Second Edition News for January 21, 1997

More on Boardman

Chris Boardman, setting his sights once again on the world time trial title, is forsaking the track for the road this season.

The world 4,000 metres pursuit crown he regained with a world record time last summer on a Manchester track goes undefended in Perth, Western Australia, next August.

Instead Boardman, who recaptured the world hour record a week after winning the title, will devote his 1997 campaign to the open road, including two of the three major Tours.

His main objective is again the Tour de France, but in his quest to regain the time trial title he held in 1994, Boardman has added another three-week slog to his calendar, the Tour of Spain from September 6.

``It has become obvious that if I want form for a world championship in October I have to ride the Tour of Spain,'' Boardman said. ''So two tours became inevitable.

``My trainer Peter Keen delved deep to create a programme last year that would help me hold peak form for seven weeks. It did not quite work, and I got to the world time trial championship with good form but mentally I had had enough.

``I gave a jaded performance at the championship in Lugano last October, whereas Alex Zuelle (the winner) was superb. I don't want that to happen again.''

Boardman still managed a silver medal to go with his time trial bronze in the Atlanta Olympics.

His views about a revised build-up were strengthened by Zuelle's Tour of Spain victory 11 days before the Lugano race.

``If you were not riding in the Tour, the only races that were available as a championships build-up were time trials of 1 1/2 hours each week. That was it and that made it difficult to sustain form.

``However even a bare minimum of racing in the Tour will be excellent preparation for the world championships.

``I intend to contest the Tour as an objective for the season and go for a result. It is also possible to ride it as a training race. That is something you cannot do with the Tour de France.''

Last year also yielded a second world 4,000 metres title on the Manchester indoor track and a week later he set a world hour mark with 56.375 kilometres at the same venue.

``People expect me to win the pursuit, but it's not proving anything,'' said Boardman before leaving for his GAN team's training camp at Pau in the Pyrenees.

He has 110 days of racing ahead of him this season, opening with the Laigueglia Trophy race in Italy on February 18, and ending with the world time trial championship in San Sebastian on October 9.

``It's going to be heavy but there is nothing critical for me for a couple of months. The first time I want to show is in the Tour de France (July 5-27).

``It's going to be difficult to ride races, do nothing, just take a hiding, and wait. I cannot get sucked in because I am clear now that this is the way it has to be if I want to perform in a major tour.''

He went the full distance for the first time in last year's Tour. ``It was the only thing left to achieve after bad luck compounded by the volume of work I had done led to a viral infection just before the Tour.''

Since his crash in the 1995 Tour Boardman had worked for 16 months to re-establish himself. ``This year as the Tour is one of the first objectives instead of near the end I intend to get there fresh.''

Sacrifices have to be made, and Boardman, 29 in August, is never happy to part from his wife, Sally, and their children, Edward, Harriet, George, and Oscar.

``Race demands are heavier now, and with my family it is a price I am less and less willing to pay.

``I give myself another four racing years, maybe stretching to five. I like the idea that I can see an end to it, so I can motivate myself for the time that is left.

``I want to make it count while I am here as opposed to going for any longevity records.''

The Tour of Britain to return

The Times of London today announced that a Tour of Britain will be staged this year from Aug 19th to Aug 23rd, subject to confirmation. This will be two days after Britain's World Cup race, so a good field should be assured.

The organizer is Brian Elliott, who formerly organized the Milk Race. He is not yet prepared to name the sponsor. All cyclists will welcome this news, which follows the loss of the Milk Race, the Kelloggs Tour and the Dupont Tour.

And another type of tour

The Leyetocht is the name of a cycling-tour. Brabant is the name of a province of Holland. The Leyetocht Brabants biggest bike event for the whole family. The Leyetocht is a single-day cycling-tour

The date is 17 august 1997 start time between 7:30 and 12:00 hour o'clock In 1996 there were 8234 participants

Hendrik Redant To Retire After Amstel

Belgian rider Hendrik Redant, 34, is to retire after the Spring Classics campaign is over, hanging up his wheels the evening after Amstel Gold on April 26. The TVM rider is to stay with the Dutch team, joining Ad Wijnands as a deputy directeur sportif under Cees Priem. Redant's best win was probably the 1992 Paris--Tours. Placings include 2nd in Kuurne--Brussels--Kuurne 1995, 2nd in Stage 4 of the Tour of Luxembourg 1995 and 2nd in Stage 3b of the Kelloggs Tour, 1994. He was 10th in Paris--Roubaix in 1991 and 1992.

Manuela di Centa: Correction

In the translation of the article on doping in L'Equipe, it was reported that skier: Manuela di Centa was dead from EPO use. The article in fact says "she almost died".

Thierry Laurent To Join Festina

Former Agrigel-La Creuse rider Thierry Laurent, who was given an eight-month suspension in October after failing a drugs test during the Quatre Jours de Dunkerque in May,has signed for Festina. All indications were that he would sign for La Mutuelle de Seine-et-Marne this weekend but at the last minute he accepted Festina's alternative offer. Laurent's suspenson was conveniently reduced to three months recently so he will be able to ride for Festina from the start of the season next month. Former Agrigel team-mate Jacky Durand, now riding for Casino, is similarly advantaged, with a suspension reduced from eight months to one month.