News for January 29, 2001

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Mapei looks massive for Millenium

By Tim Maloney, correspondent
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Board of directors
Photo: © CN/TM

Despite the departure of some top names, Mapei-Quick Step once again looks set to continue as the world's top ranked cycling squad for 2001. At their spectacular team presentation at Mapei's main plant in Robbiano di Mediglia outside Milano, Italy, the 2001 team was presented to sponsors, media, team supporters. was there to record the event.

At last year's presentation, Dottore Giorgio Squinzi, managing director of Mapei spoke of the desire to achieve the goal of 500 team wins. With 78 wins in 2000, Mapei has racked up a total of 514 wins since the team was founded in 1993. Mapei-Quick Step's enormous roster has 41 riders for 2001, with a star for every occasion to ensure that the Mapei boys should continue to win big time.

For one day races and classics, Italian champion Michele Bartoli will once again lead the way, along with speedy Paolo Bettini, winner of last year's Liege-Bastogne-Liege ready as another potential one day winner for Mapei-Quick Step. For power classics, don't forget il Tafone, Andrea Tafi, who is looking to battle his ex-teammate Johan Musseuw for another victory in Paris-Roubaix this year. Add in another P-R winner, returning Franco Ballerini (from Lampre) and Mapei-Quick Step certainly has the most potent classics team in cycling.
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Stefano Garzelli
Photo: © Roberto Bettini

A key new arrival is Stefano Garzelli, winner of the 2000 Giro d'Italia, Mapei-Quick Step's main rider for stage races. Much is expected of Garzelli with his main objective to defend his Giro crown, with Manuel "Triki" Beltran poised as the other go-to guy on Mapei for GC honors.

Sprint-wise, Tom Steels has won 50 races for Mapei since 1996 and the powerful Belgian sprinter is ready to rock again in 2001, with a special effort planned for Paris-Roubaix. Former World Champ Oscar Freire is always a threat in a fast finish for Mapei-Quick Step, as is Stefano "Zaza" Zanini, winner of the final stage of the 2000 Tour De France in Paris. Don't forget recent signing Scott McGrory, Olympic Madison champ, who is also dangerous in a bunch gallop.

The Mapei-Quick Step team is so deep that event the second tier riders would be leaders on any other team. Laszlo Bodrogi, the emerging Hungarian could make an impact in 2001, with steady Andrea Noé and talented new arrivals like David Cañada and Elio Aggiano looking to make their mark. Perhps the major sleeper waiting on the bench at Mapei-Quick Step is Daniele Nardello. This talented 27 year old all-rounder is entering his 7th pro season and with 5 wins in 2000, Nardello looks set to move up to the next level this season.

Youth should be served at Mapei-Quick Step with the incredible array of young talent that the team has assembled among their riders under 25. Led by double U23 World Champ Evgeni Petrov, not all of these young guns will hit the target this year, but the development program that the team has put in place will ensure a constant flow of future talent for Mapei. Backing Petrov will be among others, U23 European Champion Graziano Gasparre, Swiss talent Fabian Cancellara, Germans Pat Sinkewitz and Bernhard Eisel, rapid Czech Pavel Zerzan and Australian Michael Rogers.
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Mapei dancing girls
Photo: © CN/TM

Once again, Mapei-Quick Step will have Colnago as their bike sponsor; equipped with Shimano components "il mago di Cambiago" has a variety of weapons for the Mapei-Quick Step riders; the all-conquering carbon C-40, alu Dream and Ti CT-1. Sportful, Mapei-Quick Step's technical wear supplier has a new, fresh jersey design for 2001; see our shots of the Mapei dancing girls for a first look at the new Mapei strip.

And in case you were wondering, what the heck is a Mapei? Well, Mapei is the world leader in adhesives and other products for construction like waterproofing and mortar for tile and marble installation. Quick-Step is a Belgian firm that specializes in easy-install parquet floors.

Team presentation notes
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Oscar Freire
Photo: © CN/TM

Oscar Freire: The '99 World champ was missing his rainbow jersey, but still had his 50,000 watt smile. Freire is one of the most "simpatico" pro riders you'll ever want to meet, but when we asked him how his back therapy was going, he told Cyclingnews "male; non tanto bene" (bad; not so good). But Freire also told us that he was going to stick to his therapy and hoped for the best.

Alvaro Crespi: Mapei-Quick Step's team manager Crespi was freshly tanned from his recent trip to Australia for the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under. "We were pleased with this race and the trip to Australia; it's a good way to start the season." For Mapei's American fans, Crespi assured Cyclingnews that Mapei would once again return to race in the USA in 2001. "We'll be back to defend our title in Philadelphia at the First Union USPRO Championships with Andrea Tafi and perhaps we'll ride a few other races in the USA later in the season."

Bart Leysen: Our likeable Belgian friend Bart had a tough break last season when a crash broke some bones in his lower back and he had to hang the bike up early. "Yeah, that was tough," Leysen told Cyclingnews, "but now I'm feeling better these days - I've got no pain at all. " Leysen's primary role will be to to act as the lead-out man for Tom Steels, but in his off hours, he'll work on expanding his license plate collection.

Roberto Bettini: Bettini is the top Italian cycling photographer and close cohort of Graham "Le Rosbif" Watson. He has revamped his website and will feature lots of great cycling images this year, especially of top Italians. Check it out at

Team Roster

Manager: Alvaro Crespi
Team Managers: Serge Parsani, "Matxin" Fernandez Rodriguez, Roberto Damiani, Jesus Suarez, Eric Vanderaerden, Fabrizio Fabbri
Public Relations: Gabriele Sola
Administrator: Aldo Sassi
Sponsor: Mapei produces adhesives and Quick Step parquets
Bikes: Colnago


Elio Aggiano (Ita) Vitalicio Seguros
Adriano Baffi (Ita)
Franco Ballerini (Ita) Lampre-Daikin
Michele Bartoli (Ita)
Manuel Beltran Martinez (Spa)
Paolo Bettini (Ita)
Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun)
Davide Bramati (Ita)
David Canada Garcia (Spa) ONCE
Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Neo
Gianpaolo Cheula (Ita) Neo
Dario David Cioni (Ita)
Crescenzo Damore (Ita)
Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Neo
Paolo Fornaciari (Ita)
Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa)
Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Mercatone Uno
Graziano Gasparre (Ita) Neo
Pedro Horrillo Munoz (Spa) Vitalicio Seguros
Kevin Hulsmans (Bel)
Philippe Koehler (Fra)
Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita)
Bart Leysen (Bel)
Scott McGrory (Aus) Gerolsteiner
Daniele Nardello (Ita)
Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita)
Andrea Noe (Ita)
Luca Paolini (Ita)
Evgeni Petrov (Rus) Neo
Filippo Pozzato (Ita)
Eddy Ratti (Ita)
Antonio Rizzi (Ita)
Michael Rogers (Aus) Neo
Luca Scinto (Ita)
Patrick Sinkewitz (Ger) Neo
Tom Steels (Bel)
Andrea Tafi (Ita)
David Tani (Ita)
Charles Wegelius (Gbr)
Stefano Zanini (Ita)
Pavel Zerzan (Cze) Neo

Aldag wants TdF start

Multi-talented German road champion, Rolf Aldag, has set his sights firmly on a spot in the Telekom team in the Tour de France this year. Aldag is currently riding with Silvio Martinello in the Six Days of Berlin, where he was in second place after three nights of racing.

At 32, he is one of the team's most experienced riders, but competition for the nine Tour places in Telekom is tight. Last year he was a reserve but this year he says that he is competing with Udo Bölts, Alberto Elli and Jens Heppner. "There is probably no-one else in the Telekom team who can ride at the front for 150 kilometres," he pointed out.

"Everything is geared this year for preparation," said Aldag. "The Tour of Bavaria, Tour of Germany, Tour de Suisse," as well as riding the spring classics at "full power" for Erik Zabel. Possible members of the Telekom TdF team are Kevin Livingston, Andreas Klöden, Alexander Vinokurov, Gianmatteo Fagnini, Giuseppe Guerini, Jan Ullrich, and Erik Zabel. However, Alberto Elli is likely to be concentrating on the Giro d'Italia, in order to try and win it.

Somarriba awarded

Vizcayan cyclist, Joane Somarriba, has been awarded the Premio Sabino Arana in Bilbao today, in recognition of her cycling achievements last year. Somarriba became only the second female cyclist ever to win the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France in the same year, after Italian Fabiana Luperini.

Upon receiving her award, Somarriba said that it "means a lot to me, because I have been in the sport for many years, a very difficult sport for a woman. When I was told that I would be awarded this prize I felt satisfied."

New president for Basque Federation

Víctor García de Andoin (Guipuzcoa) has become the new President of the Basque Cycling Federation, replacing Javier Madariaga after a somewhat strange election. He met little opposition in the end because the Álava and Vizcayan federations protested and did not vote. The other main candidate, José Luis Llano , was from Vizcaya and did not present himself. Only 49 of a possible 100 votes were recorded, and García de Andoin won with a majority of 48 to 1.

Open BTT Monte Naranco cancelled

The 11th Open BTT Monte Naranco in Oviedo (Asturias) was cancelled this morning because of terrible weather conditions, in particular strong winds. Unfortunately the fans could not see World Champions, Miguel Martinez and Marga Fullana or road riders such as Oscar Freirie and Manuel 'Triki' Beltran.

Linda McCartney saga: Peter Rogers speaks

By Jeff Jones

The story of new Linda McCartney recruit, Peter Rogers, is no doubt similar to many others in the team. Just hours after flying across the world to attend the team presentation in London, Rogers had to face the fact that there was no team and a suddenly bleak future for him as a professional cyclist. Unfortunately, this is not the first time that it has happened to the 26 year old - he was a member of the Czech-Australian ZVVZ-Giant team in 1997, before it unexpectedly folded.

Rogers headed straight back home to Australia arriving in Sydney on Saturday, only a week after placing second in the toughest stage of the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under (Gawler to Tanunda). He was predictably shattered, and spoke to Cyclingnews before making the final leg of his trip home to Canberra.

"We knew nothing of it," said Rogers of the team's demise. "Julian Clark just strung everyone along. He's ruined the lives of 30 people. He was messing around with riders in the top 100 in the world,promising them around $500,000 a year. They had faith in him."

"I dealt with Neil Stephens [the team's new directeur sportif] and it was OK, everything was cool. He got all the other sponsors, including Oakley, and $150,000 of clothing which we had to send straight back," he added. After the cancelled team presentation, Stephens missed his flight home and had to remain in London "to stop other things from progressing."

According to Rogers, Stephens was going to pack a lot of punch for the team. "Neil was responsible for getting us into most of the big races. Now he has to ring all the race organisers up and tell them we are not coming."

The team's most experienced rider is Max Sciandri, who according to some reports is owed the best part of one year's salary. "He's owed so much money," said Rogers. "Max got us all and volunteered himself to pull something together - talk to Linda McCartney foods to try and work something out."

But most see this as a lost hope, and are now delving into their contact lists to try and grab last minute spots on teams for 2001. "I've got a few people looking out for me. I'm talking to three teams," said Rogers who is the older brother of Mapei recruit, Michael.

As a footnote, Cyclingnews readers have written in with several suggestions for potential sponsors, in addition to sympathy for the team. Some of the larger UK financial institutions, Sir Richard Branson of 'Virgin' fame (now there's an idea for a team!), Rover, AMP (large Australian insurance and investment firm) - companies looking to increase their profile in Europe via sports sponsorship.

As one reader put it, "We have two Olympic cyclists living in my area, and yet they are less likely to get a mention in the local paper than the second XI of the local junior school. With attitudes like that I'm amazed that any top class cyclists stay in the UK at all. Go abroad where you are appreciated."

Perez may join 05 Orbitel

Colombian cyclist Marlon Perez has returned home to Medellin after the collapse of the Linda McCartney team. He is talking to 05 Orbitel, which has become a division III team this year. Team manager, Raul Mesa said that the talks have progressed quite well, and Perez could sign fairly soon.

The team will race in Portugal and Spain in April/May in the Vuelta Ciclista a Aragon; Clasica Alcobendas; Gran Premio Mitsubishi; Journal Noticias; Vuelta ciclista a Asturias; and possibly the Vuelta a España.

Mercury-Viatel presentation

The Mercury-Viatel team had its presentation in New York City on Saturday, January 27. The 25 rider squad has been boosted in several ways: new riders, including Leon van Bon, Chann McRae, Peter van Petegem and Pavel Tonkov; new sponsors (Viatel); new staff (Johan Lammerts, Eddy Borysewicz, and Alain Gallopin as directeur sportives, Greg Lemond as advisor); and a new division I status, which team manager John Wordin hopes will gain them a wildcard entry into the Tour de France.

"Of course, we were are disappointed that were were not amongst the first 16 invited teams," said Wordin. "I am optimistic [of a wild card] but in the past, strange things have happened."

In addition to the Tour de France, the team also has its eyes set on winning World Cup races, especially the early season. With Leon van Bon and Peter van Petegem, they have two well credentialed World Cup riders, and these will be enhanced by Jans Koerts, Fabrizio Guidi and Geert van Bondt as well as the core of U.S. and Australian riders that have carried the team so far.

For the stage race classifications, Mercury-Viatel will be relying on riders like Niklas Axelsson, Chann McRae, Pavel Tonkov, and Andrei Tetriouk to complement the sprinters, who have been the team's mainstay over the past few years.

Team Roster

Team manager: John Wordin
Sport directors: Johan Lammerts, Thurlow Rogers, Eddy Borysewicz, Alain Gallopin, Stan Barrett, Yost Whit
Sponsor: Mercury: Cars; Viatel: Telecommunication company
Bikes: LeMond Bikes.


Niklas Axelsson (Swe) Panaria
Derek Bouchard-Hall (USA)
Baden Cooke (Aus)
Jamie Drew (Aus)
Gordon Fraser (Can)
William Frischkorn (USA)
Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) Francaise des Jeux
Chris Horner (USA)
Jans Koerts (Ned) Farm Frites
Floyd Landis (USA)
Chann McRae (USA) Mapei
Scott Moninger (USA)
John Peters (USA)
Chris Pic (USA)
Mike Sayers (USA)
Plamen Stainov (Bul) Neo
Andrei Teteriouk (Kaz) Liquigas
Pavel Tonkov (Rus) Mapei
Henk Vogels (Aus)
Chris Wherry (USA)
Phil Zajicek (USA)
Leon Van Bon (Ned) Rabobank
Geert Van Bondt (Bel) Farm Frites
Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Farm Frites
Wim Vansevenant (Bel) Farm Frites

Prime Alliance adds Knickman

New US division III pro team, Prime Alliance, has added Roy Knickman to its management group. Knickman's move from Mercury to Prime Alliance will bring the team an enormous level of experience, thanks to his diverse background at all levels of domestic and international cycling.

"I am very excited to be involved with the Prime Alliance Cycling Team. I have great confidence in all members of the Prime Alliance organization and plan to work hard to shape a team of the highest professional standard," said Knickman.

Knickman won a bronze medal at the 1984 Olympic Games, before going on to a very successful European and domestic career including Tour de France and Giro d'Italia experience, and a stage victory at the Tour of Switzerland. Knickman has also served as US Olympic and National Team Coach and has been part of the Mercury cycling team for several years.

Zaxby's lineup

By John Alsedek, correspondent

The Zaxby's Professional Cycling Team will be officially unveiled on Monday, but has been given a 'sneak peek' at what to expect by team management. Now in its second year, the team - sponsored by a fast-growing regional restaurant chain featuring such items as buffalo wings and chicken fingers - has retained its core group of homegrown talent, while also adding such riders as Dirk Friel (ex-Jet Fuel Coffee), Mike Ley (ex-7 UP/Colorado Cyclist), and Paul Read (ex-Shaklee).

"We will have more of a national emphasis than last year with the addition of these guys", said team manager Nicholas Jabro. The team kicks off its 2001 schedule with training camp in late February, and a 'media day' on March 1st in Athens, Georgia; from there, they start the racing season with the Greenville Training Series (March 3-4), followed by the Sequoia Cycling Classic (March 10-11), the Redlands Classic (March 13-18), and the Sea Otter Classic (March 22-24).

Team Roster

Pro Road Team

Nicholas Jabro (manager)
Dirk Friel
Paul Read
Mike Ley
Scottie Weiss
Jesse Lawler
Rusty Miller
Jacob Fetty
Micah Rice
Justin Gilmore
Max Finkbeiner
Alex Ferguson

MTB team

Max Finkbeiner
Rachel Rittgers
Erin Winter
Jeff Shirey
Connell McCormack
Edwin Hernandez


John Phillips


Title Sponsor: Zaxby's
Secondary Sponsor: Audi
Associate Sponsors: Speedo, Hooked on the Outdoors Magazine
Bike: Quattro Assi
Shoe: Sidi
Components: SRAM, Easton
Tire: Maxxis
Bike Shop: Dixon's Bicycles (Athens, GA)

Rosalind Reekie-May signs for UPMC/Pittsburgh CC

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Roz & Mark
Photo: © Joe Papp

New Zealander Rosalind (Roz) Reekie-May has signed to race the 2001 season in the colors of the UPMC Sports Medicine/Pittsburgh Cycling Club (PCC). Reekie-May, a native of Morrinsville, New Zealand, will ride the Saturn US Pro Tour, as well as a full complement of other national and international events.

The 28-year old professional has competed in two Olympic Games, two Tours de France, four world championships, and five World Cup events. "Signing Roz is quite a coup for the PCC," said UPMC/PCC Director Joe Papp. "To have a rider of her pedigree racing for our squad will provide our team and sponsors with exposure that would otherwise be difficult to obtain."

The UPMC Sports Medicine/Pittsburgh Cycling Club is an organization of competitive cyclists based in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area.

Ville de Charleroi-New Systems add Frenchman

The division II Belgian Ville de Charleroi-New Systems team has signed 25 year old Frenchman, Sébastien Laroche. He comes from the Bessons-Chaussures team, which finished last year.

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