News for November 1, 2001

Recent results and new features

Dunlap to sign for Clif Bar LUNA CHIX MTB team

Click for larger image
Alison Dunlap
Photo: © Rob Karman

World mountain bike champion Alison Dunlap has signed a letter of intent to ride in 2002 for the Clif Bar LUNA CHIX women's MTB team. Dunlap, who has been effectively without a sponsor since the bankruptcy and sale of GT Bicycles in September, told Cyclingnews in a recent interview that she was looking for a sponsor who would be able to give her an immediate start to support her cyclo-cross campaign.

Dunlap joins downhill racer Marla Streb, signed at the end of September, in the team. Streb, noted for being (very tastefully) photographed nude in Outside magazine last year, will compete in World Cup and NORBA National events beginning in spring 2002. In 2002, Streb will be one of four athletes featured in "The Science of Speed," a new film that will be shown at IMAX theaters worldwide.

In addition to the racing team, LUNA CHIX will include the LUNA Ambassadors, a group of female mountain bike racers who will take on the role of athletic ambassador, raising awareness, funding and support for women's causes, including The Breast Cancer Fund. The name LUNA comes from a Clif Bar product aimed at providing "whole nutrition for women"

Ochoa on the mend

Former Kelme rider Javier Ochoa has spoken in public for the first time since the accident that put him in a coma for over a month and killed his twin brother and team-mate Ricardo, according to a report from news agency Reuters

At an emotional press conference in Bilbao on Tuesday, Ochoa thanked the Kelme team and well-wishers for their support, saying, "It seems unbelievable that the people still think of me."

The press applauded Ochoa as he walked slowly to the platform, helped by his brother Andoni.

"I feel better all the time," he said. "It's a long, slow process but I'm prepared to give everything I have."

"The worst thing is having to get up every morning to work for three hours. If it has to be done I'll do it, though. I do feel a bit of envy when I watch cycling on TV because I still can't ride.

"Let's see if in a year or 18 months I can ride a bit."

The Ochoa brothers were hit by a car while training in Malaga in February. Javier Ochoa suffered serious head and chest injuries was treated in hospitals in Malaga and Bilbao before being transferred to a recovery centre in Mondragon close to his family home in the Basque country.

Fassa Bortolo to 24

The Italian Fassa Bortolo squad is aiming to defend its current place at the top of the UCI team rankings by boosting its numbers to 24 in 2002, replacing six riders who are leaving with seven new faces.

The new arrivals are include four riders from the Liquigas squad: Sergey Honchar, Denis Zanette, Marco Zanotti and Gorazd Stangelj, plus Sven Montgomery (from la Franšaise des Jeux), Rinaldo Nocentini (Mapei) and Marco Velo (Mercatone Uno).

The departing half-dozen are: Dario Frigo (to Tacconi), Andrea Peron (CSC), Leonardo Giordani (Colpack), Marco Fincato and Luca Mazzanti (both to Mercatone Uno), and Raimondas Rumsas (Lampre)

Casero to merged Festina/Coast?

The 2002 destination of Vuelta winner Angel Casero is still unknown. With the recent signing of Raimondas Rumsas by Lampre and Gilberto Simoni to Saeco, there doesn't seem to be a strong Italian squad remaining as a home for Casero's talents.

However Casero has hinted to the Italian press that he might be 'living a similar moment' for 2002; that is, on the same team. Since the Festina team is no more, that's not possible. What's he getting at? Is there a de facto merger in the air between the team formerly known as Festina and Team Coast?

Coast, the Other German Division I team, has not had a good year, finishing near the bottom of the UCI team rankings above only Mercatone-Uno. In an effort to improve its chances for next year, Coast has already hired Festina Directeur sportif Juan Fernandez, his 2inC Roberto Torres, doctor Eduardo Gonzalez Salvador, three mechanics, three masseurs and five riders including David Plaza Romero.

If Coast picks up Casero, he will almost certainly take with him his brother Rafael and lieutenant Juan Carlos Vicario. Their UCI points, plus the points of the Festina riders Coast has already signed, might be enough to lift the German team into an automatic entry in the Tour de France, depending on the exact composition of other teams for 2002.

Mapei to split in two for 2002

Italian Řber-squad Mapei Quick Step will achieve a reduction in its numbers from the 41-strong 2001 team to one of 25-28 riders in 2002 by splitting itself in two, according to team manager Giorgio Squinzi.

Squinzi said that the team intended to reduce its numbers in accordance with UCI president Hein Verbruggen's request of a few months ago, and in preparation of the introduction of a 25 rider limit by the UCI in 2003.

However, Squinzi added that he did not want to abandon the team's involvement in the development of younger riders which has produced interesting athletes such as Bodrogi, Paolini and Cioni. Therefore Mapei will continue the work of rider development in a 13 rider third division team that will be as similar in name and appearance as the regulations allow.

Squinzi also commented that the combination of the new "top ten club" and the reduction in team sizes would inevitably increase the workload of the riders, as it would be necessary for many riders to take part in at least two Grand Tours per year.

Glomser to Saeco

Austrian Gerrit Glomser, 26, one of the riders made bikeless by the demise of the Post Swiss team has signed for Saeco.

Glomser signed his contract in Vienna on with team manager Claudio Corti and his new directeur sportif Guido Bontempi.

Glomser turned pro in 1998 for the Italian Scrigno-Gaerne team after a strong year as an espoir with Mapei U23 when he was third in the U23 world's, European championships and World Cup. He subsequently rode for Navigare-Gaerne and Panaria-Gaerne before joining Post Swiss for the 2001 season.

Desbiens stops

32 year old Frenchman Laurent Desbiens has announced his retirement. He made his decision yesterday after riding for 10 years in the professional peloton for teams such as Collstrop, Castorama, GAN, Cofidis and Kelme.

Desbiens won the overall classification of the Four Days of Dunkirk in 1993as well as a stage in the Tour de France in 1997. One year later he pulled on the yellow jersey for a short time during the Tour. In this year's Tour he fell on the first stage and was forced to abandon shortly afterwards.

Fernandes brothers bow out

France's Fernandes brothers, Philippe and Franšois, who rode respectively for LA Pecol and Jodofer in 2001 will both end their professional careers at the end of 2001. Philippe, who won the Montejunto stage in the GP Agostinho in July, did not have a new interesting offer from LA Pecol. Their parents moved recently from the suburbs of Paris to the south-west of France (Gers). Franšois is already working in his father's company (contractors). Philippe is trying to find a job in the French public service. Both will certainly carry on with cycling at a lesser level.

Courtesy of Daniel Schamps

Monroe Leaves USA Cycling

By Tim Maloney, cyclingnews.com correspondent

Well known cycling evangelist Mary Monroe has parted ways with USA Cycling, leaving her post as Chief Marketing Officer after nearly a year on the job. "My time at USA Cycling was very dynamic; we accomplished a lot to grow cycling in America," Monroe told Cyclingnews.

As USA Cycling CMO, Monroe was responsible for managing overall marketing, corporate sponsorship relationships & managed the new USA Cycling branding campaign and the upcoming re-design of a new membership publication. " Above all, we built new and positive relationships for USA Cycling; that was fundamental, " stated Monroe, who will not be replaced as USA Cycling Chief Marketing Officer.

Before her appointment as the first-ever CMO at USAC, Monroe had her own sports marketing firm where, among other projects, she helped Juli Furtado create the Juliana bike company and worked to develop the image of the American Birkebiner XC ski race. Monroe was the Sports Marketing Director for Trek Bicycles, where she most notably signed the benchmark Jetta Volkswagen promotion to the Trek mountain bike team; the USPS team to ride Trek bikes, and signed double Olympic MTB champion Paola Pezzo. Monroe is the vice president of IMBA and races expert class mountain bikes.

" I'm looking forward to a lot of cross-country skiing this winter and to exploring my next career opportunities. " said Monroe.

TXBRA Awards top local riders

By Ted Arnold

It was a night for Texan amateurs and international elite alike to mingle as the Texas Bicycle Racing Association (TXBRA) hosted its first annual awards ceremony, in conjunction with the United Youth Sports (UYS) Gala in Downtown Austin. The ceremony, held on Friday October 26, honored the state's top amateur male and female athletes after a successful TXBRA racing calendar season.

Category winners in the season-long Festina/SmartFUEL Texas Cup included Jason Davis (Plano Cycling) in the Men's Pro/1/2 Division and Amy Lewis (Richardson Bike Mart) in the women's Pro/1/2/3 category. On the track, Ryan Crissey (Superdrome.com) took the men's Pro/1/2 series and Alane Ballweg (Gulf Coast Cycling) the women's.

These riders and others were treated to Festina watches among other prizes for their hard work. In its inaugural year TXBRA was able to bring cohesion to racers and promoters alike while creating a positive avenue to grow the sport.

The evening played host to cycling notables Chann McRae (Mercury) and wife Jennifer, as well as Kevin Livingston (Telekom) and his wife Becky who are expecting their first child. Also in attendance was Lara Ruthven (Carpe Dieme-Itera), who competed in both the Italian and French national tours for women this year; she was accompanied by her husband Tom.

In addition to recognizing the hard work of the athletes the event also served as a fundraiser for Austin-based non-profit United Youth Sports. UYS works to provide underprivileged youths with positive experiences through non-traditional athletic events such as cycling. Silent auctions were held for everything from gym memberships, to merchandise such as Trek 5900 signed by Lance Armstrong. The proceeds of the evening will directly benefit the UYS programs for youths, which are partnered with the City of Austin's Parks and Recreation Department.

Highland Park Cross to Benefit New York Firefighters Burn Center Foundation

Highland Park, New Jersey is the site of Round 6 of the Mid-Atlantic Championship Cyclo-Cross Series on November 4. Presented by Highland Park Hermes and Rutgers Cycling, the proceeds of this race will be donated to the New York Firefighters Burn Center Foundation.

The Highland Park course (which is actually in Donaldson Park, on the banks of the Raritan River) is notoriously fast, offers a great mix of terrain and even includes a brief encounter with a little riverbank mud.

Besides the standard offerings of medals, merchandise and cash, other prizes up for grabs include treats such as home-baked pies and pumpkins. In fact, the promoters are offering up a "snazzy prize" to the winner of the first lap in each race. Snazzy prizes??

The Elite Women will come to the starting line with Josie Shew (First State Velo) wearing the MAC series leader's jersey. Not far behind her in second place sits Thais Silva, the junior mountain bike rider from Team Wissahickon. Silva vaulted into second spot in the points after her win at the All Hallows 'Cross race in Reston, Virginia. In that race, Silva jumped out to an early lead but was eventually reeled in by Kelly Yoder (Team TalgoAmerica) and Jessica Peil (Snow Valley). The trio stayed together until the final lap when Yoder opened a small gap. Silva and Peil fought back and a charging Silva passed Yoder heading into the last set of barriers. Peil went with her but Silva held on and claimed her first win of the season.

In the Men's Elite field, Ryan Dewald (Beans Rheinhardt) is getting pretty accustomed to the yellow leader's jersey. Dewald claimed the jersey after Round 1 and has never looked back. In fact he put more distance between himself and second placed rider, Bill Elliston (Jaeger Wheelmen) by taking another win at All Hallow's 'Cross. At the Reston, Virginia race, the group of Dewald, Elliston, Szymon Niemotko (Evolution Racing), Jason Moore (Beans Rheinhardt), Sean Groom (Snow Valley), Ryan Leech (Monkey Hill CS/Aquafina) and Greg Ferguson (Trek VW) immediately separated themselves from the rest of the field. Ferguson and Niemotko eventually fell off the pace. Leech held on the longest but he too eventually lost contact after flatting a tire. Dewald, Elliston, Moore and Groom battled it out until the final lap when Elliston made his attack heading into the last set of barriers. The same move that gave him the win at Granogue a few weeks ago was not enough this week. Dewald countered and in a furious sprint to the line, Dewald took the win. Elliston was second, Moore was third and Groom took fourth place honors.

Racing starts at 10am on Sunday, November 4, 2001. The Elite Women's race starts at 12:30pm and the Elite Men start at 2:30pm.

Prior to the start of racing, a free cyclo-cross skills clinic will be offered to all interested parties.

For more information go to www.monkeyhillcs.com/mac

New course for Sydney MTB Interclub

Sunday November 4 sees the first use of a new mountain bike race course in Sydney's popular Interclub MTB series.

The course is located at the Penrose state forest, approximately 55 minutes drive from Narellan Rd, Campbelltown on the Hume Highway, a kilometer south from the McDonalds/Shell service station, Sutton Forest or 40 minutes north of Goulburn. It will be sign posted on the day.

The new venue provides a shorter course (around 20 minutes for a fast lap) for the lower grades and a longer, more technical course (30+ minutess) for the higher grades.

Registration opens at 8.30am, start times are 9:20 am to 9:40 am for Sport men, Veteran men, Expert Women, Sport Women, U17, and U15; and 11 am for Expert men and U19 men.

Bicycle messenger emergency fund set up

The Bicycle Messenger Emergency fund is a new initiative to help injured bike messengers in the first day or two after an accident, a time when messengers often find themselves unable to work and short of cash because of their typical status as not-fabulously-well-paid freelance contractors.

The fund has been set up by Jean Vallery of Sarasota, Florida. You can find out more details, including how to contribute or request assistance, at the fund's website, http://bicyclemessenger.info/.

Recent results and new features on Cyclingnews

Major Races and Events
   September 7-29, 2002: Vuelta a Espa˝a (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) - Bj÷rn 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 CittÓ 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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