News for January 4, 1997

Godert de Leeuw breaks collarbone

On Monday Godert de Leeuw broke his collarbone while out on a training ride on his mountain bike near his home of Ermelo. The rode rider from the Foreldorado=Golff team is out of action for a minimum of 6 weeks. In February last year, De Leeuw incurred the same injury. Then, during the Tour of Mallorca he broke the left collar bone.

This injury occured one day after his first victory as a professional, the fourth stage of the Tour of Mallorca. He also won a stage in the Olympia's Tour.

In January, he had hoped to attend a training camp for Foreldorado-Golff in Spain.

More Foreldorado-Golff news

Jan Hordijk junior is the twelfth rider signed fro the new team, Foreldorado/Golff. The rider from Mijsheerenland had three victories last year.

His father, Han rode for four years in the professional peleton.

Post has an offer to form a new team

Peter Post has received an offer from a multinational company to form a new professional racing team. The 63 year-old "Father" of Dutch cycle racing, has been out of professional cycling since the end of the 1994 racing season.

I must come to a decision within 2 or 3 months.

Post will not name the company. All that he is saying is that they are a world wide concern. If Post makes a positive decision, the team will be racing on the road in 1998.

And now for something different.....

Organisers of a legendary Dutch skating marathon said on Thursday that the event would be held on Saturday, for only the 15th time this century.

While Europe's homeless perish and chaos rules the roads in the icy grip of a severe winter, the entire Dutch nation has been caught up in skating fever.

Sub-zero temperatures in the northern Netherlands have frozen the maze of canals and inland waterways which are used for the Elfstedentocht (Eleven Cities Tour) -- a 200-km (125-mile) day-long marathon that has only been held 14 times since the first race in 1909.

The organising committee reckons that to guarantee the safety of both skaters and spectators, the ice must be at least 15 cm (six inches) thick along the whole length of the course.

The event, in which up to 16,000 skaters take part, becomes an obsession for millions of Dutch and can elevate ordinary folk to national heroes.

National television will broadcast the entire race live and news bulletins ahead of Saturday's start will lead with updates on the state of the ice along the tour's course in the northern province of Friesland.

During the last two tours, in 1985 and 1986, parliament went into recess and Queen Beatrix cut short her foreign holiday.

The previous race in 1963 was an epic which gave the race mythical status. Only 126 of 9,862 entrants managed to fight their way through a blizzard to the finishing line.

The race begins in the Friesian capital of Leeuwarden and snakes across the province through 10 other towns and villages with mediaeval city rights, before returning to Leeuwarden at sunset, or later.

The fittest skaters can complete the tour inside seven hours. Hordes of fans brave the cold at the start line to cheer on the skaters who are released in groups from steel cages.

More than a million people turned up in Friesland in February 1986, throwing one of the nation's biggest and liveliest impromptu parties.

The Dutch ANP news agency said on Thursday that up to 2,000 journalists were expected to cover this year's race.

The nature of the race favours a low, crouched skating style to cope with rough and jagged ice. Professional speed skaters used to smooth artificial rinks are at a disadvantage.

Outdoor specialists such as dairy farmer Evert van Benthem,winner of the last two races, have a short, powerful skating stroke, in contrast to the long, fluid style of the lycra-clad speed skaters.

But it is 11 years since Van Benthem's last victory and his younger rivals are knocking at the door. Saturday's winner is destined for fame and fortune, however humble his occupation.

Cofidis Presentation

The official presentation of the Cofidis team will be the 14th of January at 10 AM at the "espace pierre cardin" in Paris. Lance Arsmtrong will be there with the riders of the team.

Surhuisterveen, NL, International Cyclo Cross:


 1. Herygers (Bel) 		     1.01.44
 2. Groenendaal (St. Michielsgestel) 	0.15
 3. Van der Poel (Kapellen) 		0.15
 4. De Vos (Oosterhout) 		0.25
 5. Boezewinkel (Hooglanderveen) 	0.40
 6. Moonen (Bel) 			0.45
 7. De Bie (Bel) 			0.50
 8. Scheffer (Velswijk) 		0.55
 9. Gerritsen (Hoevelaken)
10. Veldkamp (Kamerik) 			1.02


 1. Velthuis (Wageningen)
 2. Van Boxmeer (Erp)
 3. Haverdings (Zuidlaren)

Danish Henrik Djernis signs for American Eagle

The Dane Henrik Djernis has signed a contract with the Mountain Bike team American Eagle. He has signed for one season with an option for another season.

Our team has a new top with the departure of Bart Brentjens'', said team manager Ruud Poels. The Olympic champion has left the American Eagle for an American team.

Djernis held the world MTB title in 1992, 1993 and 1994. The last two years has been lean for the Dane. "With our team he can reach the top again. He is making a new start" said Poels. Also Erwin Nijboer, Miguel Indurain's old team-mate will ride this year for American Eagle.

Armstrong completes chemotherapy, resumes training

Former world champion Lance Armstrong, who is fighting to overcome cancer, has resumed training, the manager of his French team Cofidis Alain Bondue said on Thursday.

``He finished his chemotherapy on December 13 and had a good rest afterwards,'' Bondue said. ``His morale is excellent. He covered 120 kms on December 29 in the state of Texas where he lives.

``He hopes to return to international competition in May.''

Armstrong, who won the world road race title in 1993 when he was 21, revealed in October that he had cancer of the abdomen and testicles. He had signed for the new Cofidis team as their leader before becoming aware of his cancer.

Bondue said the American would be at team headquarters in the Lille suburb of Wasquehal on Janaury 9 and would attend the team's presentation in Paris five days later with co-leader Tony Rominger of Switzerland and Italian Maurizio Fondriest.

``He is quite determined at present, while guarding his health and resting, on doing regular training,'' Bondue said. ``His will is intact. We are continuing to ensure him of our full support.''