Six new riders in the 1997 TVM TeamOn Thursday in Hoogeveen, Cees Priem presented the TVM team for the coming season. In the main office of the major sponsor TVM (Transport Verzekerings Maatschappij) - an insurance company - 21 riders were named, with six new riders. This is one less than last year.
TVM begins its 12th season as a major sponsor of a professional cycling team.
The six new riders are: Michael Andersson (Swe, coming from Telekom), Johan Capiot (Bel, Collstrop), Davy Dubbeldam (Ned/Foreldorado), Sergei Ivanov (Rus/Lada), Louis de Koning (Ned/Giant) and Lars Michaelsen (Den/Festina).
Seven riders left the team. They are: Michel Cornelisse (Ned/to Foreldorado), Lars Kristian Johnsen (Nor/Foreldorado), Jim van de Laer (Bel/Cofidis), Jelle Nijdam (Ned/retired), Vladimir Poelnikov (Oek/Kross), Raymond Thebes (Ned/?) en Martin van Steen (Ned/De Jonge Renner).
15 riders continue with Priem from last year. They are the Dutch riders Jeroen Blijlevens, Maarten den Bakker, Steven de Jongh, Tristan Hoffman, Servais Knaven, Niels van der Steen and Bart Voskamp, the Belgians, Hendrick van Dijk, Peter van Petegem and Hendrik Redant, the Danes Bo Hamburger and Jesper Skibby, the French riders Stephane Petilleau and Laurent Roux, and the Norwegian Steffen Kjargaerd.
TVM is now comprised of 7 nationalities: 9 Dutch, 4 Belgian, 3 Danes, 2 French, 1 Swede, 1 Norwegian, and 1 Russian.
Redant to become assistant to Cees PriemHendrik Redant will become assistent to TVM team leader Cees Priem. The 34 year-old Belgian will begin his role after the Amstel Gold Race. Redant, begins his 11th and last season as a professional and will follow the Dutchman, Ad Wijnands, who was the right hand man for Priem for the last two years. The Limburger (Wijnands) cannot combine his work as a team assistant with his garden centre business in the South Limburg town of Eijsden (just south of Maastricht along the river Maas).
More TVM DataIn the 11 years of sponsorship, the TVM riders have ridden nearly 3 million kms. 93 riders have riddent 2.97 million kms in the colours of the main insurance company, TVM. The managers, coaches, and mechanics, have over the same period used 77 motor vehicles and driven around 5,390,000 kms.
Tonkov has an operationPavel Tonkov has undergone an operation today by Professor Danilo Tagliabue from the Matteo Rota of Bergamo, in order to take care of the fracture of the first metacarp of the left hand. The Russian from Mapei-GB fell Wednesday during training: an examination to check him pointed out the problem which was resolved through the application of local anesthesia and two wires. Thanks to special care, Tonkov should return to the saddle in of 3-4 days.
Casagrande has a scareFrancisco Casagrande has come out unharmed from an auto accident on the road to Cecina while in the way to his team Saeco's retreat. The husband and wife which were also involved in the accident (in the other car) had to go to the hospital for treatment.
Rincon RetiresColombian Oliverio Rincon, 28, has announced his retirement because of contractual problems with his team, the Gaseosas Glacial. Rincon has won stages at the Tour, Giro and Vuelta.
Asics meetsClaudio Chiappucci, Enrico Zaina and all the other components of the new Asics squad will meet today at Varazze, on the Riviera of the West, in the same place where until yesterday have trained Luc Leblanc, Axel Merckx and the rest of the Team Polti. Already at the Riviera, since half a week ago is Team Batik-Del Monte with Eugene Berzin, Nicola Minali and Gabriele Colombo.
Report from VenezuelaVenezuelan Hussein Monsalve and Colombian Cesar Goyenece (Kross-Montanari) have divided the two [semi stages] on the fourth day of the Vuelta of Tachira which is going on in Venezuela.
Merckx back in chargeMerckx Back In Charge - Eddy Merckx has gone back on his decision to resign from the post of Belgian national team selector, a position he has held since 1986. Merckx's resignation, effective from after the 1996 world championships, sprang from his dissatisfaction with the terms offered by the Belgian national federation. His second thoughts mean that he will be in charge of the team that defends Johan Museeuw's road title in San Sebastian on October 12.
ONCE escape the bad weatherManuel Saiz (ONCE's manager) didn't think about it twice, since the weather situation is so bad in Southern Spain he decided to take his twenty riders along with his auxiliary group to train at the Grand Canary Island, concretely at San Agustin, fifty kilometers from Las Palmas. The team manager considers that he had a 12 day delay in the preparation and has started to push the riders, looking for a group to reach the early season in form, not forgetting the great dates in the calendar, Tour, Vuelta and World Championships.
"Our objective, as always, will be the whole season, but we want to be going well for la Vuelta a Espana, because we are a Spanish Team, plus the Tour de France, which is the most important race in the world and then get ready for the Worlds at San Sebastian", answers Manuel Saiz when asked about his objectives for the coming season. Manolo Saiz keeps tight control of his rider's training which he sends them by fax. these days at Las Canarias will be to see if they are following the training to the 'T' or not. With three six and a half hour training sessions a week, except Navarran Miguel Morras, who has a softer training, when they finish at Gran Canaria, their level will be pretty high. In terms of his team leaders, Alex Zulle and Laurent Jalabert, Saiz already knows that they are going to ride the same calendar: "I know that Jalabert is going to start winning races soon, as always, while Zulle will start to be competitive by March, to get to the Tour in good form. The group that reaches April well, will have a 'break' so that they can reach the Tour in good form", said Saiz. During August he will also prepare the team, with the team that goes to la Vuelta, the World Championships at San Sebastian: "La Vuelta, already showed last year, that if done all the way, it is a good preparation for the Worlds".
Olano too fat!Abraham Olano will have to loose weight to win the Tour, his pending assignment: the mountains. The first moderate example, was Indurain's. The next, exaggerating, is Bjarne Riis. Abraham Olano should be in between. Indurain's weight loss was moderate, because even though he lost some kilos from the beginning when he started to win the Tours and Giros, he didn't stop riding well and his biggest achievements was to climb the hardest mountain weighing 15 kilos more than most climbers. A study by Padilla showed that for Indurain and his extra weight the climbs were like two kilometer longer than to his lighter rivals. Riis' weight loss was exaggerated, because he 'forced' it and pushed the loss of fat almost to an inhuman limit. Not only did he almost lost the Tour at the last ITT, but his fat content was so low -below 4%- that he endangered his recuperation ability. The effort to beat Indurain in the mountains and hold him at the ITTs was enormous and then win the Tour.
After speaking to Telekom's team doctor, German Harald Schmid, I spoke to Sabino Padilla, Indurain's doctor. Padilla didn't want to know about training or scientific methods. He only asked one thing. "Did he tell you Riis' weight?" Riis' example shows the tendency to exaggeration, the Dane is 1.87 meters high, almost as tall as Indurain, but finished the Tour weighing 68 kilos, 11 less than the Navarran. Forcing the 'machine' to the limit he achieved the weight/power relation, the true reference when measuring physical capacity in a cyclist, to make it higher that Indurain's. Riis, who spent the first six months of the year training for the Tour, in addition to losing weight, also did power training. This is what allowed him to attack in the big mountain -Hautacam and Sestriere- using the big ring, leaving the small climbers open mouthed and even powerful Indurain, who until then was the leader in these matters.
And now we get to Olano. The Guipuzcoan reached his best moment last year at the Giro. He admits that he lost the race on the stage at the Mortirolo because he couldn't match the climbers. That day he realized three things: If he wanted to win the Tour, he not only had to be with the best in the mountains, but he would need to be able to attack or hold the hold on during violent attacks from the agile climbers. For that he needed to loose weight and gain strength and concentrate on one big race for the ideal form. And that what his doing as of January 1997. To reaffirm him, there are Riis' calculations, with which an extra kilo means an extra minute at the longest climbs in the Tour. Or like Dr. Aldo Sassi, from Mapei, who revealed that "when a rider looses 10% of their weight he gains between 5% and 10% in climbing because improves their weight to power ratio".
But for the Guipuzcoan this matter of losing weight is not new. All his advances from a track rider to his great wins in stage races have been due to losing weight and quality training. His new challenge of winning the Tour is the same, only more complicated. Olano will not need to loose 4 kilos like the Dane, because he's a rider of more class and power than the Riis, which is a rider who spent most of his career as a domestique. He won't need to push his fat percentage to under 4%, according to Inaki Arratibel, the doctor with which he started his career and with whom he'll share his preparation along with Dr. Ferrari, Olano needs to reach the Tour at 66 Kgs. for his 1.82 meters of height - and a fat percentage of a little over 6%. This combined with power training -weights, gym, mountain intervals- will allow him to be perfect, without the danger of being 'too' perfect. "To lower the fat content too much is dangerous", says Arratibel. "The cholesterol level is important because it influences the capacity to generate natural hormones, like testosterone and the capacity to recuperate".
Olano is fat right now. His training plan calls for volume and strength training in the first months and then quality, doing intervals in the Pirenees, where he will be based in mid-season. His diet will be based on eating a lot of pasta -75% Carbo and 15% protein-, power bars, fluids with salts. He shouldn't loose more than half a kilo a week. The quick loss diets are based on liquid elimination and an imbalance in this would be fatal to his endurance. To reach this he will need to be monitored, many strength tests and constant analysis. Everything to reach the Tour as favorite.
To train without eating - Cyclists starve, which doesn't seem very healthy. But all submit to the requirements of modern cycling. Olano's wife, Karmele, who loves to eat, stopped eating chocolate to prevent his husband from being tempted. In Olano's home you won't find sweets, one of the forbidden fruits. He shouldn't eat fats like butter or pork meat or much cheese or alcohol. In other words in the kitchen only spaghetti, meat or fish on the grill. Karmele has had to get used to eating alone. It is one of the tricks recommended by the trainers. At lunch time -between 1 and 4 PM- go out and train. And when you come back, to kill the hunger a chocolate energy drink, and that's it.
Indurain and his new bikeDoes Indurain know what a bike is worth after using it as a tool during all these years? Does he know about name brands and materials, components and gears? Nobody in their right mind would dare to answer 'no' to those questions, nobody except Indurain himself. That's how it went last Wednesday. He went with Pruden, his brother to a bike shop in a shopping center in Pamplona to see if he would buy a new bike. He took a look at an American Canondale and an Italian, Colnago.
The attendant, who never before had such a special customer, started to give his wisdom: this one comes with Shimano this and that and such and such frame, without stopping until the champion's expression made him stop. Like if it was chinese. After looking carefully, Indurain decided to buy the Canondale. And when the time came to talk about price, both sides were surprised. "What? That a bicycle costs more than 1/2 a million pesetas?" Indurain, the man who wore 'the mask' during his professional career, couldn't hide his surprised face. He didn't go for his wallet. As soon as he was over the surprise he said that he would come back next week and maybe he would close the deal to take the bike to Benidorm.
At Banesto, his 'home' most of his life, the anecdote didn't surprise at all. Indurain has never been 'picky' with a certain brand, or worried about the real value of what he rode. Enrique Sanz, the mechanic, took care of everything. Indurain asked and Sanz would always install the latest material invented, even before it was out on the market, so that he could test it and give his opinion. It was impossible for him to know the specifications of the materials. Even today's mechanics go crazy with all the novelties and need an organizer. He was the director, tuning the orchestra. And he did it carefully, before a decisive ITT, he would spend a good half hour measuring every millimeter of every moving part in the bicycle. Even the wheels were built by 'artisans' from the best shop in Pamplona. Afterward, when he would finish the stage, Indurain would say: "This has gone well and this has gone bad". That way, Sanz, using the cyclist's legs has helped Campagnolo a lot in the development of products.
Indurain has a lot of bicycles at home. Some historical -the ones from his the Tours or Giros he won- and other with no special label. Any 'Cycle Tourist' would give anything to ride one of these machines. Other things he didn't save, they went to the team's recycling system. That way, Txente Garcia Acosta last year won the Vuelta a Navarra using the same helmet that Indurain used on his frustrated attempts for the Hour Record in Colombia. Some of his bikes used during the season, with thousands of kilometers on it, went to be used at the amateur team and some went for sale.
But the Miguel Indurain that spends his first days of retirement, has broken all bridges with the past and doesn't want to go out to ride in the Pinarellos of all his life. He also doesn't want to keep on using the same clothing as always. Before he was paid to use a certain bicycle and a certain maillot and now he has to pay for them. Enrique Sanz would save and tune every year the special bikes from the previous years so that Indurain could store them, with plans of a future museum, although it is only an idea at this point. Indurain has received offers from museums from all over the world for some of the pieces, but has always refused to left them leave his home. He's only missing the Espada with which he broke the Hour Record, at Pinarello, the builder has shown it as a great attraction at every exposition, but they say that one of these days they'll ship it to him. Also if he wants a good bicycle to ride, they would make it for him, even without stickers. It would only be called Indurain. That was until suddenly he went out on the road giving publicity and paying for another brand.
Italians riding in foreign teams in 1997
The Italian riders who will be riding on foreign teams: Adriano BAFFI, 34, from Mapei-GB to US Postal (Usa) Gianluca BORTOLAMI, 28, from Mapei-GB to Festina (Fra) Maurizio FONDRIEST, 31, World Champion at Renaix '88, from Roslotto-ZG to Cofidis (Fra). Alberto ELLI, 32, from MG-Technogym to Petit Casino (Fra). Rodolfo MASSI, 31, from Refin-Mobilvetta to Petit Casino (Fra). Andrea PERON, 25, from Motorola to Francaise des Jeux (Fra). Giovanni LOMBARDI, 27, from Team Polti to Telekom (Ger). Eros POLI, 33, from Saeco to Gan (Fra). Davide REBELLIN, 25, six days on the Pink Jersey at the Giro '96, from Team Polti to Francaise des Jeux (Fra). Simone REBELLIN, 26, from Polti to Francaise des Jeux (Fra). Marco SALIGARI, 31, recovered from an accident in a race, from MG-Technogym to Petit Casino (Fra). Maximilian SCIANDRI, 29, Italian with a British license, from Motorola to Francaise des Jeux (Fra). Flavio VANZELLA, 32, from Motorola to Francaise des Jeux (Fra)
Indurain meets with BanestoLast Tuesday afternoon Miguel Indurain went after lunch to the Hotel El Toro de Berrioplano, 5 Kms. from Pamplona. Meeting there was the Technical staff for Team Banesto. Jose Miguel Echavarri, Eusebio Unzue, Jose Luis Jaimerena and the public relations man from the team, Francis Lafargue, were in a meeting when Miguel Indurain arrived and joined the group. The meeting was made public first in a radio program, but contrary to what was said on the radio, the director of the Tour de France, Jean Marie Leblanc was not there, as confirmed by Francis Lafargue. The puclic relations director for Banesto explained the Indurain's visit was totally spontaneous on the part of the champion and that there was nothing previously agreed.
"It was a courtesy visit which went on in a friendly environment. The five of us spent close to two hours at the bar on the cafeteria of the hotel, drinking cofee and speaking about everything and about nothing. What I can tell you for sure is that in the reunion we were not trying to convince Indurain to return to competition or anything like that. I don't know who drew this conclusions and spoke them so happily". Lafargue did refuse to reveal the content of their conversations that were held. What he said was that it "helped to clear some things and to leave things better than they were a month ago between us. Because until Indurain announced his retirement the pressure that we all sustained from the press was horrible and it opened grounds to some misunderstandings. With Miguel remains a very good relation and I'm sure that we will see each other in more occasions.
Six Banesto riders to MexicoSix Banesto riders, with Eusebio Unzue as their manager leave today to Mexico to race la Ruta a Mexico, which will take place from January 23rd to February 2nd. The riders will be Vicente Garcia, Vicente Aparicio, Prudencio Indurain, Jose Ramon Uriarte, Armand de las Cuevas and Aitor Osa.
Giant/AIS - AustraliaHeiko Salzwedel, Australia's national road coach, on the weekend and he confirmed the rumours of a combined Czech/Australian team.
The team has been registered to ride the Elite 1997 season with seven Aussies, five Czechs and one German. Beyond that, there are four Aussie under-23s and four Czech under-23s.
1997 Team - VZZV-Giant-AIS (Australia)
Name (country) DOB 1996 Team UCI Points UCI Ranking Paul Brosnan (Qld) 23/10/73 Jay 37 635 Brett Dennis (Qld) 21/10/71 Jay 95 391 Nick Gates (NSW) 10/03/72 Jay 134 226 Slavomir Heger (Cze) 03/03/71 Hus 80 391 Jan Hruska (Cze) 04/02/75 Hus 14 1,063 Miloslav Kejval (Cze) 11/07/73 Hus 32 701 Tomas Konecny (Cze) 11/10/73 Hus 104 313 Peter Rogers (ACT) 24/10/74 Jay 92 347 Paul Rowney (NSW) 02/12/70 Jay - - Damian McDonald (Vic) 12/05/72 Jay 189 177 Tomas Sedlacek (Cze) 17/03/67 Hus 18 939 Jens Voigt (Ger) 17/09/71 Nur 277 124 Matt White (NSW) 22/02/74 Jay 206 166 Equipment: Bikes - Giant Tubes - Carbon Fibre Accessories - Shimano Rims - Ambrosio Stem - Modolo Tyres - Vittoria Pedals - Time Shoes - Time Clothing - Demarchi Sunglasses - Bolle Helmets - Giro Partner: Food Supplements - Dura-Fuel