News for March 8, 2001

Recent results and new features

Ullrich starts out

On the eve of his first race of the season (Tour of Murcia), Jan Ullrich gave an indication of how his pre-season preparation has gone. Over the European winter he has alternated between South Africa and Spain in several training camps, and has reached the start of the 2001 season at a good racing weight, with 3000-4000 more kilometres in his legs than this time last year.

In an interview with German newspaper, "Die Welt" Ullrich commented that he "probably had too much weight coming from the training camp, but it it is logical that I have not reached my Tour weight at this point of the season."

The Tour of Murcia saw Marco Pantani, Lance Armstrong, Stefano Garzelli and Jan Ullrich on the start list, but none of them are expected to come to the fore at this point in the season. The results of the first flat stage saw Pantani finish 15th, while the rest were between 56th and 64th.

Ullrich said that he will "Worry about the Armstrong topic when the time comes. At the moment, it isn't. Likewise, I am a minor topic for Lance at the moment. We are both preparing for the Tour de France. There I think, everyone will have enough to do."

Riebenbauer wins, Braikia falls

The first stage of the Tour of Murcia, won by Austrian Werner Riebenbauer (Nurnberger) was overshadowed by a fall involving Tayeb Braikia. The Danish Lotto rider hit the barriers on the run in to the finish, and ricocheted off them into the speeding peloton. He was hit by several more riders and taken to a nearby hospital. He suffered multiple contusions to his face but there were no bones broken.

Bad luck for the former Linda McCartney rider who won the Clasica Almeria last weekend. He will probably resume training within a fortnight, according to his manager Henrik Elmgreen.

Virenque heard by TAS

Suspended cyclist Richard Virenque has been heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne with regard to getting his nine month suspension reduced. Virenque was handed the penalty in December last year after he confessed to EPO and other drug use during the final installment of the Festina trial. However, Virenque considered nine months to be too severe compared with his former Festina teammates, as it would effectively his 2001 season and make things hard to find a contract for 2002.

He and his lawyer, Albert Rey-Mermet presented their case to the CAS in a meeting on Tuesday, and the outcome is expected to be made public in a few days.

Ochoa update

Injured Spanish cyclist, Javier Ochoa, has been operated on in Carlos Haya Hospital where he has spent the last 15 days in a coma. Ochoa required urgent surgery after pleuro-pulmonary complications caused a deterioration in his condition. According to medical reports, Ochoa remains in a deep coma with severe respiratory insufficiency.

It's Millar time!

Dave Millar's site has gone live, and jolly nice it is too. There's lots of pics of Dave, both casual and in action, a message board and a an on-line supporter's club is planned. Good stuff!Take a look at it here, and for other pro and elite rider sites, check out our listing here.

Moreau out of Paris-Nice

Festina's top stage racer, Christophe Moreau, has been forced to pull out of Paris-Nice that starts this weekend. Moreau has been suffering from bronchitis, and is not able to race for at least two weeks. Along with Laurent Jalabert, this means that two of France's best cyclists will not be racing in this prestigious event.

Moreau's directeur sportif, Yvon Sanquer said that "Christophe is not able to work for two weeks, and we don't think it's reasonable for him to start this race, where we are not sure about the climatic conditions. He will depart for more sun and to rebuild his health."

Festina has replaced him with Arnaud Pretot. The team will be led by Pascal Chanteur and Florent Brard, with Spaniard Angel Casero riding in support.

No Milan-San Remo for Robert Hunter

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Robert Hunter
Robert Hunter (Lampre-Daikin) will not participate in this year's Milan-San Remo. The South African was part of a long breakaway in MSR last year, but has not yet recovered from a back injury sustained during Etoile de Besseges last month.

He had two weeks rest, but has now recommenced his training, although he will also miss the Ronde van Vlaanderen on April 8. Instead, he will build up his season with the Settimana Internazionale (March 27-31) and the Driedaagse van De Panne (April 3-5).

In Lampre's Milan-San Remo team he will be replaced by Oscar Camenzind, while Mariano Piccoli will take his place in GP E3 Harelbeke (March 31) and the Brabantse Pijl (April 1).

Petersen and Vestøl to Fakta

It looks like Norwegian ex-McCartney Bjørnar Vestøl will join Team Fakta together with Danish Jørgen Bo Petersen, who is registered for Wallonian team Ville de Charleroi.

"These are the names we are dealing with," said sports director Kim Andersen who added that with 15 riders, the team now will be able to run two squads, thereby picking up more UCI points for their assault on division one next year.

Pittsburgh Cycling Team

The Pittsburgh Cycling Club's competitive squad, UPMC Pittsburgh Cycling, has announced its roster and sponsors for the 2001 season. Leading the elite team for the third consecutive year will be Team Director and Cat. 1 rider, Joe Papp. He will be joined by 19 year old Mike Friedman, who has ridden for the US Junior National Team in Europe. Friedman will lead Team USA at Cuba's Vuelta Ciclistica a la Habana del Este, a five-day stage race beginning April 3.

A casual glance at the elite women's roster reveals a certain New Zealand influence. The women will be captained by Rosalind Reekie-May, one of New Zealand's top cyclists and wife of men's team member Mark May. Three other Kiwis, Tracy Clark, Annalisa Farrell, and Melissa Holt will join Reekie-May in the team, and a big focus will be on the Saturn US Pro Tour.

Team Roster

Elite Men

Joe Papp (USA)
Mike Friedman (USA)
Bret Goodpaster (USA)
Mark May (NZl)
David Ohmer (USA)
Jeff Timinski (USA)

Elite Women

Rosalind Reekie-May (NZl)
Tracy Clark (NZl)
Annalisa Farrell (NZl)
Melissa Holt (NZl)

Developmental Men

Matt Frey (USA)
Steve Hutter (USA)
Dan Latt (USA)
Jeff Martello (USA)
Don Mosites (USA)
John Oshlick (USA)
James Paulovitch
Greg Troyer (USA)

Developmental Women

Dee Frazzini (USA)


UPMC Sports Medicine
InPittsburgh Weekly
Jones Soda
Baker's Bicycle & Fitness Center
Rudy Project

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