Olympic road race champion and runner up in more events this year than he'd care to remember, Jan Ullrich, has officially announced his participation for the World Championships in Lisbon in October. "I have to find my strength again. I am looking for the form in Portugal that doesn't just allow me to ride around for 10th place, but gives me a realistic chance of victory," said the Telekom rider.
Ullrich will ride both the time trial (October 11) and the road race (October 14) in Lisbon. Prior to this he will race in the Rheinland-Pfalz Rundfahrt (September 19-23), the Giro dell'Emilia (September 29), Milano-Vingola (September 30), Giro della Provincia di Lucca (October 2-5) before heading to Portugal.
Marco Pantani (Mercatone Uno) was one of 107 cyclists to abandon the Giro del Friuli today, but after the race he told reporters that he still had his sights on the Vuelta España, which starts this Saturday in Salamanca. However, it is certainly not with a view to win.
"I will be in the Vuelta in order to rediscover with the ambience of the grand tours, with the aim of turning things around for next season. I do not have any particular objectives in the Spanish race, and not even a view to a Maglia Azzurro," he said, referring to a possible spot on the Italian World's team.
"This period has never been favourable for me, but in order to come back competitive next year I have to make a start right now. This year, I will try to prepare the core of my team next year."
Pantani last raced in Italy in the Giro d'Italia, but abandoned on stage 17. Today in Friuli he pulled out after 140 kilometres.
The Danish Sports Federation announced today that they would not be appealing the decision made on August 9 which acquitted CSC-Tiscali rider Bo Hamburger of doping charges. Hamburger tested positive for EPO after the Fleche Wallonne earlier this year, but claimed that the results of the tests were too variable, therefore he shouldn't have been declared positive. He appealed the decision and the Danish Sports Federation reversed it on the grounds that there was a procedural error. Although this doesn't bring into question the validity of the EPO test, it is enough to get Hamburger off the hook.
After the decision was made last month, the UCI issued a statement saying that they were studying the case, as they are entitled to do for a month before deciding whether to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. No further announcement has come from the UCI.
After some speculation recently, three of Euskaltel-Euskadi's good riders, Roberto Laiseka, Alberto Lopez de Munain and Alberto Martinez, have decided to stay with Julian Gorospe's team for the next two years. A meeting was held today in Derio (Vizcaya) between the riders and the technical staff of Euskaltel, and the three riders agreed to re-sign with the orange team.
Alberto Martinez had offers from iBanesto and Kelme, and Laiseka and Lopez de Munain also had some good proposals, especially after Laiseka won the 13th stage of the Tour de France.
On the other hand, Bingen Fernandez has not decided whether to stay yet.
Liquigas sprinter Marco Zanotti has signed a contract for two years with Giancarlo Ferretti's Fassa Bortolo squad. Zanotti's current Liquigas teammate, Gorazd Stangelj, will also ride with Fassa Bortolo.
The Sicilian Giuseppe Palumbo has renewed his contract with De Nardi-Pasta Montegrappa, where he will be joined by Tuscan Fabio Testi, who currently rides for Jazztel-Costa De Almeria.
Fabio Malberti (Liquigas) has received an offer from Portuguese squad LA Pecol.
Bradley McGee will sign a contract with the Rabobank team for two years, according to De Telegraaf. The 25 year old La Francaise des Jeux rider had 12 offers from different teams. He rode strongly this year in the Dauphine Libére, Midi Libre, Tour de Romandie and Tour de France.
Rabobank will talk this week with Leon van Bon, who rode for them in 2000. They were interested in Robert Hunter, but he is going to Mapei (where Tom Steels is). Eric Vanderaerden has re-signed with Mapei for another two years.
Karsten Kroon, Addy Engels, Matthe Pronk, Jan Boven, Marc Lotz, Markus Zberg, Beat Zberg, Geert Verheyen, Thorwald Veneberg (the first big tour for this neo-pro).
On Wednesday, September 5 the 10th edition of the Trofeo Melinda will take place. The 194 kilometre UCI 1.2 race starts from Malè at 10:00, finishing in Fondo at approximately 15:00. The race is an Italian national selection event, and new Technical Director Franco Ballerini and assistant Alfredo Martini will be on hand to see who is in form.
18 teams will race over a selective parcours, with the first 100 kilometres travelling through the Val di Sole and the Valle di Non before entering the final 31.3 kilometre circuit, which has to be completed three times. The climbs of Ronzone, Revò and the final climb up to Fondo will provide plenty of opportunity for attacks in this race, as the likes of Bartoli, Casagrande, Rebellin, Bettini and Celestino will probably show.
The Print Anything Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic has received the largest number of entries in over fifteen years. With 160 confirmed entries and more expected before the September 15 race. The number of entries for the 41st running of the classic are well up on the 130 of last year.
Some of the best cyclists in the country will be here to contest the 228 km race. In A grade there are a few riders that will be the early favourites. Victorian David McKenzie is fresh back from a stint in Europe and looks set to make a mark on the race. McKenzie ran second to fellow Victorian Jamie Drew in 1997. He rode with professional team Linda McCartney throughout Europe last year winning a stage of the Tour of Italy. At 27 years old the former Australian Road Champion is in great form leading into the Grafton to Inverell winning the Tattersalls Cup series in Victoria.
Current National Points Series leader Peter Milostic from Penrith Panthers will be looking to extend his lead with the Grafton to Inverell being a category 1 race in the series. Milostic is in excellent form this year winning the NSW Time Trial Championship and the Penrith Panthers Classic. He also took 3rd place in the Tattersalls Cup Series and will be one to be watched.
Grafton to Inverell winner in 1998, Ben Brooks will also be on the start line. A former Junior World Champion and winner of two stages of the Commonwealth Bank Classic, Brooks will be looking to join Jamie Drew as the only riders to win the "Grafton" twice.
Sydney Olympic Games Rep Brett Lancaster is another well credentialed rider among the nominations. The 21 year old Victorian is a former Junior World Track Champion and Commonwealth Games gold medallist on the track. Lancaster looks set to follow the footsteps of Stuart O'Grady and Brad McGee making the transition from endurance track events to the tough road race format.
Ashley Humbert (NSW) and Peter Dawson (WA) are two young champions that will be trying to make a mark in open competition. Both have promising futures in the sport, Humbert is the current National U/19 Road and Criterium Champion and is looking to take a step up for the Grafton to Inverell. West Australian Dawson is another rider from a track background winning a World Championship as a junior. He is also an Oceania Games and National track champion.
With these notable riders in A grade up against the strong Caravello team from Sydney and numerous Queenslanders, this years race will be one of the best in years. Race Director Robert Munday said the quality of the riders entered is better than expected and he is looking forward to seeing the race unfold over the 228km trek.
Belgian amateur team, Eddy Merckx Boys, directed by Velrio Piva and Freddy Helsen, will lose one of its main sponsors next season: Fortis Bank. However, this does not mean that the team has to be reduced, as Eddy wants a new sponsor to take their place.
Australian cycling and Australian sports journalism is in mourning today over the death of Adelaide reporter Tanya Denver. AAP cycling writer Roger Vaughan pays this tribute.
Anyone who spent five minutes around Tanya Denver would know she was a friendly, helpful, kind lady with a brilliant sense of humour - just someone whose company you relished. Anyone who dealt with her as a journo would know she was a professional who understood cycling, wrote a damned good story and did her job ethically.
It is impossible to comprehend all this now must be written as history. Tanya died early this morning in her home city of Adelaide because of complications a few hours after the birth of her second child and first daughter, Charli. She is also survived by husband Paul and toddler son Lewis. Tanya turned 34 a fortnight ago.
More than anything, Tan loved her family. Her marriage to Paul in 1997 and Lewis' arrival a year later completed Tanya. Nearly always cheerful, there was an especially-sweet edge to her voice when Tan showed off her latest photos of Lewis or spoke about Paul. "Our hearts go out to Paul, Lewis and Charli" is a totally inadequate sentiment, but what else can you say?
Tanya covered cycling for the Adelaide Advertiser, going to world championships and Olympics. As mentioned above, Tan's work on the sport was outstanding. Cycling can be a baffling sport, full of nuances and beset with politics, but her knowledge and understanding were first-rate. She never competed herself, but earned total respect and credibility within cycling because of her preparedness to ask questions, learn and listen.
As a rival reporter, Tan would inspire envy and admiration with her scoops and the quality of her writing. But you were never jealous - her humility, amazing generosity and friendliness ensured that. Not surprisingly, Tan was also a first-rate baseball, netball and Australian Rules writer. The Advertiser thought highly enough of her this year to promote Tan to deputy sports editor, a role where she was destined for more success.
What's that line from Lance Armstrong's biography? Where the specialist tells Armstrong something like: "I've seen the best people not survive cancer, but I've seen the most ornery people pull through to go on living their ornery lives".
How the hell can Tanya be gone?
See you later Tan - we're devastated and we'll always remember you.
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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