News for March 13, 2001

Recent results and new features

35th Tirreno-Adriatico

The second major stage race of this week after Paris-Nice is Tirreno-Adriatico (Italy) from March 14-21. Ranked 'Hors Categorie', the eight day race will see 25 teams in contention, with many riders eagerly looking forward to Milan-San Remo on March 24. The race totals 1,155 kilometres, and includes one time trial stage on day 5, March 18.

It commences with a 132 kilometre circuit race in Sorrento on Wednesday, March 14, with three ascents of the 465 m Picco Sant'Angelo. On day two, the race is from Sorrento to Benevento (163 km), with the 500 m climb at Celzi (km 61) the only difficulty. The third day finishes with the climb up to Santuario Dell'addolorata Di Castelpetroso (811 m), but this is just a prelude to stage 4 which is considered the toughest.

On that day, the race travels 170 km from Isernia to Celano, with three major climbs. Valico del Macerone (km 6.7, 684 m), Valico il Calvario (km 46.3, 1,112 m), and Passo del Diavolo (km 92.7, 1,400 m). However, the final climb is nearly 80 kilometres from the finish. The fifth day is a 14.2 kilometre time trial from Campli to Torricella Sicura, with no major hills.

The last three stages are relatively flat, and the race finishes with a 161 kilometre circuit race in San Benedetto Del Tronto on March 21.

Of the 25 teams in the race, 12 are Italian and 13 are foreign. World Champion Romans Vainsteins will be along with Domo-Farm Frites, while Michael Boogerd should be one of the favourites for Rabobank. Last year's defending champion Abraham Olano will be there with ONCE, while Mario Cipollini (Saeco) might also oblige with a stage win.


  • Stage 1 - March 14: Sorrento-Sorrento, 132 km
  • Stage 2 - March 15: Sorrento-Benevento, 163 km
  • Stage 3 - March 16: Benevento-Santuario Dell'addolorata Di Castelpetroso, 156 km
  • Stage 4 - March 17: Isernia-Celano, 170 km
  • Stage 5 - March 18: Campli-Torricella Sicura ITT, 14.2 km
  • Stage 6 - March 19: Torre San Patrizio-Monte San Pietrangeli, 136 km
  • Stage 7 - March 20: Fermo-Ortezzano, 223 km
  • Stage 8 - March 21: San Benedetto Del Tronto (Circuit), 161 km

Stage 1: 3 x Picco Sant'Angelo (km 111.3, 465 m)
Stage 2: Celzi (km 61, 500 m)
Stage 3: Castelpetroso (km 150.3, 811 m)
Stage 4: Valico del Macerone (km 6.7, 684 m), Valico il Calvario (km 46.3, 1,112 m), Passo del Diavolo (km 92.7, 1,400 m)
Stage 6: 2 x Monte San Giusto (km 83.1, 236 m)
Stage 7: Petritoli (km 192.4, 371 m)
Stage 8: Montalto delle Marche (km 61.5, 513 m)


1 Alessio (Ita)
2 Bonjour (Fra)
3 Cantina Tollo-Acqua & Sapone (Ita)
4 Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo (Ita)
5 Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone (Fra)
6 Credit Agricole (Fra)
7 CSC-World Online (Den)
8 Domo-Farm Frites (Bel)
9 Fassa Bortolo (Ita)
10 Festina (Fra)
11 (Spa)
12 La Francaise Des Jeux (Fra)
13 Lampre-Daikin (Ita)
14 Liquigas-Pata (Ita)
15 Mapei-Quick Step (Ita)
16 Mercatone Uno-Albacom (Ita)
17 Mobilvetta Design-Formaggi Trentini (Ita)
18 O.N.C.E. (Spa)
19 Rabobank (Ned)
20 Saeco Macchine Per Caffè (Ita)
21 Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola (Ita)
22 Team Coast (Ger)
23 Team Colpack (Ita)
24 Team Deutsche Telekom (Ger)
25 US Postal Service (USA)

Virenque's suspension brought forward

The Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland, has rejected Richard Virenque's appeal to get his nine month drug ban reduced, although it has agreed to move his re-entry date forward to August 14. Virenque was given the suspension late last year after he confessed to EPO and other drug use during the final edition of the Festina trial in Lille, France.

He was originally fined 4,000 Swiss francs ($US 2,418) and suspended from January 31, 2000 to October 30, 2001, a total of nine months. However, he claimed that he had already missed over a month and a half of racing after the trial recommenced. The three man appeals committee decided to bring forward his return date to August 14, 2001.

In a surprising turnaround, the appeals committee also considered turning the ban into a suspended sentence, meaning that he wouldn't have to serve it unless found guilty of another offence. However, a statement issued said that "they decided against it in the light of the seriousness of the facts, which were recognised by the rider himself, but only belatedly and in the framework of a court case."

"The appeals board said that the granting of a suspended sentence should remain an exceptional measure and that Richard Virenque should not benefit from one because his admission was not spontaneous," it said.

Virenque will miss this year's Tour de France, a race in which he has won the King of the Mountains classification 5 times.

Lance update

1) Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantani have for the time being buried the hatchet, according to his website The two raced together during the recent Tour of Murcia, and met one night. "We sat down face to face and ironed out our differences. There is a lot of mutual respect and admiration there and so it was a good thing," said Armstrong. "The rivalry lives - but now it's only on the bike - it's a sporting one only."

Armstrong continued, saying "He's a good guy and was very much the gentleman in the meeting. In fact, he's going to donate a Giro d'Italia Pink Jersey for the Ride for the Roses silent auction - he's actually a pretty classy guy."

2) Speaking of the Ride for the Roses, it has been confirmed that Lance will be in attendance (of course) but will not likely be racing the BMC Software Austin Criterium, contrary to other information. "Crits aren't really my thing and the risk just isn't worth it," he said.

Also it should be noted that the course hasn't changed and is 1 kilometre (not 1.6 km), while the BMC Tour of Arlington is only 3 kilometres, not 5.6 km.

Women's UCI rankings

The UCI have issued its first set of women's rankings for the year, following on from the Tour de Snowy and women's World Cup in Canberra last week. There are few changes at the top, as world numbers one and two Diana Ziliute (Acca Due O) and Hanka Kupfernagel (Farm Frites) have yet to commence racing.

World Cup leader Anna Millward (Saturn) performed marginally better than last year by winning four stages of the Tour de Snowy (instead of three) and wearing the race leader's jersey for five stages. However, this only netted her an extra 10 points, and she remains in third position followed by Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel (Farm Frites). World Champion Zinaida Stahurskaia (GAS) moved up to 7th place (from 12th) courtesy of her second place overall in the TdS.

The team ranking hierarchy remains the same, with Acca Due O clearly leading the way followed by Farm Frites-Hartol, Alfa Lum, Saturn-Timex and GAS Sport. The Netherlands are the number one nation with Leontien and Mirjam Melchers the two top riders for that country. Lithuania follows in second place, while Germany is third.

Rankings as of March 12, 2001


1 Diana Ziliute (Ltu) Acca Due O-H.P. Lorena Camicie        706.00 pts
2 Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) Farm Frites-Hartol                631.67
3 Anna Millward (Aus) Saturn-Timex                          551.00
4 Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel (Ned) Farm Frites-Hartol    510.00
5 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) Acca Due O-H.P. Lorena Camicie      486.50
6 Joane Somarriba Arrola (Spa) Team Alfa Lum R.S.M.         417.00
7 Zinaida Stahurskaia (Blr) Gas Sport Team                  375.00
8 Pia Sundstedt (Fin) Gas Sport Team                        361.00
9 Chantal Beltman (Ned)                                     316.50
10 Svetlana Boubnenkova (Rus) Edilsavino                    307.00
11 Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli (Fra)                             293.34
12 Mari Holden (USA) Team Alfa Lum R.S.M.                   293.00
13 Susanne Ljungskog (Swe) Vlaanderen-T-Interim Ladies Team 281.00
14 Fabiana Luperini (Ita) Edilsavino                        258.00
15 Tatiana Stiajkina (Ukr) Team Alfa Lum R.S.M.             219.50
16 Zoulfia Zabirova (Rus) Acca Due O-H.P. Lorena Camicie    218.50
17 Ina Teutenberg (Ger) Saturn-Timex                        210.00
18 Petra Rossner (Ger) Saturn-Timex                         202.00
19 Madeleine Lindberg (Swe) Team Farm Frites-Hartol         200.00
20 Rasa Polikeviciute (Ltu) Acca Due O-H.P. Lorena Camicie  195.00
1 Acca Due O-H.P. Lorena Camicie             1606.00 pts
2 Team Farm Frites-Hartol                    1418.67
3 Team Alfa Lum R.S.M.                       1106.00
4 Saturn-Timex                               1039.00
5 Gas Sport Team                             1032.00
6 Edilsavino                                  745.00
7 Vlaanderen-T-Interim Ladies Team            569.00
8 Team Sponsorservice                         418.00
9 CDI                                         248.00
10 Cycling Team                197.00
1 Netherlands                                1469.67 pts
2 Lithuania                                  1253.50
3 Germany                                    1228.17
4 Australia                                   841.00
5 Russia                                      798.50
6 France                                      796.34
7 Italy                                       750.00
8 U.S.A.                                      562.00
9 Sweden                                      543.00
10 Norway                                     484.00

Women's Ronde van Vlaanderen in 2002?

A significant addition to the women's calendar could be a version of the Ronde van Vlaanderen men's World Cup race, starting in 2002. Details have yet to be confirmed but the event would be held on the same day as the men's race. Currently, the women's World Cup races overlap with Milan San Remo (March 24), La Fleche Wallone (April 18), and the First Union USPRO championship in Philadelphia (June 10).

UCI banned list update: Plasma Expanders out

It is only in French at the moment, but the latest revision of the UCI banned substances list appears to correct some anomalies, in particular with regard to the so called 'plasma volume expanders'. These may be used by riders to lower their hematocrit and haemoglobin levels to legal limits, and were the subject of a recent doping scandal at the cross-country skiing World Championships.

The ban of these substances is covered by the rule prohibiting athletes to manipulate their blood, "except in proven medical need". Blood transfusions, artificial oxygen transporters, plasma volume expanders, or any other manipulations are therefore illegal. The UCI is aiming to unify its banned list with the International Olympic Committee soon.

Nothstein to Mercury

According to reports, US Olympic Gold Medallist Marty Nothstein is riding for Mercury-Viatel this season, with an expected multi-year deal to be announced shortly. He was spotted racing in his new colours yesterday.

Despite the departure of Erik Saunders and a rather late UCI registration, it seems that the much vaunted division III Noble House team is still aiming to compete this year. But not yet.

Courtesy of J. Alain Ferry/

Downhill World Cup to Grouse Mountain

The UCI has announced that the third round of the Downhill/Dual and the fourth round of the Cross Country Mountain Bike World Cup originally scheduled on 7-8 July, 2001 in Whistler, Canada, have been moved.

The new venue for the triple event is Grouse Mountain, also in Canada, located half an hour from Vancouver's city centre. The event is now being organised by Gestev Inc, who have also organised the Mont-Sainte-Anne and Mexico World Cups.

Argus Pick 'n Pay news

The 109 kilometre Cape Argus Pick 'n Pay Tour in South Africa had a staggering 35,000 starters, with over twice that number of spectators. The "race" was won by Douglas Ryder from Czech Lubor Tesar, however in the remainder of the field there were nearly 100 falls, resulting in 48 people being taken to hospital. All 35,000 riders were timed, but started in 54 separate groups...

Marco Polo Cycling Club

The Marco Polo Cycling Club is an international Internet-based cycling club founded in late December 2000. The main objective of the club is to bring riders from all over the world together, giving racing opportunities to riders from non-traditional cycling countries. At the beginning of March 2001, the club had 143 members from over 20 countries registered, including off road riders, Bart Brentjens, Kashi Leuchs, Wim de Vos and Bart Wellens.

On the road side, the Marco Polo club has contested the Tour of the South China Sea (as International Village Peddler) and the Tour of Rhodes. Next up for the team are the Redlands Classic (March 13-18) and Sea Otter (March 22-25) events.

Team roster for Redlands and Sea Otter

Kam Po Wong (HKg)
Leung Chi Hang (HKg)
Wong Ngai Ching (HKg)
Nathan Dahlberg (NZl)
Robin Reid (NZl)
Andy Reid (NZl)
Craig Thomson (NZl)
Cory Lange (Can)
Dominique Perras (Can)
Glen Mitchell (NZl)



Recent results and new features on cyclingnews