Peter Van Petegem wants to leave the American Mercury. He told Belgian Radio that he will move teams this season, if possible. Financial problems arose for the team after the telecom company Viatel withdrew their sponsorship recently. A few cyclists are waiting for their salaries to be paid for June, however Peter van Petegem was quoted recently in Het Niuewsblad as saying that it is not a crisis yet.
The other Belgian riders, Wim Van Sevenant and Geert Van Bondt want to leave also. According to Cees Priem, Peter Van Petegem's ex-team director with TVM, the three riders can go to Gerolsteiner.
French team Cofidis rode itself out of the GC in the Tour de France yesterday as all nine riders missed the front group. Team director Alain Bondue wasn't too impressed, quoted in Het Niuewsblad as saying "These are amateurs that I am paying."
Next year, he won't have to pay as many, as the team will be reduced from 31 to 24 riders. "At the moment, we are riding three programs," said Bondue. "It is too hard to give everything in each race. Henceforth, we will do a double program."
Cofidis has been sponsoring cycling for five years, and will do so until at least 2003. General director Francis Migraine is a bike nut however, and may extend the contract until 2006.
The lynch-pin of the Mercatone Uno-Stream TV squad, Marco Pantani, has not yet renewed his contract with the team for next season. After a meeting last week, Romano Cenni, the director of the Italian supermarket chain expressed his confidence in Pantani, but left the decision open.
Next year, the team will be without directeur sportif Giuseppe Martinelli, who may be replaced by either Massimo Podenzana or Ricardo Magrini, both former pro's.
Marco Pinotti has extended his contract with Lampre-Daikin, signing a two year deal with Pietro Algeri's team recently.
French team Bonjour has signed up three new riders for next season from the amateur ranks: Jerome Pineau, Jimmy Engoulvent, and Anthony Geslin.
The Vuelta Ciclista a España 2002 will start in Valencia on September 7 with an individual time trial, according to race organisers Unipublic. The presentation took place this morning in the rooms of the city council of Valencia, with Manuel Perez (president of the Spanish Cycling Federation) amongst those present.
The race will be held from September 7-29 in 2002, and it was also revealed that it will start in Gijon in 2003. If all goes according to plan, on September 6, 2002 the team presentation will be staged in the city of Valencia, with the time trial to follow on September 7. The start of stage 2 will also be in Valencia.
This year, the Vuelta starts on September 8, and Valencia will host the end of the 211 kilometre stage 15, which finishes atop the Alto de Aitana, a special category climb.
This Spanish race, taking place on July 27, was presented today in Huesca by the sponsors Iberjaca and the Club Ciclista Sabiñánigo. Starting in Sabiñánigo, the 200 kilometre classic will travel to Jaca, back to Sabiñánigo, then cross the Puertos de Serrablo, Boltaña, Broto, Cotefablo, Biescas, and back to Sabiñánigo for two laps of a circuit around Cartirana.
Six Spanish teams, and several foreign teams are expected, with 120 cyclists in total. Fernando Escartín (Coast), José María Jimenez, Aitor and Unai Osa (iBanesto.com), Abraham Olano (ONCE-Eroski), Francesco Cabello (Kelme), Ramón Arrieta and Iker Flores (Euskaltel), Quintano and Loreto (Jazztel) and last year's winner Davide Casarotto (Alessio) are amongst the confirmed starters, with Mapei-Quick Step (Freire, Cañada) a possibility at the moment.
A court in Poitiers has today handed down its judgment in the "Belgian Pot affair", which involved a large number of amateur cyclists and a few professionals in France. Patrick Charron was given a three year prison sentence and a fine of FF150,000 (US$20,000) as one of the principal suppliers of drugs in the affair.
Charron was accused of possession, transport, and peddling the Belgian Pot (a mixture of amphetamines, analgesics, occasionally heroin or cocaine) to amateur cyclists during 1997 and 1998. Approximately 6 weeks ago, another 39 of the 41 on trial were given suspended prison sentences ranging from 2 to 30 months, and fines from FF2,500-8,000. Many of them named Mr Charron as one of the main suppliers and sellers in this business.
He was recommended for four years jail by the prosecution, as this is a serious crime in France under the anti-drug law. He was given three years, and has the opportunity to appeal before the judge.
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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