News for November 26, 1997

Contracts and Transfers

- StÚphane Hennebert (Belgium-T÷nissteiner) will probably ride next year for Collstrop.

Australian Cycling

With the sacking of Heiko Salzwedel from the position as National Road Coach a lot of flack has been flying around in Australian cycling in the past week. I have received many (lots) of emails with all sorts of information about all sorts of things. I do think the issues raised suggest there are problems. But they not confined to one side or another. The more I dig the more blurry it becomes.

On the one hand, an official makes a big mistake, but on the other hand there is a great deal of junior development work which is doing wonderful things to advance our sport. See what I mean, blurry. I could go on about the good things and the bad things. And lets face it a lot of it is judgemental and interpretative anyway.

I also don't want anyone to think this site is serving any interest groups. No way. I am not the mouthpiece for anyone but myself. I see this site primarily to share all the information I get about racing and results with people who are not so lucky. That is its primary role. As time goes by I get more information and so I can share more. I do not put this time in to serve any sectoral interest group. I also feel I have a responsibility not to abuse the advantages I now have in this site. I get many visitors a day and I do not want it to become a daily political forum. Sometimes it is appropriate to sound out. Other times it is better to be circumspect and maintain a focus on my primary goals. If I wanted to make political statements then at the moment I would be saying how mean-spirited and disgraceful the John Howard's 10 point Wik plan is and the sooner they are tossed out of government the better for all of us!

My apparent dispute with the ACF (Cycling Australia) is really about a contract that was broken and the trouble I have obtaining Australian results. I think there is a will on both sides to resolve that and make the communications more efficient so that the local information network is improved. If we can work this out then everyone will benefit.

From the information I have received in the last few days from many sources there appears to be problems. They are not confined, as some might have thought from my recent pages, to one "side". It is better for Australian cycling if we don't have sides. We are small and should work together. If road riders are irritated by things and perceptions of track biases among our administrators then we have to seek avenues to express this. The main channels are through our State Federations. But then comes the crunch. I ask myself whether I have the time to become involved at this level of the sport. My conclusion is, always, that I would rather just train and race. Touche! If everyone is like me then we can hardly say things should change.

The current state of things, good and bad, is just a reflection of ourselves and our own commitments to the sport.

So while I have many more questions that could be asked about the administration of cycling, I think it is better that I am not seen to be taking sides. I repeat there should be no sides. After all it is just sport. I had a long talk to someone I like a lot today. His influence in this statement should not be undervalued.

Provisional Teams Rankings for 1998 revisited

In 1988, the 1st Division of cycling teams will consist of the first 16 as at December 31, 1997 (based on the "old" teams) plus the next six teams on basis of the ranking per 15th January 1998 (based on the new teams). These 22 teams will ride next year in the World Cup Competition.

The first 16 teams as at 31.10.1997 were:

 1. Mapei-GB (Ita)
 2. ONCE (Spa)
 3. Team Deutsche Telekom (Ger)
 4. Festina-Lotus (Fra)
 5. Saeco (SanM)
 6. Rabobank (Ned)
 7. TVM (Ned)
 8. La Franšaise des Jeux (Fra)
 9. Banesto (Spa)
10. GAN (Fra)
11. Mercatone Uno (Ita)
12. Casino (Fra)
13. Kelme-Costa Blanca (Spa)
14. MG-Technogym (Ita)
15. Lotto-Mobistar (Bel)
16. US Postal Service (USA)

In 1998, MG-Technogym will stop, so seven teams should be added to make up the first division.

According to all the "facts and rumours" surrounding the new teams and transfers up until November 24, 1997, and based on the points as at October 31, 1997 of the best 10 riders per teams, the 7 teams will be:

17. Team Polti (Ita)
18. Cofidis (Fra)
19. Asics-CGA (Ita)
20. Seguros Vitalico (Spa) 
21. Cantino Tollo-Carrier (Ita)
22. Ballan (Ita)
23. Brescialat-Liquigas (Ita)

The next teams - but not in the 1st division - are: Scrigno-Gaerne (close to Brescialat), Riso Scotti-MG, Big Mat-Auber'93 and Mobilvetta.

Thanks to Wim van Rossum.