News for February 14, 2001

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Jalabert in hospital

Laurent Jalabert is in hospital with three fractured lumbar vertebrae after falling off a ladder while changing a light bulb on Monday evening. Jalabert's condition is not believed to be serious — scans reveal no damage to the spinal cord — but he will be out of competition for several weeks. Jalabert will stay in hospital in Geneva for two to three days under observation, and will be unable to ride for at least a month.

The accident happened at Jalabert's home in Geneva. Jalabert told his CSC-Worldonline Directeur sportif Johnny Weltz that the impact had been brutal and he had immediately been unable to move. His immediate fear was of being paralysed from spinal column damage. Jalabert's wife Sylvie called for help immediately and on examination at Geneva Hospital Jalabert was found to have fractured vertegrae, but not to have damaged the spinal cord itself. "It is a setback for me and my team," said Jalabert," and I'm in pain, but nevertheless I am reassured a little," said Jalabert.

Jalabert will obviously not start the Tour of the Mediterranean, which begins today, and is unlikely to be able to take part in Paris-Nice next month. The cobbles of the Flanders Classics will not be a welcoming prospect for a man with lower back damage, either. Jalabert has already considered the consequences of this accident, however, and has ruled out ending his career. It's unlikely he will be truly competitive again until mid-year though.

US Postal and Kelme resolve Heras dispute

According to Kelme team director Joan Mas, the dispute between his team and US Postal over the transfer of Roberto Heras to Lance Armstrong's camp has be resolved. US Postal has agreed to pay the remaining currency conversion charges, interest and legal fees, totalling 3 to 4 million pesetas, as well as the agreed 140 million pesetas transfer fee.

"US Postal has accepted all our conditions," said Bas. "Nothing is final until the money is in the bank, but it seems this dispute is over. Tomorrow Heras will be riding for US Postal, though before sending the release letter I must have the money."

Heras transfer fee should have been paid by January 25. US Postal failed to meet the deadline, instead offering to pay in three instalments, and nevertheless presenting Heras as a member of US Postal. Kelme protested and demanded the larger penalty fee allowed for in the transfer contract, at which point the matter was referred to the UCI. After negotiations, the fee was set at 140 million pesetas, which US Postal lodged with the UCI. The final detail was the payment of Kelme's expenses in the dispute, and with these expenses settled there should be no further impediment to Kelme joining US Postal.

TVM accused optimistic

Former TVM officials Cees Priem, Jan Moors (soigneur) and Andrei Mikhailov (team doctor) seem optimistic about their forthcoming trial arising from charges laid in 1998 after a TVM team car was found to be carrying EPO.

Moors and Mikhailov are accused of 'administering artificial performance enhancing products' and Priem of 'allowing the aministration of artificial performance enhancing products.' However, the defendants' legal team says the dossier against them is very small, and Professor Frans Delbeke from Gent agrees. He said recently: "I can see nothing on which somebody can be sentenced."

The main evidence for the prosecution is 104 ampoules of EPO found in a TVM car before the 1998 Tour of Murcia.

Mikhailov is now team doctor at Collstrop-Palmans. That team's manager, Hilaire Van der Schueren, says Mikhailov has his confidence. "If Mikhailov is sentenced - I don't believe it will happen - he can stay at his work with us," he said.

Cees Priem — who was driving the TVM team car that hit Scott Sunderland back in 1998 — now runs a service providing neutral technical support vehicles to teams and races.

25 teams for Amstel Gold

Recently the Amstel Gold Race invited teams to participate in the event's 36th edition on April 28. In all, 25 teams will compete, comprising of the 22 leading Trade Teams I outfits, and three wildcards to be named by Amstel Gold Race officials (one of which is Fakta).

The first registrations are in and it is apparent that the participating field - as usual - will be a strong one. Teams to have already registered are: Rabobank (Netherlands), DOMO-Farm Frites (Belgium), Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola (Italy) and Lotto-Adecco (Belgium).

Cycling Australia calls for Cyclists' Commission nominations

Three positions on Cycling Australia's Athlete's Commission are up for re-election in April. The seats currently occupied by Stephen Hodge (road rep), Danny Day (track rep) and Scott Sharples (MTB rep), making up half of the six-rider commission, will become available in April. Cycling Australia has called for nominations to be received no later than February 28, and the incumbents can be nominated to retain their positions.

Stephen Hodge, interim chair of the Cyclists' Commission, said, "2000 marked the first full year that all Australian cyclists have had full and effective representation through the Cyclists' Commission. The Commission's input to the Board of CA has been very important over the last one and a half years. We hope that anyone who would like to make a contribution considers nominating for the Commission."

Nominations for these positions should be sent to Cycling Australia CEO, Graham Fredericks, no later than February 28 2001.

Further information on the duties and time needed from Commission members can be addressed to Stephen Hodge on 0411 149910, fax 02 6290 2762 or

Alto Velo Olympian night

By Ted Huang

The Alto Velo cycling club recently presented a Sydney Olympian Night with some of our local Olympic cyclists as guest speakers. (I also was present, as I windsurfed in the Sydney Olympics.) US Olympic Cycling Team members present included Derek Bouchard Hall (Mercury), Nicole Freedman, and Karen Kurreck plus Canadian star Eric Wolhberg (Saturn). We had a decent turn out, and talked about the reality of the Olympics and what kind of experiences we had.

What made it special was the audience had a chance to see that the road to the Olympics is seldom smooth, and almost always potholed and bumpy. Everyone one of us stressed that enjoying the road or process is at least as important, if not more so, than achieving that elusive dream. All of our experiences were different, but we all could not believe how open and incredibly friendly the Australian people were. The talk was like a roller coaster ride, from the highs of experiencing the incredible energy of the 50,000 volunteers who made the Olympics, to the deep sadness when Derek was asked about the terrible Nicole Reinhart tragedy and how it affected the U.S. Pursuit Team that day. Evidently no one spoke to one another from the point when each member found out, to after their event ended.

Alto Velo put this on as a community event, and we only wish more people could have attended. I would like to thank these Olympians, three of whom are currently still racing professionally, for coming. We offered no appearance money, but all came simply because friends asked them to. We all know each other, so it was very nice to be able to share experiences with the general cycling population that we could very well have taken for granted.

Rudy Project and Summit Bicycles were kind enough to donate prizes for a raffle.

YMCA / Sun & Ski Sports Cycling Team

A new US Elite team is the YMCA / Sun & Ski Sports Cycling Team. Based in Nashville, TN, the team is fielding a healthy 35 riders in Cats I thru IV, including 3 women.

The team developed from a club team competing in regional races last year and gathered more talent this year with riders garnering top 10 results in the US National Crit Championships and US National Road Race Championships, 2 State Crit Champions, and several podium placings in the state Road Race and Time Trials. The team will focus mainly on Southeast Regional Races and several National Calendar events such as the BMC Tour in Texas, Xcelerate Twilight Crit in Georgia, and the Michelin Classic in South Carolina with the Cat I. Squad scheduled for the National Championships.

Team Sponsors

YMCA of Middle Tennessee, Sun & Ski Sports


Lemond Bicycles, Shimano, Rolf Wheels, Giro, Sidi, Biemme


Cat I
Kenny Baker
John Green
Kevin Miller
Marty Pierce
Bradley Saul

Cat II
Mark Beck
Dave Brown
Steve Carpenter
Greg Dunn
Rob Evans
Tom Gathright
Jason Peters
Zach Wilkins
Robbie Yost

Mark Miller
Steve Ryan
Dan Underwood

Cat III Women
Sue Beck

Dustin Greer

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