Contracts and Transfers- Jerome Bernard, stagiere with Festina-Lotus, will ride next year for the French team Mutuelle Seine & Marne.
- Team Deportpublic, could have only days left. If matters between Estepona and Unipublic are not settled this week, a new team could emerge for 1998: Porcelanatto'98. For that to occur negotiations between Unipublic and Estepona would have to achieve a breakthrough. The City Hall from the Spanish Costa del Sol (Estepona) wants to continue sponsoring the team in exchange of the use of apartments and other non-cash benefits. The company (Deportpublic) which organizes la Vuelta a Espańa wants cash. This has to be resolved this week: either Estepona accepts the conditions placed by Deportpublic or the sponsorship relationship they've on amicable terms.
Unipublic still expects them to reach an agreement with Estepna to continue to be co-sponsors with Cafés Toscaf.
If negotiations with Estepona break, there would be another option: Porcelanatto, a ceramic company which is very involved in sponsorship in the elite and sub- 23 category. Porcelanatto and Unipublic have already been in contact, and other than having to take care of small details, it looks like things are favorable for a deal. Unipublic would prefer to get away from managing the team, specially after all the criticism they've faced and this might be the occasion.
Porcelanatto founded an amateur sport group in 1996, with the long term goal of developing to the professional level. If Miguel Agut, owner of Porcelanatto, agrees to the project, they would take over from Deportpublic. If the agreement between Unipublic-Estepona doesn't work, Porcelanatto would assume 60% of the sponsorship, Cafés Toscaf would take care of 40%. With this percentages the new team would be called GD Porcelanatto-Toscaf.
Got all of that!
The 6 Day Season to date - after 7 eventsWhile there is no official 6 Day Rankings kept by the UCI, the UCI points the riders gain count for the UCI Track rankings. There have now been 7 events in the 1997-98 6 Day season. The points status is as follows:
1. Silvio Martinello (Italy) 250 UCI points =2. Bruno Risi (Switzerland) 190 =2. Kurt Betschart (Switzerland) 190 4. Marco Villa (Italy) 187 5. Jimmi Madsen (Denmark) 185 6. Jens Veggerby (Denmark) 177 =7. Matthew Gilmore (Australia) 152 =7. Etienne de Wilde (Belgium) 152 =9. Giovani Lombardi (Italy) 125 =9. Adriano Baffi (Italy) 125 =11. Jakob Piil (Denmark) 90 =11. Tayeb Braikia (Denmark) 90 13. Bjarne Riis (Denmark) 80 14. Andrea Collinelli (Italy) 70 15. Carsten Wolf (Germany) 64 =16. Lorenzo Lapage (Belgium) 50 =16. Juan Llaneras (Spain) 50 =18. Rolf Aldag (Germany) 40 =18. M. Alzamora (Spain) 40 =18. G. Curuchet (Argentina) 40 =18. J. Curuchet (Argentina) 40 At least another 20 riders have gained less than 40. Includes: Scott McGrory (Australia) Matthew Allan (Australia) Andreas Beikirch (Germany) Lars Teutenberg (Germany) Sven Teutenberg (Germany) Gerd Dorich (Germany) Flickinger (Germany) Rick Van Slycke (Belgium) Da Cruz (France) Santstod (Denmark) Neuville (France) Pieters (Belgium) Guido Fulst (Germany) Stefan Steinweg (Germany) Uwe Messerschmidt (Germany) Walzer (Germany) Vonhof (Germany) Weispfennig (Germany) Stocher (Germany) Henrix (Germany) Monin (Germany)
Ullrich in the GymWho's the man in the middle of that machine? It's not an aspiring astronaut, it's Jan Ullrich, last year winner of the Tour de France. Telekom's German rider has gone into the gym to reawaken his muscles and shed some extra kilos in preparation for the 1998 season. Ullrich has been training in the "Aerotrim", a machine inspired by the astronaut training, used for "tri- dimensional training". The "Aerotrim" is made of three fixed rings and three hinges, which rotate and are pushed by the strength of the arms and legs. The exercise helps to improve the physical coordination and strength.
Ullrich has seriously begun his preparation on the bike in the area of Merdingen (where he lives). The Tour winner got back on the bike during his vacation in Lanzarote, the Canary Islands where he stayed until October 21st to take advantage of the favorable climate. According to some people, Jan Ullrich has gained 9 kilos in his long break that started on September. Ullrich will meet with his Telekom team manager at the beginning of December to establish his program for 1998.
Marco PantaniMarco Pantani doesn't have anything against the future Pro National Team Selector Antonio Fusi: "in fact, perhaps he may be the correct man.". This comments came during the the presentation of the return of Bianchi to Professional Road Racing. Pantani explained that he didn't want to put down the new director but: "it will be tough to replace Martini, above all because of his charisma and capacity to help riders remain calm. It will be tough for the new director to be succesful, since he has always dealt with amateur riders and has never worked amongst professionals. And the jump from one sector to the other is difficult - it is like when a rider goes from being an amateur to being a professional. I have nothing personal against Fusi. I don't question Fusi's capacity, I have never met him and have never had him as director, my statement has to do with the difficulties".
Obviously the "promotion/removal of Alfredo Martini was one of the main themes at the Bianchi presentation.
A real British Tour - The 1998 Pru Tour AnnouncedSposored by Prudential (probably one of if not the biggest Life Assurance Company in the UK), Its a Cat 2.5 and will run from May 23, 1998 to May 31, 1998.
Prologue: Stirling 5 kms Stage 1: Edinburgh - Newcastle 210 kms (*) Stage 2: Gateshead - York 180 kms Stage 3: Manchester - Blackpool 178 kms Stage 4: Chester Nottingham 160 kms Stage 5: Birmingham - Cardiff - 200 kms Stage 6: Bristol - Reading 158 kms Stage 7: Chessington - Medway (probably Rochester) 161 kms Stage 8: London (Holborn circuit Central London) 50 kms* - Alan Peiper won this stage in the inaugural Kelloggs' UK tour some years back and held the jersey for 2 days. ** - Scotty Sunderland was KOM in the last Kellogs Tour. Phil Anderson has also won the Tour. Teams: - 18 teams of 6 riders. Boardman and GAN will ride (confirmed lunchtime UK time Wednesday). Other teams will include Div 1, Div 2 + National Elite squads (Wales, Scotland, GB and young England)
Overall Analysis - Prologue seems made for CB, Stage 1 - long and action from 30 kms out is expected; Stage 2 - lumpy; Stage 3 - lumpy; Stage 4 - moderate; Stage 5 - tough with climbs through Malvern and valleys into Wales - probably the decisive day; Stage 6 - flat(ish) with major climbs early on); Stage 7 - flattish and Stage 8 - a pancake but it'll all be over bar shouting by then.
race distance 900 miles approx
Jerseys: - Red for overall, usual Polka Dot for KOM, Green for hot spots, White for U23.
Quote Boardman: "I think the Prutour is the best thing to happen to cycling in Britain in the last decade. It is a tremendous opportunity to promote cycling on all levels and I'm looking forward to seeing how the tour develops.
The tour (sorry Prutour) is firm for 4 years in the UK.
In attendance at the London launch were: Sean Kelly (in cracking form, it was nice to see him), Stephen Roche, Sean Yates, Chris Boardman, Jeremy Hunt, Dave Millar, John Clay (UK Nat Champ), John Herety (former UK nat champ etc etc), David Duffield - Eurosport commentator), Phil Ligget - UK's Mr Cycling on TV, Hugh Porter MBE, Mick Bennet and Pat McQuaid who's responsible for bringing the Tour to Ireland next year and... lots more besides. Whole thing has been put together by Alan Rushton's company - Sport for TV.
Tour of Netherlands for WomenThe last Tour of Netherlands for women was in 1986. But on September 1998 the prologue will be probably in Ter Aaar with the last stage (September 20) being held on the parcours of the World Championships 1998 in South-Limburg (between Valkenburg and Maastricht).
Bookmark Brian Holm's English WWW SiteThe official Brian Holm WWW Site is now in English. Click the right red dot for the English version. There are nice photos and it will be a major source of Team Jack & Jones data as the new season gets underway.