News for November 30, 2001

Edited by Jeff Jones

Recent results and new features

iBanesto and Kelme play down involvement in Giro affair

Spanish teams and Kelme-Costa Blanca have responded to a recent article in a Spanish newspaper that they are seriously implicated in the Giro 2001 doping affair. On Tuesday, El Mundo reported that the two teams were under suspicion by Italian judicial authorities after the June 6 raids in San Remo. According to El Mundo, Kelme team members were found in possession of various types of steroids (small quantities), and members had large amounts of stimulants, including caffeine.

However, neither Kelme nor iBanesto management have heard anything from Italy in relation to the affair. "We have not received anything officially," said Kelme manager Joan Mas to AFP news agency. "We don't know anything about this dossier and our lawyer in Italy advised us not to attach a lot of credence to this information."

"The carabinieri found some testosterone in the toilet bag of our masseur, who suffers from impotence," said Mas, who added that the only rider in Kelme found in possession of drugs was Alexis Rodriguez, who had a caffeine tablet (theoretically legal).

iBanesto public relations officer Francis Lafargue said that "We will give an opinion when we are informed by Italian justice. For the moment, we have been told of nothing against us. It is a lot of noise about nothing."

According to other sources, José Luis Arrieta, Pablo Lastras, David Navas, Jon Odriozola, Unai Osa and César Solaun are the iBanesto riders under investigation by Italian authorities, with caffeine the principal substance. However, Francis Lafargue downplayed this as well. "Certain riders had homeopathic drugs or caffeine tablets...There is nothing in this affair."

Both teams also vigorously denied that they were considering a boycott of the 2002 Giro.

Vuelta 2002: Angliru is back

The feared climb of Alto del Angliru will once again feature in the Vuelta España, after a one year break. The Mayor of Riosa, Jose Antonio Muñiz, announced this today at the signing of an agreement between local Asturian authorities and a representative of Unipublic, the organisers of the Vuelta. Asturian cyclists José Luis Rubiera, Ricardo Valdés, Benjamín Noval and Santi Pérez were also present.

The full route of the 2002 Vuelta will be revealed on December 13 in Madrid, but today the details of three stages held in Asturias were revealed in part. On Saturday, September 21, there will be stage 14 from Santander to Gijón, followed by the Gijón-Alto del Angliru stage 15 on Sunday, September 22. On Monday, September 23, a rest day is scheduled, and the riders will leave the principality on Tuesday, September 24 for stage 16 from Avilés to Leon.

2002 Tour de Suisse

The world's fourth most prestigious stage race after the grand tours of France, Italy and Spain, is the Tour de Suisse, held from June 18-27, 2002. Next year's race starts with a 6 kilometre prologue time trial in Lucerne, finishing on June 27 with a 34.5 kilometre time trial from Lyss to Biel.

The stages

Total distance: 1435 km

Longo defamation case verdict next year

The court of appeal in Bordeaux will decide on February 6, 2002 the outcome Alain Brunel's appeal against his fine and damages in the Jeannie Longo slander case. This June, Brunel was fined 762 euros and had to pay 4573 euros in damages to Jeannie Longo, after implying in a letter to the French Cycling Federation that Longo had doped herself with creatine.

Brunel was summoned to the court last Wednesday, where the prosecution asked for the penalty to be doubled, while Brunel's lawyers pled for the penalty to be dropped.

Mercury Cycling Team 2002

According to preliminary information received by Cyclingnews, the Mercury cycling team is on track to be back for its fifth season in 2002 with a race program based on major USA races. Enquiries by Cyclingnews have determined that the squad will number approximately 12 riders, with stalwarts Derek Bouchard-Hall, Gord Fraser and Scott Moninger leading the way. Also back are Ernie Lechuga, Mike Sayers, Plamen Stoianov, Chris Wherry, Henk Vogels and Phil Zajicek, while new signings include Brice Jones, Adham Sbeih and Jesus Zarate.

This year's team director, John Wordin, has not responded to enquiries from Cyclingnews in regard to his involvement in the management of the squad in 2002. In addition, the UCI has not yet approved the team to race professionally after it was suspended late this season.

In financial terms, the Mercury team had a disastrous year in 2001, with rider salaries disappearing halfway through the season, shortly after co-sponsor Viatel went bankrupt. The team was able to keep racing on a shoestring budget, but there were a number of disgruntled riders who appealed to the UCI to claim their salaries through the bank guarantee that was lodged in late 2000.

As soon as those funds were drawn on, the paying agent had 30 days in which to replace them, which did not occur. The UCI subsequently suspended the team from racing in late October, in accordance with the rules.

There were other problems too, but this did not stop the team from performing remarkably well throughout the season, winning 89 races both in Europe and the USA - more than any professional team in 2001. The team's riders demonstrated their talent time and again, and many now have landed contracts with US and European based teams: Peter Van Petegem, Baden Cooke, Matthew Wilson (stagiaire), William Chann McRae, Floyd Landis, Fabrizio Guidi, Jans Koerts, Pavel Tonkov, Leon van Bon, Geert Van Bondt and Wim Vansevenant have all been snapped up by other teams for 2002.

By the looks of things, Mercury 2002 will try and regain the position of the number one team in the USA, which it lost to Saturn in 2001.

Unofficial Team Roster

Derek Bouchard-Hall (USA)
Gord Fraser (Can)
Brice Jones (USA)
Ernie Lechuga (USA)
Scott Moninger (USA)
Mike Sayers (USA)
Adham Sbeih (USA)
Plamen Stoianov (Bul)
Chris Wherry (USA)
Henk Vogels (Aus)
Phil Zajicek (USA)
Jesus Zarate (Mex)

Klein and Gerolsteiner move to Division I

Klein is the latest American bike manufacturer to get its wares under the bums of riders in a Division I European team as German squad Gerolsteiner moves up the ranks for 2002. Klein, part of the Trek family of bike brands, has a long-standing relationship with Gerolsteiner; the team will ride Klein Q-Pro Carbon frames in 2002.

Gerolsteiner's jump from Division II is largely fuelled by the signing of Italian rider Davide Rebellin, currently third in the UCI rankings. Rebellin's 2001 season included twelve victories and he was awarded Italy's "Giglio d'oro" prize as the nations' top cyclist.

Gerolsteiner has also signed Gianni Faresin, Ellis Rastelli and Daniele Contrini, all previous teammates of Rebellin and Tour de France veteran Nicolai Bo Larsen. Top riders that will return for the 2002 season include Tobias Steinhauser, Michael Rich, Georg Totschnig, Saulius Ruskys, Torsten Schmidt, Peter Wrolich and Uwe Peschel.

Gerolsteiner's 2002 race season will include many of Europe's top events. The team plans to compete in the Giro d'Italia, Tour de Suisse and Paris-Nice, and it has a chance at one of the final Tour de France spots. Gerolsteiner will also enter a number of classics including Paris-Roubaix, Milan-San Remo, Amstel Gold Race, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Classica San Sebastian in addition to the US Pro Championship.

Interviews on Cyclingnews: Sven Montgomery and Rochelle Gilmore

This week, Cyclingnews talks to two promising young cyclists, both of whom have had excellent seasons in 2001. 25 year old Swiss rider Sven Montgomery had success in the Tour de Romandie, Midi Libre, Dauphiné Libére and Tour de France - unfortunately crashing out of the race on stage 16, while he was lying 17th overall. This brought his season to a premature close, but he is hoping to be back better than ever in 2002 with his new team, Fassa Bortolo.

Sven Montgomery interview

Australian cyclist Rochelle Gilmore has not yet turned 20, yet she has already won a stage in the most prestigious women's race in the world, the Giro d'Italia Femminile. That alone attracted the interest of a number of professional teams, eager to sign her as a future sprinting star. However, her ambitions are also on the track, where she wants to win a gold medal in the Athens Olympics in 2004.

Rochelle Gilmore interview

Former snooker champion Wiggins discovers cyclo-cross with FDJ

By Jean-Francois Quenet
Click for larger image
Madiot and Wiggins
Photo: © JF Quenet

Rescued from the Linda McCartney fiasco, Bradley Wiggins, the man with three passports (English, Belgian and Australian), finally gets a touch of pro cycling. After signing a two year deal with French outfit La Française des Jeux during the track world championships in Antwerp in September, he's now taking part in a cyclo-cross training camp in Renazé, the home of the Madiot brothers in the west part of France.

"I'm very happy with FDJ, who give me a good impression," Wiggins said. "It's a bit difficult not speaking French and the Australians (Bradley McGee, Matt Wilson and Baden Cooke) not being there. But I've been here for only three days and I understand a lot of conversation already. There are good guys in the team, I now know that Jimmy Casper is definitely the team joker."

Wiggins had no experience of cyclo-cross before, having a background of a snooker player (he was runner-up in the English U13 snooker championships) and being used to rowing during the off-season (he shows the blisters on his hands), but he enjoys it. "Cyclo-cross is good for Paris-Roubaix and bike handling," he reckoned.

His first race with FDJ will be the Tour of Qatar in January. "I'm excited. My goal is to be 100% for the team wherever. I hope to be able to lead out the sprinters in the finale and to perform well in the short time trials and prologues. I'll see how I develop."

Wiggins, 20, is seen by the experts as the new David Millar or Bradley McGee.

Dutch return to New Zealand's Tour of Wellington

Dutch cycling team BRC Kennemerland are the first confirmed starters in the 2002 Trust House Tour of Wellington. The team had a nightmare trip earlier this year when they landed in Wellington to find their luggage had been lost en route, eventually their bikes and clothing arrived hours before the start of the 2001 race.

"The Netherlands is known as a strong European cycling nation and this team is highly rated," said race director Jorge Sandoval. "They have been here already so they know the route and major hill climbs around greater Wellington. I am sure they are coming back to do better and they should be right up there at the end of the tour."

The BRC Kennemerland team will arrive on December 27 in time for the tour's start on January 2. Time trial specialist Sander Lormans, Arien de Heer, Braam de Ward and Francis de Jager will all be part of the team.

Jorge Sandoval also announced that the final criterium of the Tour of Wellington on January 6 will be held in Petone. This is the first time in the 15th year history that the tour will visit Petone. The circuit includes Jackson St, Buick St, Bolton St and Elizabeth St.

Idaho top in IMBA Mountain Bike Report Card

For the second straight year, Idaho received the top grade in the International Mountain Bicycling Association's Mountain Bike Access Report Card, solidifying its status as the USA's best state for mountain biking.

Serpentine trails, expansive public lands and a low population were key components in Idaho's success. Idaho received the top grade in the inaugural 2000 IMBA Report Card, and this year riding opportunities improved around Boise, Idaho's largest city, with a number of new urban fringe trails being created.

South Dakota closely followed Idaho as the best place to ride receiving an A minus. South Dakota boasts super singletrack and uncrowded trails in the Black Hills.

The report card also confirmed that there are states where mountain bike access needs work. Louisiana's Mardi Gras is unmatched, but its mountain bike access is nothing to celebrate. The state has limited trails, lots of swamps and needs a statewide mountain biker organization. These factors shaped Louisiana's D+ grade, the lowest in the report.

In 2001, the report card considered other countries for the first time, grading access in four Canadian provinces and the United Kingdom.

Leading the international class was British Columbia with an A minus. Kids' mountain biking programs in the province are more popular than little league baseball.

2001 IMBA MTB Report Card (with comments)

Idaho: A   
Phat: Endless public land and singletrack
Flat: Population growth

South Dakota: A-
Phat: Black Hills rule
Flat: Few maps, more crops than cyclists

Alaska: B+
Phat: Improving trails
Flat: Swamps and mosquitoes

Arizona: B
Phat: Urban trails, Arizona Trail
Flat: Developers versus trails

Arkansas: B+
Phat: Womble & Ouachita, solid advocates
Flat: Ice storm damage

Florida: B+
Phat: Sunshine State has super singletrack
Flat: Sprawl, sandy, sea level

Kentucky: B+
Phat: KYMBA unifies diverse state
Flat: Lack of media relations

Massachusetts: B+
Phat: NEMBA: Energetic regional group
Flat: Building pavement, not dirt

Michigan: B+
Phat: MMBA: Dynamic statewide org.
Flat: Turf battles with horses

Nevada: B+
Phat: Gambling = money for trails
Flat: Lack of riding info

New Mexico: B+
Phat: Federal agency & ski area support
Flat: Los Alamos fires, Santa Fe tension

North Dakota: B+
Phat: Medora becoming MB destination
Flat: A long way from anywhere else

Utah: B+
Phat: Slickrock and red rock
Flat: Lack of MB groups

West Virginia: B+
Phat: Not a flat inch in the whole state
Flat: Hunters come first

California: B
Phat: State park progress; MB leadership
Flat: Lots of conflict

Colorado: B
Phat: Jeffco trails national model
Flat: Crowded roads, crowded trails

Delaware: B
Phat: Great trails in a tiny state
Flat: Nowhere to add trails

Maine: B
Phat: 90 percent forested
Flat: Few organized trail systems

Maryland: B
Phat: MORE: innovative & resilient
Flat: Unauthorized trailbuilding near DC

Montana: B
Phat: Progressive rec planning near cities
Flat: Bikers need to organize, long winter

Nebraska: B 
Phat: W. Nebraska = untapped singletrack
Flat: Not well organized

North Carolina: B
Phat: Nantahalla & Pisgah NF awesome
Flat: Urban trails still restricted

Oregon: B
Phat: Abundant, diverse riding
Flat: Portland access remains tricky

Pennsylvania: B
Phat: KMBA becoming statewide force
Flat: State game land access threatened

Texas: B
Phat: Effective multi-level bike advocacy
Flat: 97% private land

Virginia: B
Phat: West VA: mountainous, great trails
Flat: Eastern VA: Baseball fields, not trails

Wyoming: B
Phat: Wide open for mountain  biking
Flat: Ranch closes key Laramie connector

Georgia: B-
Phat: SORBA has political & financial clout
Flat: Where to ride close to Atlanta?

Hawaii: B-
Phat: All State parks have MB routes
Flat: Restricted trail access near Honolulu

Indiana: B-
Phat: DNR opened trails in state forests
Flat: Roadies and MBers must cooperate

Missouri: B-
Phat: Kansas City and St. Louis have mo'
Flat: Access limited in state parks

New Hampshire: B-
Phat: Rich trail tradition, White River NF
Flat: Long, legal rides are limited in south

Oklahoma: B-
Phat: Oklahoma Earthbike Fellowship rocks
Flat: Flat and dusty

South Carolina: B- 
Phat: State funds full-time MB trail crew
Flat: Yet to turn trail plans into reality

Tennessee: B-
Phat: Vigilant advocates; lots of trails
Flat: Lack of central state organization

Vermont: B-
Phat: Wooded, rolling & getting organized
Flat: Private land interrupts public trails

Washington: B-
Phat: Middle Fork progress
Flat: Seattle singletrack access still limited

Wisconsin: B-
Phat: WORBA: 12-years of MB leadership
Flat: Trails in south crowded

Mississippi: C+
Phat: Tri-county MBers make progress
Flat: Limited statewide leadership

Alabama: C
Phat: BUMP: great organization & website
Flat: Mountain bikers lack state presence

Connecticut: C
Phat: Better than 2000 grade reflected
Flat: Hiking-only trails limit northern riding

Iowa: C
Phat: Solid clubs, improving MB leadership
Flat: Lack of federal land; agricultural

Minnesota: C
Phat: New Twin City trails
Flat: Limited parks & trails near cities

New Jersey: C
Phat: Good club momentum in S. Jersey
Flat: JORBA in transition

New York: C
Phat: Adirondack model can be replicated
Flat: NYC: too many people, too few trails

Ohio: C
Phat: New trails, new clubs, new energy
Flat: Cleveland and north-east still shaky

Rhode Island: C
Phat: Singletrack in Arcadia forest
Flat: Providence can't provide good riding

Illinois: C-
Phat: DNR supports mountain biking
Flat: Shawnee Forest shuns bikes

Kansas: C-
Phat: Flint Hills & riverside trails
Flat: More silos than singletrack

Louisiana: D+
Phat: Baton Rouge advocates solid
Flat: Limited trails, no leadership


British Columbia: A-
Phat: MB is mainstream; awesome organizations
Flat: Lack of sustainable trails

Alberta: B
Phat: Canadian Rockies epic riding
Flat: Calgary and Edmonton trail crowding

Quebec: B
Phat: Nordic and Alpine ski areas support cycling
Flat: Classic urban restrictions

Ontario: C+
Phat: Solid advocacy groups
Flat: Lack of legal riding near Toronto

United Kingdom

Wales: B
Scotland: B-
England: C

Virginia Cyclocross Series wraps up in Reston, VA

The final round of the "Virginia Cyclocross Series" 2001 will take place on December 2 at Lake Fairfax Park in Reston, VA. The points chase has come down to this race for several 'decision makers' in just about every class.

In the Junior class the top spot is secured by Greg Wittwer (CRC) and second and third will see Gonzalo Escobar (unattached) and Nick Pence (CRC) battle it out. The C Open race Ric Ronci (Performance Bike), Art Mitchell (Squaddra Coppi) and Lance Triebel (unattached) are closely spaced for what should be a good race.

The B men have Andrew Shaw (NCVC) sitting comfortably in first place while only 1 point separates Greg Wittwer (CRC) and Zack Moldenhauer (unattached). the A women's class is lead by Kirsten Plehn (Independent Fabrications) and the B women's race leader is Ann Bechenhauer (Potomac Velo) with only 5 points separating second and third.

Masters 40+ have Randy Root (Snow Valley) and Richard Pence (CRC) tied for first. the Masters 50+ is lead comfortably by Fred Wittwer (CRC). the A Men are lead by Jeremiah Bishop (Trek/VW) with Mike Buchness (Bike Doctor) second and Chip Sovek (Potomac Velo) in third.

This final race will be held on the same course as "All Hallows 'Cross" from VACX#1, October 28. Due to the recent rain and unseasonal temperatures in the Mid-Atlantic the course should be much slower than it was in October and conditions are expected to be slippery on this technical course.

Recent results and new features on Cyclingnews

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

Recently on Cyclingnews
   Latest Photos - Olympic Armstrong, Boulder & California 'cross, More Pan-Am, Canberra, Boston & REI 'cross (December 13)
   Cyclingnews survey - Reader Poll 2001 - Vote for your favourite riders
   Letters - VDB, Lance, Boring Tour, Coastal Post, Respect (December 13)
   Cyclingnews Interview - Ryan Bayley - the KFC-fuelled world champ (December 13)
   Cyclingnews Interview - David McKenzie - Macca's back (December 12)
   Cyclingnews Interview - Laurent Jalabert - Jalabert looks ahead (December 11)
   Cyclingnews Interview - Charly Wegelius - A coffee stop with Charly (December 8)
   Cyclingnews Interview - Sven Montgomery - Moving up in the world (December 6)
   Cyclingnews Interview - Rochelle Gilmore - Road scholar (December 6)
   Tales from the Peloton - 12 Hours of Oleta - MTB endurance race in Miami (December 6)
   Tales from the Peloton - Tony Cruz - back to his roots (December 7)
   Marco Polo Diary - Tour du Faso - Part II - Nathan Dahlberg's report (December 3)
   Tech maintenance - Wheels - how to keep them true and tight
   Tech letters - Headsets, Pegoretti, Carbon cage, gloves & tubes (December 10)
   Tech news - Navigators power-tap, Headsets, Carbon cages (December 7)
   Tech- Recycling - How to protect your chainstay for free
   Tech Reviews: Egg Beater pedals; Park Tool belt; Shimano shoes; Speedplay
   Breaking the Chain  - Dope planning and testing - From Willy Voet's book

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