News for January 21, 1997

Van Zanten to Worlds in Munich

Henne van Zanten will go as the fifth junior rider to the world championship next month in Munich. The rider from Nijkerkerveen won the last place from Mathijs Loohuis. Van Zanten came 18th in the World Cup competition last Sunday at Heerlend. Loohuis was 25th.

Pantani interview

In an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport on Sunday, the Italian road racer will stop this season if his form is not the same as two years ago.

"Elefantino'' crashed in October 1995 during the Milan-Turin and injured his the 27 year-old climber suffered a double break in his left leg. Last year in August, Pantani made a come back to the peleton. This year he is making his first racing venture in the Trophy Laigueglia.

"I will give it one year to get back to my old form, and if I cannot, I will stop" the Italian said.

Pantani, second in the 1995 Giro d'Italia and third in the Tour de France, will ride this season in the colours of Mercatone Uno, who are sponsoring a cycle team for one more year.

1998 Dutch Cyclocross Championship

The 1998 Dutch Cyclocross championship will be held on Sunday January 11 in Woerden. The organising committee, WTC Woerden and GP Rietveld, will hold the title races for juniors, women, neo-amateurs and elites.

Leiden, NL - Cyclocross for elite with and without contract

 1. Talen (Kalmthout) 		     1.01.12 
 2. Sint Nicolaas (Dordrecht) 		0.15
 3. Van den Akker (Veldhoven) 		0.35 
 4. De Wit (Delft) 			0.43
 5. Voshol (Nieuwerkerk a/d IJssel) 	0.50

UCI to probe EPO use

The International Cycling Union will meet withsports directors and team doctors to investigate the use of an endurance-enhancing drug, a French sports paper reported Friday.

L'Equipe said the UCI will look into the effects of EPO (erythropoietin), a drug prohibited by the International Olympic Committee but not by the cycling union.

Despite advances in drug-testing capabilities, the IOC still does not have tests for detecting use of EPO or human growth hormones. Both are naturally occurring hormones that can be artificially ingested to boost performance.

EPO is a difficult-to-detect substance that can help athletes perform better by cramming more oxygen into their blood.

The president of the UCI, Hein Verbruggen, said the Jan. 24 meeting in Geneva will seek to solve uncleared problems.

``It must be made clear that our anti-drug commission has always been against blood test controls because of ethical problems,'' Verbruggen was quoted as saying. ``But the only thing that has changed is that the athletes now seem ready to accept them. This changes everything.''

EPO is commonly used to treat anemia. The IOC controls drug use,whereas the UCI aims at ``developing a system of prevention for the health of the athletes,'' Verbruggen said.

``The solution is to make teams responsible for the health of their athletes as any employer would do in relation to his personnel,'' he said.

The UCI will have to determine the maximum amount of EPO an athlete is allowed to have in his blood.