News for September 28, 2001

Recent results and new features

56th Vuelta España news

Post-stage comments, stage 18

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Strolling home
Photo: © AFP

Filippo Simeoni (Cantina Tollo, stage winner, bike kisser, philosopher)

"I have been planning that gesture for a long time. It was for two reasons: firstly to make people realise what a beautiful and healthy sport cycling is, and how war should only be sporting war."

"Secondly, because I have a love-hate relationship with the bike, it gives me fatigue and accidents but on the other hand on the other it gives you lessons in life because it has important values and forges character."

"I am a thinker of cycling and sport and I wanted to do something special. The sport must have gestures in favour of peace. I dedicate my victory to peace in the world."

"I decided to go for it when I saw Blanco fall. I took the risk that I could stay away to the finish on the last technical descent."

"I was just so happy at getting a stage victory for myself and the team -- this is my best-ever win -- that I thought I'd celebrate in a memorable fashion and give the crowd something to remember me by"

Oscar Sevilla (Kelme, 1st GC)

"Without a doubt today was great for the spectators, but it was one more ambush. It was necessary to be careful because if you stayed in the pave it was soon very hard to recover. It's unfair that after so much sacrifice you risk having problems because of a dangerous course."

"Days like this are very tense because you are gambling the Vuelta and you can lose it. Tomorrow will be similar before the decisive moments arrive on Saturday and Sunday."

Santiago Blanco (iBanesto, double crash victim)

"What hurts more is to have lost the stage. It was just bad luck. I went to attack and I think something went wrong with my tyre and that caused my first fall."

"The second bike was not mine, it was spare and it did not handle well and got away from me. I have a bruised shoulder and some scratches but nothing important."

Stage 18 - Full results & report

Butler on target in End-to End attempt

In his attack on the 840 mile Land's End to John O'Groats record, Gethin Butler covered 278 miles in the first 12 hours of the ride. The ride began in fine, fairly warm conditions with a strong following wind. This helped Butler gain nearly an hour on his schedule, which is calculated to beat the old record by two hours.

This record is the Blue Riband of record breaking in the UK and is currently held by Andy Wilkinson in 1 day, 19 hours and 33 minutes.

Otxoa out of hospital

Javier Otxoa has been discharged from hospital and will continue his recovery at his parents home, according to a statement from his brother Andoni.

The Kelme rider was severely injured in a training accident earlier this year that put him in a coma and killed his twin brother Ricardo. Javier's morale is said to be "good enough" and he is undergoing daily physiotherapy and neurological exercises to assist with his recovery.

Andoni said the hardest thing for Javier had been coming to terms with the loss of his brother,and the family had kept the news from him until he was well enough to cope with it, as nobody had been closer to Javier than Ricardo.

Wiggins signs for FdJ

British rising star Brad Wiggins has signed for La Francaise des Jeux, restarting what promises to be an eventful professional career after he was caught up in the Linda McCartney debacle earlier this year. According to Wiggins' management, the 21-year-old caught the eye of FdJ team manager Marc Madiot at the Circuit des Mines, and Wiggins was the object of "strong interest" from several other teams.

Wiggins said "To ride with a top professional team is what I always wanted and the Madiot brothers who manage the team believe in my ability and I am very happy . I was very impressed with the Madiot's , they are real gentlemen."

Wiggins is currently at the track world championships in Antwerp, where is he riding despite smashing his left wrist in an accident two weeks ago. Although in pain he still hopes he might still some good rides as he was in the best form of his life before the accident. "I will just have to see what happens, I will give it my best shot but I really do not know how I will go; the start of pursuit races are hard on the hands and arms. Having a professional contract has certainly helped my morale but it will not help my wrist."

Jeanson, Bessette to miss worlds

Two of Canada's strongest female riders, Rona's Geneviève Jeanson and Lyne Bessette (Saturn) will not be present at the world championships. Jeanson is recovering from the tendonitis that took her out of the Women’s International Grand Prix in Quebec on August 25, while Bessette has cited physical and mental tiredness after falls in the Tour of Holland and a virus in the Tour of Switzerland.

Jeanson's management issued the following statement about her condition:

It was a hard decision for the athlete, made just a few days after returning to road training last week. The twenty-year-old Lachine, Quebec, cyclist had to stay off the road after a tendonitis behind her right knee forced her to abandon the Women’s International Grand Prix in Quebec August 25. Despite nearly four weeks of rest and treatment, Geneviève Jeanson was still experiencing discomfort and pain pedalling. She and her trainer, André Aubut, decided to take the cautious route.

"It’s not a decision that I’m thrilled about," Geneviève explained. "The World Championships were one of my main goals for the season, and I’ve been training for them since February. But it’s better not to risk exacerbating my injury by demanding too much from my injured leg."

"We have to take every precaution and give Geneviève the time she needs to heal completely," echoed André Aubut. "Geneviève is still young and her career is just beginning. There will be many other world championships and big races to win. I’m sure this is the best choice for her career."

Lyne Bessette released the following official statement about her decision:

"I was victim of falls in the Tour of Holland and my wounds took time to heal. Then in the Tour of Switzerland, I was attacked by a virus. I believe that my body was quite simply tired. Rather than going to the championships of the world and not being at my best, I think it is better to withdraw and to leave the place to a rider better prepared than me", said Bessette, who has resumed light training. "Moreover, I do not deny it, the terrorist attacks made me reflect. With my return voyage from Europe (she flew from Zurich to Boston), I was in a hurry to get back home."

Bessette has had an incredible season: victories in the Tour de l'Aude, Hewlett-Packard Classic and Fitchburg-Longsjo Classic (third consecutive year), in addition to wins at Vasilia, Merced, Arlington and the Canadian road championships. She also finished 3rd in the Montreal World Cup and the GP Feminin. All that after having undergone a fracture of the right clavicle, in March.

"I am proud of my season, the best of my career. I achieved a large goal, to have controlled the stress of holding the leader's jersey in so many races", she continued. "Now, I am taking it easy. I started again with jogging and I entered my first cyclo-cross race on the weekend. I am having fun, which is good."

As is the case each year, Bessette will train on her own throughout the autumn and will join her team mates in the United States, at the beginning of the new year.

Sweden announces worlds team

The Swedish team for the world road race championships is:

Men elite road race: Nicklas Axelsson (Mercury); Marcus Ljungqvist (Team Fakta)
Women elite time trial: Jenny Algelid (Equipe Nürnberger)
Women elite TT: Jenny Algelid (Equipe Nürnberger); Susanne Ljungskog (Vlaanderen- T Interim)
Men U23 TT: Petter Renäng ( Team Crescent); Gustav Larsson ( Team Crescent); Reserve: Jonas Olsson ( Team Crescent)
Men U 23 road race: Gustav Larsson ( Team Crescent); Emil Arnell IK (S.M. Podenzano Italfine); Kristoffer Ingeby (CC Etupes); Petter Renäng (Team Crescent); Jonas Ljungblad (Team Crescent)
Men junior RR & TT: Thomas Lövkvist (Ulricehamns CK)
Women junior RR& TT: Emma Johansson (Härnösands CK)

Algelid declines world's RR berth

By Tomas Nilsson

After the Swedish team for the World's was announced Jenny Algelid decided not to take part in the women's road race saying in a statement that she has lost confidence in the Swedish Cycling Federation team manager Hans Falk.

"I cannot perform at 100 percent when I cannot trust the national Team management."

The background is last year's World's road race in Plouay when another team member, Susanne Ljungskog, winner of two World Cup events this year, lead the chase to catch Madeleine Lindberg who was in a two rider break towards the end. Lindberg managed to get the bronze in a bunch sprint but Ljungskog was afterwards heavily criticized for her riding and the team manager Hans Falk said he wouldn't have her on the team again. Ljungskog claimed that she hadn't observed that Lindberg was in the break.

According to Algelid, who also has had her best season ever with a couple of victories, Falk later, this summer, in a meeting said that he wouldn't exclude Ljungskog for ever from the national team but for the limited time of one year. Since the World's is the only event for the national team the exclusion ought to be a reminder for Ljungskog that you cannot ride for yourself only.

This Tuesday Algelid got a phone call from Falk who said that he would have Ljungskog on the road race team after all.

"What kind of signal is this to the other riders on the national team? Does it mean that you can ride as you please in the world's as long as you do good results in the other races during the season? Against your team mates as well?", Algelid says.

So the situation so far is that by this, Ljungskog will be the only Swedish rider in the Women's road race, a rather small team for a nation that has entered the top ten in this season, since Lindberg also won't start, due to injuries.

Algelid's statement says nothing about the time trial where she is the only Swedish participant.

No comment has yet been issued from the Swedish Cycling Federation.

Liam Killeen signs for 23 Degrees

Up-and-coming British mountain bike talent Liam Killeen has signed a representation agreement with 23 Degrees Sports Management, the mountain bike agency run by former UCI off-road honch Martin Whiteley.

Killeen is considering professional offers for 2002.

US collegiate MTB nats

For the first time in the eight-year history of the event, USA Cycling's Collegiate National Mountain Bike Championships will take the show to the northeast. This year's nationals take over the Ski Plattekill Mountain Resort in New York, October 26-28.

Ski Plattekill has been used for several National Off-Road Bicycle Association (NORBA) races

Action kicks off Friday, Oct. 26, with the short-track cross-country races. This year marks the first time this dirt criterium event will be recognized as an official national title race. The dual slalom qualifiers and finals also go down Friday. Cross-country racers go at it on Saturday, Oct. 27, while Sunday, Oct. 28, is reserved for the downhill finals.

The collegiate cross-country course features more than 1,000 feet of vertical climb on each seven-mile lap. Nearly five miles of the loop are single track. A 1.5-mile downhill sends riders back to the start/finish area. The 500-foot long dual slalom course features two-man berms up to 10 feet high, double and triple jumps, technical step-ups, a large tabletop and a 35-foots gap jump. Downhillers can look forward to an all-new technical course with single track, mild drops and fast sections. The course will be built just prior to the weekend, so no one has a "hometown advantage".

More information:

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

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