Edited by Jeff Jones
By Jeff Jones
The battle lines are being drawn up between the 30 teams that will make up Division I in 2002. It's an important cut to make for anyone with ambitions on riding the World Cups and Grand Tours, and the team's status will be decided primarily from its UCI points. Any team that was division I this year will automatically be given division I status next year, provided at least 50% of its riders are kept. The top team of division II, Alessio, will also be promoted to division I. The remaining division I spots will be awarded to teams on the basis of their top eight riders (UCI points) as of November 15, 2001.
With one or two year contracts being quite common in pro cycling, the transfer scene is always fairly lively. "Who is going where and how many points/wins etc. will they bring to their new team?" is a common question for cycling analysts.
A look at the principal rider transfers for next season reveals that at the top of the scale, it is fairly calm. Five riders in the top 20 will change teams next season, with Italians David Rebellin and Gilberto Simoni the two biggest fish. Rebellin will join German team Gerolsteiner, leaving Liquigas which is losing its sponsor next season. There is talk that the remaining Liquigas riders will ride for a new sponsor, Maglieria Cage, with rumours that they will sign Vuelta Espana winner Angel Casero (ex-Festina). It will be up to the UCI to determine whether this new team has enough of the 'old blood' to remain as division I, giving it access to the major tours for 2002.
Gilberto Simoni's departure from Lampre to Saeco Macchine per Caffe was a little surprising, as it seemed certain at one stage that he would renew with Lampre's pink and blue. Simoni will join Danilo di Luca in Saeco, the latter who was exchanged for Mario Cipollini to the Acqua e Sapone team.
The Lampre team will gain two excellent riders in Pavel Tonkov (ex-Mercury) and Raimondas Rumsas (ex-Fassa Bortolo). Tonkov did not have a brilliant season with Mercury, as he missed out riding in any grand tours. It was a similar situation (but for different reasons) with Rumsas, who still managed to finish 20th on the UCI rankings.
Surprisingly nestled in 11th spot on the UCI list is Dario Frigo with 1,251 points. Frigo racked up an impressive number of UCI points in the early part of the season, but was without a team from June 8 after he was sacked by Fassa Bortolo for being found in possession of illegal drugs. He kept his points, even after sitting the rest of the season on the bench. Then he was snapped up by Tacconi Sport for 2002, where he hopes to redeem himself.
US Postal's Levi Leipheimer surprised more than a few in the Vuelta Espana, having a great race to finish third, the first time an American has reached the podium of this race. Shortly afterwards, he parted company with US Postal to sign with top Dutch squad Rabobank, where he hopes to really make his mark as a stage race rider. His teammate Tyler Hamilton will also be sorely missed in US Postal, after switching to the Danish CSC-Tiscali team. Hamilton has been a valuable lieutenant to Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France, and he was hard to replace.
Another American on the move is Credit Agricole's Bobby Julich, who did not have his contract renewed with CA but was snapped up by Deutsche Telekom. There he will have the company of Kevin Livingston, who left US Postal in 2000 to ride for Telekom, and proved his worth in the mountains of the Tour de France this year.
The Mercury fallout saw several of the team's European stars find homes in Belgium. Peter Van Petegem signed for Lotto-Adecco, while Jans Koerts and Leon Van Bon will ride for Domo-Farm Frites next year.
Swiss rider Oscar Camenzind will move closer to home, signing for the Phonak team where he will join several other good riders including Spaniard Juan Carlos Dominguez (ex-iBanesto). Camenzind's compatriot Sven Montgomery will be one of three top riders for Fassa Bortolo next season, joining Michele Bartoli (ex-Mapei) and Serguei Gontchar (ex-Liquigas).
On the French front, Christophe Moreau and Florent Brard both signed for Credit Agricole, after the closure of the Festina team.
Michele Bartoli has recently returned from a holiday in Mexico, and is in the mood to meet some of his fans. Over the weekend of December 1-2, the 'Weekend with Michele Bartoli' will take place in Montecatini Terme.
Bartoli will welcome many supporters, some of them from Ireland, during a party organised with help of his fan clubs. On Sunday morning, Miki will lead a ride through some of his favourite routes.
There are still places available and you can book your overnight stay through his official web site: www.michelebartoli.com.
Dutch rider Camiel van den Bergh sustained his second injury of the season after breaking his little finger before the first round of the World Cup in Monopoli on Saturday. It was bad luck for Van den Bergh who injured his other hand last month in the Nacht van Woerden.
The winner of this year's Tour de France stage that finished in Antwerp, Marc Wauters, was presented with his BEF1 million (24,800 euro) diamond on Sunday. Wauters won the stage on July 9 (and took the yellow jersey) but only received a replica of the diamond at that time. It was substituted for the real one on Sunday by Philippe Van Laere (Hoge Raad voor Diamant), who made the donation to raise the profile of the Antwerp diamond sector and the Belgian diamond export market.
Belgian VLD senator Jean-Marie Dedecker raised a few hackles over the weekend after his comments on radio 4FM about "systematic doping" in young cyclists. The senator, a former coach of the national judo team, was extremely concerned with the situation and is starting an investigation.
Dedecker related a story where six months ago, he received a young rider into his home. "He was previously in hospital with a hematocrit of 58.2. He named names of riders, team leaders, and soigneurs. If his story is true, the sport of cycling in our country will have a big scandal."
Dedecker also called for a stronger anti-doping policy aimed at young riders.
Another rider for the Amore e Vita team will be South African James Perry, third in the U23 World time trial championships in Lisbon. He signed for two years with Ivano Fanini's team.
Colombian hero Santiago Botero returned home to Bogota after an absence of ten months and spoke with cycling journalist Luis Enrique Barbosa, for Cyclingnews.com. He joins Floyd Landis, David Millar and Matthew White as the most recent riders to be interviewed on Cyclingnews, with plenty more to come. To read the interview, click here.
The Marco Polo team dominated the Tour du Faso which concluded recently. A diary of their exploits in Africa is now online here.
Recently, we published an item about a young Italian student, Alessandro Forni, who broke the Italian 24 hour record on November 3-4. He also holds the record for the most metres of climbing in a single day (16,000, set in November 2000). To put that in perspective, the 2002 Giro d'Italia has only 18,200 metres of climbing in total over three weeks, and Alesandro hopes to match that next year. His story can be found here.
Finally, in the latest techincal feature, Cyclingnews had the opportunity to test ride a Morati SC 1.2 Pro Race frame, an innovative titanium job from the Czech Republic. Click here for the full run down.
After a weekend off, Mid-Atlantic Championship Cyclo-Cross Series racing returns but with a twist. Veteran's Park in Hamilton, New Jersey will be the site of the inaugural Cyclo-Cross Regional Cup. Riders from Maine to Virginia will line-up to represent their states and vie for the 2001 Cycle-Smart Regional Cup Championship trophy.
What's the twist? Inspired by the World Cup, where riders compete for their countries, the Regional Cup will be run in a similar format. Riders will represent their state, not their club or trade team, and at the end of the day, the state with the most points overall will lay claim to East Coast bragging rights (and the trophy).
The format may not please all parties, but it will be less restrictive than the World Cup and riders will still be able to earn individual MAC points. According to the promoters, "Offering this type of event will not only create a friendly rivalry between states and regions, it is also another step in the process of developing more riders capable of riding at the national and international level."
The current series standings see Kris Auer (LSV/Trek/VW) in the lead in the Elite Men's title. Bill Elliston (Jaeger Wheelmen) has moved up into second and Ryan Dewald (Beans Rheinhardt), who has led since Round 1, dropped back into third place.
The top three spots in the Elite Women's competition are unchanged. Josie Shew (First State Velo) still has the yellow leader's jersey, Thais DaSilva (Wissahickon) still sits in second place and Jennifer Leonard (Evolution Racing) remains in third. Watch out for Lyne Bessette, who jumped into fourth place with back to back wins.
Richard Mihills (First State Velo Sport) continues to lead the Masters 35+ field as does Randall Root (Snow Valley) in the Masters 45+ field. Adam Beattie (First State Velo Sport) has taken over the top spot in the Juniors field.
The team competition for the MAC Cup sees First State Velo Sport in first place with a comfortable lead. There is a tight race for second, with Wooden Wheels, the two-time defending Cup Champions, holding down second place but Evolution Racing only two points behind them.
Racing starts on Saturday, November 24, 2001 at 10:30am. The Elite Women's race starts at 1:15pm and the Elite Men's race follows at 2:30pm.
Remaining 2001 MACC Championship Series Races
Saturday, Nov. 24, 2001: Regional Cup - Hamilton, NJ
Sunday, Dec. 2, 2001: Phelps School Cross - Malvern, PA
Sunday, Dec. 9, 2001: First State Velo - Fair Hill, MD
Sunday, Dec.30, 2001: Cocoa Cross - Hershey, PA
For more information on the MAC series, go to www.monkeyhillcs.com/mac
The British Cycling federation has sent out a notice that "The NICF Tour of the North event was recently listed in error as part of the 2002 Premier Calendar series. The event cannot be part of the Premier Calendar for a number of reasons, not least because it will take place on territory considered by the UCI to be under the jurisdiction of the Irish Cycling Federation."
"A letter explaining this situation has been sent to the organiser. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience or misunderstanding that this error may have caused."
A number of missing venues have now been confirmed in the Welsh Cross League. They are: Sunday 24th November: (Port Talbot Wheelers) - Ynys Park, Cwmafon; Sunday 16th December:(Builth & District CC) - The Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells; Sunday 23rd December: (Swansea Wheelers) - Gnoll Park, Neath.
There is also an extra event on Sunday 30th December to replace the meeting cancelled in September. This an End of Year Cross, promoted by CC Abergavenny, at Gwernyfed High School, Threecocks, Brecon (on main A438 Brecon to Hay-on-Wye road). Youth 10.45 (£2.00), Under 12s 11.15 (free), Sen./Jun./Vet./Women 12 noon (£5.00). The organiser is Marian Lally, tel: 01497 847479, e-mail: email@example.com
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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