks. It looks like that estimate was conservative, and Giove says she expects to be back on the bike February 24.

Giove's injuries were sustained when she crashed her bike and slid over a ledge during a training rider near her home in Durango, Colorado. The suffered sprains of the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments in her left knee and of the medial collateral ligament in the right knee, as well as the cracked tibia.

Six months for de Galdeano

Former champion of Spain Alvaro Gónzález de Galdeano has received a six month suspension after failing a dope test in last year's GP de Llodio. However, the penalty will be reduced to three months because de Galdeano is the first member of ONCE to return a positive test.

Lotto has a good chance

Jean-François Pescheux, directeur sportif of the Tour de France, said that Lotto is amongst the teams aiming for a wildcard in the next Tour. "If Lotto shows the same form in the classics as they have in the past, they have a good chance to get one," he said.

What won't be a factor is that the Tour passes through Belgium this year, so including the premier Belgian team would draw the crowds. "Results and sporting values are the points we follow, nothing else," he added.

Marga Fullana signs major contract

Spanish World MTB Champion and Olympic silver medallist, Margarita Fullana, has secured a multi-million peseta deal over the next five years, making her one of the highest paid members in the sport. Fullana's contract with Telefónica Sport is worth 300 million pesetas ($US 1.67 million), and she also has the freedom to negotiate with other sponsors for bicycles, clothing and other components.

No Wielerliga this year

The organiser of the Dutch 'Wielerliga' points competition wasn't able to find enough sponsors to run the series this year. Last year the Wielerliga was based on four Dutch UCI races: Ronde van de Baronie, Ronde van Midden-Brabant, Omloop der Kempen and OZ-Tour Beneden Maas.

The Ronde van de Baronie is no longer on the calendar, and the Ronde van Midden-Brabant will be for elites without contract. The organiser tried to find some Belgian races to substitute, but there wasn't enough support from the sponsors.

Mapei-Quick Step for Volta ao Algarve

Mapei-Quick Step will field eight riders for the Volta ao Algarve which starts Sunday and finishes February 15 in Portugal. The team under directeur sportif Roberto Damiani includes five neo-pros.


Gian Paolo Cheula (Ita) (neo-pro)
Paolo Fornaciari (Ita)
Graziano Gasparre (Ita) (neo-pro)
Andrea Noè (Ita)
Luca Scinto (Ita)
Evgueni Petrov (Rus) (neo-pro)
Michael Rogers (Aus) (neo-pro)
Fabian Cancellara (Swi) (neo-pro)

CityScape-Higher Gear team

After a successful 2000 sponsorship, Churchill Reality Partners Ltd. (CityScape) and Higher Gear will continue backing this US elite team with even greater enthusiasm for 2001.

With most of the riders hailing from cold weather climates, there will be a strong late summer campaign leading up to the Criterium National Championships in Downers Grove, IL. All of the Espoir riders are racing at collegiate level or out west and will target the UCI Four Bridges Of Elgin race in July.

Other major races that will be targetted include the Univest RR, Tour De Toona, Superweek, Heartland Criterium series, and all races in central Midwest region of the U.S.

Team roster

Team manager: Brad Menna
Director: Derek Witte
Mechanic: Scott Aarandale


Gustavo Carrillo (Gua)
Earendel Fingerson (USA) Espoir
Ryan Zook (USA) Espoir
Dan Siever (USA) Espoir
Matt Walczak (USA) Espoir
Paul Ellis (USA) Espoir
Andrew Rizzo (USA)
Greg Krisko (USA)
Chris Powell (USA)
Darrel Euler (USA)
Ryan Calilung (USA)
Kieth Leonard (USA)


Carrera bicycles
Lemond bicycles
Chris King
Rudy Project

Sea Otter family fun

As well as its mountain bike and road races , March's Mercury Sea Otter Classic aims to offer entertainment for families, and especially kids, over the weekend of March 22-25. An estimated 40,000 visited the events last year, 7,000 of them participants, which means there are lots of people along to spectate, and enjoy the stunt shows, the shopping, the food stands, the people, the night rides, the fun rides, and the kids' games. This year there is a new Adventure Trail for kids.

To look after the family element, the Sea Otter organisers have created a specific family programme, and you can read full details of it on the event website here Highlights include a weekend-long kids' carnival, the Sea Otter Adventure Trail, Fun Rides, the Sea Otter Egg Hunt and the Bike Rodeo.

Racers can contact the Sea Otter event hotline on: +1 650/306-1414.

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