News for February 17, 2001

Recent results and new features

Javier Ochoa's condition still "very serious"

Kelme almost certain to skip Ruta del Sol

The condition of Javier Ochoa remains "very serious", according to the most recent report from doctors at the Carlos Haya Hostpital in Malaga, Spain, where Javier remains in a deep coma. Javier and twin brother Ricardo were hit by a car on Thursday. Ricardo was killed in the crash but Javier's doctors say he is out of immediate danger.

Javier sustained multiple injuries including cerebral haemorrhage, a damaged thoracic vertebra, a punctured lung, fractured ribs, broken arms and a broken left tibia and fibula. The latest medical report says Javier has progressed acceptably from a circulatory point of view, but his intracranial pressure remains a cause for concern. There is no evidence that the spinal injury has damaged the spinal column, however.

The death of Ricardo and condition of Javier means Kelme is almost certain to abandon the Vuelta a Andalucía (Ruta del Sol) which starts tomorrow, according to Kelme team manager Joan Más. Más told Europa Press, "Our participation in the Ruta del Sol is not decided, but we're not worrying about it now and we will make a decision Saturday. It's fairly certain that Kelme won't take part because the riders want to go to the funeral and their mental state is not the best because of the condition of Javier. I see it as almost impossible, and it is almost discounted."

Más did not seem optimistic about Javier's chances for a quick recovery: "I am not a doctor, but it makes an impression to see him tubed-up and the injuries are worrying. It seems his life is not in danger, but the follow-up will be serious."


The death of Ricardo Ochoa is doubly tragic because the twins were inseparable in life. They began their professional careers with ONCE but after being separated for a year when Javier joined Kelme, they swore they would always ride together.

Kelme's team director at the time was Alvaro Pino, who told Reuters how the twins wanted to be together: "I used to joke about it with (ONCE director) Manolo Saiz. We used to say they'd have to ride six months with each team because they wanted to race together." Pino signed Ricardo to Kelme in 2000, reuniting the pair. "When they're not together they don't ride as well," Kelme directeur sportif Vicente Belda said at the time.

After he won the Hautacam stage of last year's Tour de France, Javier became a hot property and fielded offers from other teams. He turned them all down to stay with his brother Ricardo at Kelme.

CSC wants Ullrich

In an interview with Danish newspaper BT, CSC-Worldonline team director Asger Jensby has said he wants 1997 Tour winner and Olympic champion Jan Ullrich on his team for 2002. "He would be exactly the right name, and would fit into our concept," said Jensby. He sadded that he hoped team manager Bjarne Riis would approach his old team-mate Ullrich, whose contract with the Deutsche Telekom team funs out this year.

Although Ullrich helped Riis win the 1996 Tour de France, and Riis was instrumental in Ullrich's 1997 Tour victory, Riis played down the idea that it would be easy to persuade Ullrich to join CSC. "Ullrich is not someone you can contract that easily, but naturally it's a very interesting idea."

For Ullrich to decide to move on, he'd first have to decide not to renew his million DM contract with Telekom. Ullrich's manager Wolfgang Strohband said Friday afternoon that no approach had been made by CSC-Worldonline officials.

Sciandri joins Lampre

Max Sciandri confirmed today that he will be joining Lampre.

The UK's Olympic bronze medallist and Linda McCartney's leader since the beginning of 2001 is due to sign a 2 year deal with the Italian team on Monday.

"It was my birthday yesterday, so I'm really happy," said Max. "I'm especially pleased that it's a two-year deal - it shows they have great faith in me."

"I did 6 hours training today; I still think I'm going ok despite the lack of racing. I'm just looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and getting out there again," he added.

"I'm very sorry not to be riding with Linda McCartney, as we had such a great bunch of guys there. But Lampre have shown fantastic faith in me, and I just want to repay them - and show Paul McCartney what he's missing!"

Italians vote for new president today

The general assembly of the Italian Cycling Federation meets today to elect a new president. The three main candidates are the incumbent, Giancarlo Cerutti, the federal director Angelo Francini and former champion Francesco Moser.

Cerutti's platform is to continue as for the last four years, in which the federation has invested in road racing and the struggle against doping. Moser wants to see greater investment in the grass roots of Italy's cycling clubs, while Francini intends to emphasise the fight against doping and improved relations with the UCI.

Alessandro Gretter, who regularly contributes information to cyclingnews from Italy, offers the following analysis of the candidates' strengths and weaknesses:

Ceruti has been at the top of Federation since 1997 and during these years, Italian cycling has faced many problems, both financially and in the sporting sense. The funding granted by CONI (National Olympic Committee) was reduced to its lowest levels since the '60s, and the Organisational Management become more difficult due to new fiscal and technical laws.

The results were an increase in costs, a loss of a number of members and difficulties in international activities. The FCI wasn't totally without satisfaction, but the medals gained were only an "individual" result, not one that came from the Federation. Other weakness came from the continuing problems to connect the education system with the sport in promotional activities. Ceruti has some strength too. In fact he is a good mediator and he's very able in "political" work (but only at the National level and not at International level) and he is knowledgable on how the bureaucratic machine works.

Former professional, Francesco Moser misses these qualities but acknowledges that they are very important in the Italian situation. He is also quite pragmatic. Often he is not open to a confrontational dialogue, he has his idea and it is very difficult to move Moser from it, particularly for the Masters activites.

On the doping side, Moser is supporting a "liberal" position, but only at the professional level. From this side, he is receiving a great support, as well from race organisers. Moser is the "new" way of thinking in cycling with more marketing and promotion at the various levels of activity, more deregulation for the associations in order to reach a more "liberal" Federation.

The balance will come from Francini's votes or the decision of some local committee, probably Tuscany or Lombardia. For the other positions in the Federciclismo Council, there is new legislature that means there will be two athletes representatives (big names) and one from the trainers (DS) as imposed by "Decreto-Melandri" in the recent Italian Government Law on Sport.

Other candidtates

Vice-President (2)
Francesco Bernardelli
Salvatore Bianco
Roberto Camporesi
Bruno Coccato
Emilio Farulli
Raffaele Reccia
Antonio Zanon

Athletes (2)
Fabio Baldato (pro)
Antonella Bellutti (2 OC)
Davide Cassani (former Pro)
Claudio Chiappucci (former Pro)
Mirco Gualdi (former Pro - WC in Utsonomyia)
Stefano Notari (former Pro)
Fausto Scotti (1999 Cyclocross Italian Champion )
Moregna Tartagni (former cyclist during '70s - '80s one of the first in Italy)

Components of the Council (9)
Bacci/Baroni/Bendinelli/Camerini/Cattaneo/D'Alto/Della Santa/Evangelisti/Guarrella/

Trainer (1)
Marco Belardinelli
Ezio Piccoli
Giosuè Zenon

Courtesy of Alessandro Gretter

Jalabert in his undies

Click for larger image
Laurent Jalabert

Click for larger image

"Does sports underwear need to be dull?" asks a press release from Vangàrd Sportswear, touting Vangàrd's new arm, Vangàrd Retail, which, it says here, is "presenting a new look that clearly signals our desire for a showdown with the 'dullness clique.'"

Recruited in the battle against dullness are Lea (near right), who is a model, does not ride a bicycle nor appear interested in using the underwear, and CSC-Worldonline team leader and home handyman Laurent Jalabert (far right), in a pose we suspect is intended to be 'moody and interesting'.

Pantani tries out Gran Fondo Felice Gimondi route

Marco Pantani will spend Saturday riding the 165km route of the Gran Fondo Internazionale Felice Gimondi. This 'cyclotouriste' event, scheduled for May 13, is expected to attract 4,000 riders. Pantani will be accompanied by other members of Mercatone-Uno on a training ride that follows the longest of three route options.

Team Hancock/MOTO

There is a new Category 1/2 team based in San Francisco, CA USA. The team is launching with a new title sponsor, Hancock, Rothert, and Bunshoft, LLP. Attorneys, with continued support from Moto Development Group.

Hancock/MOTO hopes to gain exposure throughout Northern California and develop its category 3 riders into a bigger and stronger elite squad.

The team will be participating in the all of the big California races, including; McLane Pacific RR and Criterium, the Sequoia Cycling Classic, the Sea Otter Classic, the Solano Bicycle Classic, and the Tour of Nevada City.

Team Roster

Director: Rob Saybolt
Manager: Aaron LeBauer
Soigner: Chris Tavenner


Cat 1/2
Brendan Bradley
Aaron LeBauer

Cat 3
Colin Beardsley
Jason Boston
Glenn Chadwick
John Cunnimgham
Terry Curley
Jason Hayes
K. Erik Nelson
Chris Pillette
Phil Roberts
Gabriel Santuary
Rob Saybolt
Chris Tavenner
Jason Whitehead


Hancock, Rothert, and Bunshoft, LLP
MOTO Development Group
Faultline Cyclery
KHS Bicycles
Clif Bar
Big Swinging Cycles
Rudy Project
Limar Helmets
Northwave Shoes

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