By Phillip Ingham, British Cycling
Eighteen year old Nicole Cooke continued her single-handed demolition of the world's best junior women riders this morning, when she successfully defended her Road Race title at the world championships in Portugal. The 18 year old from Cowbridge in South Glamorgan was always in control of a race where she was able to use her aggression and climbing ability to the full. Cooke dominated a small break which went clear at half distance. She whittled them down to four and then went away alone to win by 17 seconds. The scale of Cooke's achievements over the last 12 months is hard to grasp.
She has always been an extremely competitive individual, who won numerous age-related national titles in a range of disciplines. However, Nicole first made the establishment sit up when, in 1999, at the age of sixteen she defeated the cream of Britain's female talent to become the youngest ever winner of the national senior women's road race title.
Since then she has continually shown an ability to perform under pressure at major events. A bronze medal at the 2000 world mountain bike championships was rapidly followed by gold in the Junior Road Race at last year's worlds in Plouay, France. A second Senior national title on the road earlier this year saw her once again getting the better of a field including several proven world-class riders.
Early September found Nicole out in Vail, Colorado, where she turned the previous year's bronze into gold at the world mountain bike championships. Two world championships in a year! Not bad going, especially considering that nobody had previously held the road and mountain bike world titles at the same time. And so to Portugal, where Nicole has doubled her tally of world championships in four days. By any criteria you care to mention, her performances over the last 12 months have been astonishing.
Junior Women's RR results & report
Last year's champion in the elite women's road race, Zinaida Stahurskaia (Belarus) will not be able to defend her rainbow jersey on Saturday, due to a doping case. She reportedly tested non- for a light stimulant during the Giro d'Italia Femminile last June.
Proceedings have been initiated against her, but she has not been penalised yet. According to the regulations, she is not allowed to ride in the World Championships.
On Friday morning, officials of the UCI carried out 37 anti-doping controls on riders taking part in the World Championships. 30 men and 7 women were tested, from Belgium, France, Kazakhstan, Netherlands and USA. All were declared fit to race.
Next year's edition of the Tour de France will not contain the mythical Alpe d'Huez climb, one of the most popular of all climbs visited by the Tour. On the other hand, the fearsome ascent of Mont Ventoux is definitely on the program. In an article with Dutch paper De Limburger, it was also indicated that the Galibier, Les Deux Alpes, Plateau de Beille, Tourmalet, Les Cluses, La Plagne and La Mongie will feature in the race.
The 2002 Tour will start on July 6 in Luxembourg with a 6.5 kilometre prologue, followed by two stages, both of which start in Luxembourg. The race heads back into France with the towns of Metz and Reims hosting stage finishes, followed by the team time trial from ╔pernay to ChÔteaux-Thierry.
The Tour will then pass through Rouen, Alenšon, Avranches and Plouay, where the first individual time trial will take place, finishing in Lorient. A rest day follows, and the riders will transfer to Bordeaux in preparation for the first stage to Pau, at the foot of the Pyrenees. The Pyreneean stages will finish atop the Plateau de Beille, La Mongie and the Tourmalet.
The stage to Mont Ventoux will be run by Beziers, before the race heads to the Alps. Finishes at Les Deux Alpes, La Plagne and Les Cluses will feature during this period. The last and perhaps deciding time trial will be run between Bourg-en-Bresse and Mašon-Regnie on the second last day. The final stage will start from Melun and finish in Paris.
The entire TdF 2002 route will be revealed in Paris on October 25.
Unlucky New Caledonian, Laurent GanÚ, has returned home to France after injuring himself in Bolivia attempting to break the flying 200 metre world record. GanÚ took the 'flying' part to heart, but hit the ground hard on the track in La Paz, Bolivia. He suffered a dislocated left shoulder, bruises and scratches whilst trying to beat Curt Harnett's record of 9.865 seconds.
His compatriot Arnaud Tournant, who became the first man to break one minute for the standing start kilo, also had a stab at the 200 metre record, but failed. He and Arnaud DublÚ will visit Lake Titicaca today before returning home to France on Saturday.
The imminent departure of Levi Leipheimer from USPS after his remarkable Vuelta performance has puzzled many of the cycling press corps at this year's World Championship. "How can they let him go?," a noted Italian journalist told Cyclingnews. "Leipheimer could be a great replacement for Hamilton!"
Perhaps the answer is not only that Leipheimer is looking for the chance to make more cash, and USPS already has some major earners like Armstrong and Heras, but the soft-spoken Santa Rosa, CA resident also seems to have greater ambitions than just riding tempo for Lance.
Leipheimer could go to Rabobank, but he is also entertaining offers from Cantina Tollo, Mapei and Domo-Farm Frites. USPS management may be seeking to minimize any future friction between Roberto Heras, co-leader of the American squad, and emerging riders who may have greater potential.
US Postal Service team will add two solid riders from other pro teams in Czech tempo man Pavel Padrnos from Saeco and Italian Gianpaolo Mondini, winner of a TDF stage in 1999. Mondini speaks excellent English and has become a good friend of Lance Armstrong.
Another big question is where will Giro d'Italia winner Gilberto 'Gibo' Simoni end up? The Lampre-Daikin rider asked his team to renew his contract, but his salary demand (reportedly about 1,000,000 euros) was too rich for their blood and Lampre declared that they were no longer interested in Simoni in mid-September.
Gibo was rumoured to have had discussions with Cantina Tollo in September, but knowledgeable observers told Cyclingnews that these were really rumours spread by the team rather than actual fact. Simoni wants to focus on the Tour de France in 2002, as Gibo is convinced that he can successfully attack Lance Armstrong in the Tour, but Lampre wants him to focus on defending his Giro title. Most observers still expect Simoni to end up back at Lampre-Daikin for 2002.
By Tim Maloney, cyclingnews.com correspondent
How will the co-habitation between Francesco Casagrande and early arrival from Mapei, Michele Bartoli go at Fassa Bortolo next season? The Two Tuscan stars have been rivals since junior days and an entente cordiale for next year could be influenced on how Sunday's World's goes, as both Italians will likely be in the final selection and old rivalries die hard.
Casagrande was thinking of returning to his former team Tacconi Sport and manager Davide Boifava, but Fassa boss Feron Feretti has stabilized the situation and next year, Casagrande will focus 100% on finally winning the Giro d'Italia while Miki Bartoli will wage war on his favorite classics.
With his obvious talent and class, numerous teams are looking to co-opt Spanish rider Oscar Sevilla from Kelme-Costa Blanca. After USPS succeeded last season in wooing Kelme leader Roberto Heras, perhaps Sevilla is susceptible to the same operation. Kelme boss Pepe Quiles has never believed in paying big money to his riders, and the buyout clause that freed Heras could also help a big bucks squad like Mapei-Quick Step capture Sevilla. But Sevilla may decide to stay with Kelme-Costa Blanca as he is reportedly quite content on the Valencia based squad.
Speaking of Valencia, Angel Casero, native son of the Spanish city of the oranges is considering his options. After vanquishing Sevilla in the Vuelta, Casero is entertaining offers from a variety of squads, but will not stay with Juan Fernandez after part of Festina morphs into Team Coast. Reliable sources in Spain tell Cyclingnews that Casero wants to focus on the Tour De France in 2002, where he was 5th in 1999. Casero is considering offers from Banesto, hometown Kelme-Costa Blanca as well as interest from Italian teams Saeco and Lampre-Daikin.
Bobby Julich will join his fellow American Kevin Livingston on Der Mannschaft, Deutsche Telekom next year. The likeable Philadelphia resident will reinforce Ullrich in his quest to topple Lance Armstrong in the Tour De France. Reliable sources tell Cyclingnews that Julich signed last month for a reported salary of DM500,000 to help der Kaiser in his quest for Tour victory.
By ěyvind Aas
Thor Hushovd, fourth place finisher in Paris-Tours has signed a very lucrative new contract with his team Credit Agricole. The new contract clearly shows that Credit Agricole sees a great future for the big Norwegian. Major teams such as US Postal, Mapei, Rabobank and CSC/Tiscali have all been interested in signing the strong sprinter and TT rider in their rosters for next season.
Thor Hushovd confirmed to his local newspaper, FŠdrelandsvennen, that the new agreement is satisfying. Hushovd is expecting to be well rewarded if he rides well in the coming seasons. Although even Lance Armstrong called the young Norwegian himself, Hushovd remained firm in his decision, opting for an active role in Credit Agricole rather than a role as workhorse in Armstrong's ranks.
"Credit Agricole thought I was demanding, we had to go through several stages of negotiating. There were a lot of tactics involved," Hushovd told FŠdrelandsvennen.
Even though one year remains of the previous contract, the new contract will be in force from the start of next year.
Hilaire Van Der Schueren, the directeur sportif of the Collstrop-Palmans team, has reached and agreement with three riders, Wim Vansevenant (Mercury), Bert Roesems (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) and Hendrik Van Dijck (Lotto) for next season. Earlier, Van Der Schueren signed Tom Vannoppen (Vlaanderen-T-Interim) and neo-pro's Davy Commeyne and Frederik Penne to Collstrop-Palmans. He is hoping for 18 riders to complete the roster, with 13 certainties so far.
Dutch team Bik-Toscany has signed Italian rider Alessandra Cappellotto, who currently rides for GAS Sport. The experienced Cappellotto won the World Championship in 1997, and she will bring two of her compatriots, Greta Zocca and Silvia Parietti, to Bik-Toscany.
Christine Mos and Lenie Dijkstra have extended their contracts. Ton Vrolijk and Frank van der Goes will work as team leaders, and the team will be known as Powerplate-Bik next year.
Next year will see the introduction of a new race on the UCI calendar: The 3 day Grote Prijs Erik Breukink, which will be held in the Netherlands and Belgium. The race is organised by the same group who run the Ster van Brabant, and will take place in March.
The UCI Management Committee approved the 2002 MTB World Cup calendar at the UCI Congress in Lisbon, as well as a new program that will provide for medical monitoring of mountain bikers; MTB riders will be checked twice a year, rather than four times a year as on the road.
Other changes are a reduced schedule with only eight total events, the elimination of the time trial and the dual slalom becomes the quad slalom, to be raced by four riders.
May 18-19: Madrid, Spain (XC)
May 25-26: Houffalize, Belgium (XC)
June 1-2: Leysin, Switzerland (XC-DH-DL)
June 8-9: Maribor, Slovenia (DH-DL)
June 29-30: Mont Sainte Ann, Canada (XC-DH-DL)
July 6-7: Grouse Mountain, Canada (XC-DH-DL)
July 13-14: Arai City, Japan (DH-DL)
September 7-8: Les Gets, France (XC-DH-DL)
The recently re-elected president of the UCI, Hein Verbruggen, has named the rest of the board members of the UCI for the foreseeable future. However, Verbruggen chose not to stay as president of the Professional Cycling Council, with that role going to Italian Vittorio Adorni.
President: Hein Verbruggen
Vice-presidents: Laurent De Backer (Bel), Ray Godkin (Aus), Vladimir Holecek (Cze)
Members: Vittorio Adorni (Ita), Daniel Baal (Fra), Rocco Cattaneo (Swi), Simo Klimscheffskij (Fin), Arturo Lopes (Por), Pat McQuaid (Irl), Ramon Mendiburu (Spa), Jose Manuel Pelaez (Cub), Mike Plant (USA), Sylvia Schenk (Ger), Darshan Singh Gill (Mal), Pieter Zevenbergen (Ned). <
Presidents of UCI commissions:
Cyclo-cross: Sylvia Schenk
MTB: Daniel Baal
Track: Ray Godkin
Road: Pat McQuaid
The United States Olympic Committee announced today the September 2001 Athlete and Team of the Month Award winners for athletic accomplishments during the month. Topping the voting in the men's race was USA Cycling's Brian Lopes (Laguna Beach, Calif.). On Sept. 16, Lopes became the first American to capture the dual world title at the 2001 World Mountain Bike Championships in Vail, Colo. Lopes nearly missed the World Championships after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but drove from Los Angeles to Vail, arriving with less than 24 hours to qualify.
Receiving the top honour among the women was USA Cycling's Alison Dunlap (Colorado Springs). She came out victorious in the Sept. 17 women's cross-country race at the 2001 World Mountain Bike Championships in Vail and collected her first world championship medal. The win marked the first time an American female won the race since 1991. At the finish stadium, more than 10,000 spectators were on hand to witness Dunlap cross the line carrying the American flag before she fell to her knees in tears.
Coming in second among the men was tennis great Pete Sampras (Los Angeles, Calif.). Playing in his seventh US Open final, the four-time US Open champ became the first man in US Open history to beat three former US Open champions in the same tournament when he defeated Patrick Rafter ('97 and '98 champion) in the round of 16, Andre Agassi ('94 and '99 champion) in the quarterfinals, and 2000 champion Marat Safin in the semifinals. He was stopped short of his fifth crown by Lleyton Hewitt of Australia (7-9, 6-1, 6-1).
Tennis phenom Venus Williams (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) took the second-place spot in the women's September balloting after defeating her younger sister, Serena, to defend her US Open singles title. Currently the reigning Olympic singles and doubles champion, she captured her fourth career Grand Slam singles title to go with her Wimbledon titles in 2000 and 2001 and her US Open title last year.
1 Brian Lopes, Cycling 50 (27)
2 Pete Sampras, Tennis 27 (21)
3 Scott Shipley, Kayak 23 (15)
1 Alison Dunlap, Cycling 48 (30)
2 Venus Williams, Tennis 34 (24)
3 Ashley Hayden, Luge 19 (15)
1 U.S. Elite Water Ski Team 41 (24)
2 2001 U.S. World Mountain Bike Team 38 (24)
3 USA Basketball Men's Goodwill Games Team 36 (21)
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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