Bart Brentjens goes to Cedico as a Road RiderBart Brentjens willl ride for Cedico next season as as a road rider. The Olympic MTB champion has a one year contract with the French-Belgian Team. In the MTB series, the Brentjens, from Limburg, will ride for Specialised/Mountain Dew.
Cedico is a French supermarket chain and is a licenced cycling team in Belgium. They are currently ranked 32 on the Team's UCI Rankings. Brentjens chose to ride for Cedico, after his manager ex-PDM rider Gert-Jan Theunisse had deliberations with them, because they guaranteed him a full international road program.
On his 1998 schedule, there will be the opening races in the South of France in February (Paris-Nice etc), the classics Gent-Wevelgem, Het Volk and Fleche Wallone/Waalse Pijl, and the stage race Tour of Luxemburg. Brentjens planned to ride Cyclo Cross this season. Theunsisse said: " Now we will have to have a different program to make the transfer between disciplines."
The Jens Veggerby WWW Site is now in EnglishNow the Jens Veggerby Official web-site is available in English now.
Riders pressure UCI to change the date of the WorldsItalian riders have aroused the conscience of cycling in general. Last year they were very immportant in the introduction of the blood controls and now they have returned to Verbruggen's door with a strong argument. Gianni Bugno and Maurizio Fondriest lead the representation of champions that will meet this morning in Laussane with the president of the UCI. The Italian cyclists will be in the company of Frenchman Richard Virenque, Spaniard Abraham Olano and Swiss Laurent Dufaux.
Verbruggen, a very skilfull politician is used to meeting with the champions in the association that he represents and gives the impression of being very democratic. But this time the riders have intentions of hitting the table with their fists to argue to main points: the return of the World Championships to August and the reinforcement of the preventive controls.
"We can't continue with the Worlds in October" explains Maurizio Fondriest. "It is not fair that the most important one day race of the season somes at the end of the season when the rider's strength has been decreased to a faint light. A challenge amongst the great protagonists of the year becomes impossible. What happened this year shows that they winner of the Tour can't be competitive for the Worlds".
Fondriest brings up a subject which all the cycling world agree with. "It's a paradox - explains Fondriest -. The riders, the teams, the public opinion of the fans is in agreement that the Worlds in August were better and Verbruggen remains firm in his position. In our encounter in Laussane we will reafirm our convictions with the president of the UCI, but it will be the last time that we will make our argument in an academic way".
"Otherwise we will soon have to take strong action - explains Fondriest -. If all the riders are in agreement we could go on a strike if things are at an impasse and refuse to ride the Worlds. But I don't think that things will get to that point, Verbruggen has always been willing to talk".
When the UCI changed the Worlds to October, some riders were in agreement (Rominger for example) and some team representatives were in agreement...
"Now we know the effect of this novelty - explains Bugno -. Now it seems like everybody is against it, even the team representatives. Our association could organize an internal referendum if necessary. Verbruggen can't ignore the reasons of the riders, teams and fans".
The other strong point to discuss today is the preventive blood controls. "We will revalidate our point - says Fondriest - but we want controls which are more incisive and credible. We would like the criteria used to select the riders that are tested changed. Now only some teams and riders are chosen. At the important races and particularly the stage races those controls should always be by surprise, to all representatives of a group, plus also a few of the winners of a stage or the the firsts in the general classification".
"It is scandalous that during the World Championships the UCI didn't do any blood tests on the professionals - adds Bugno -. Verbruggen has said that it was due to economic reasons. I think that the image of cycling is a good investment. The more important races should have the maximum blood controls".
Fondriest returns to the criteria used by the Commission of Security and Behavior of the UCI. "The rider who's tested at the start of a Major Stage Race gets a certain kind of immunity for the rest of the race. That is not fair. The UCI should have a surprise effect and should be able to test the same rider a few days after".
Durana, Spain, Cyclo Cross, November 30Belgium's Paul Herygers easily won this race with little competition from the local riders. But his performance was still impressive because less than 3 weeks ago he broke his elbow.
Luxemburg, Cyclocross, Espoirs, November 30
1. Nico Clarysse (Bel) 2. Christian Wegmann (Ger) 3. Christian Poos (Lux)
Belgian Cyclo Cross U23's take a breakBelgian cyclocross espoirs are taking a break from competition. They will be training for 12 days in the South of Spain under guidance of Eric De Vlaeminck. Participating riders are Sven Nijs (current World Champion), Bart Wellens (current Belgian Champion), Gianni David, Bjorn Rondelez, Tom Vanoppen, Tim Van Nuffel and also junior Davy Commeyne.
Sciandri back in 20 daysMaximilian Sciandri should leave the Hospital di Lucca in Florence tomorrow. That is what professor Enrico Castellacci a sports medicine specialist stated: "Sciandri was submited to lab tests, abdominal sonogram, eye exam, face X-Rays and the results are satisfactory". Sciandri should be able to get back on the bike in 20 days.
Pascal Richard apologisesOlympic Champion Pascal Richard has made a 'public statement' in front of the discipline commision of the UCI, because of the interview published in a Swiss newspaper which launched suspicion of doping against Jan Ullrich and Bjarne Riis. Richard has accepted a 'severe note of blame' and has stated his regret and has reaffirmed that some of his declarations were misinterpreted.
Once Team Doctor talksThe manager of medical services for the ONCE sports group, Nicolás Terrados, thinks that the next season will be one of transition for the team after the departure of Swiss Alex Zulle to Festina. Terrados, who has been with the team since its creation in 1989 said: "even with Zulle's departure we have good options to get good results, although I won't deny that his departure is a tought hit at the sport and human level, since Alex is a person who's liked by all his teammates". The doctor says that the leader for the important races will be Laurent Jalabert. "Laurent has the capacity to have great performances and I hope that he will have important wins in the main races", said Terrados who added: "for the one week races we have riders like Melchor Mauri and David Exteverría who can get excellent results, after the great season they just completed".