Second Edition News for October 31, 1997

Australian Road Cycling Program Decisions

This news is hot of the press (19:00 Friday OZ time). The official press release just issued from the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and the Australian Cycling Federation (ACF) reads as follows:

A number of decision affecting the future of Australian road cycling were taken at a meeting of representatives from the Australian Cycling Federation and Australian Institute of Sport in Sydney today. The meeting agreed there was merit in supporting a proposal to link a number of elite Australian riders with the US-based Saturn Trade Team for the 1998 season. The ACF/AIS will use their best endeavours to put this arrangement in place in negotiations with Saturn early next week.

The meeting endorsed the expansion of the under-23 development program based in Italy under coach Shane Bannan to provide European racing opportunities for talented riders. As of 1998 this program will provide additional opportunities for a number of under-26 riders. Selection of riders involved in this program will be the responsibility of the Australian Cycling Federation. The meeting agreed that current AIS road program assistant coach, Brian Stephens, would be offered the opportunity to work with Mr Bannan in this program. The meeting felt there was value in Australia having an independently funded Trade Team operating from 1999 and has given Heiko Salzwedel the task of pursuing this venture in the interim with the program's sponsors, including Giant Bicycles.

"The Australian Cycling Federation maintains its commitment to a fully funded independent Trade Team and will be working towards the establishment of such a team for 1999," said Ray Godkin, president of the Australian Cycling Federation.

"In the meantime, we will use our best endeavours to ensure our elite riders are supported in 1998." "The outcome of today's meeting is very positive for Australian cycling," Mr Godkin added. "We are looking to continue to support our elite riders in a Trade Team partnership whil expanding the under-23 program, which is the longer-term future of our sport at the international level."

Transfers and Contracts

- Dutch rider DANNY NELISSEN (Rabobank) has signed a contract with new Danish team Jack & Jones

Pantani Sings for Earthquake Relief

Italian climber Marco Pantani, well known for his off-season singing in bars, has begun a short concert tour in aid of victims of the recent earthquakes in the Umbria and Le Marche regions of Italy. Pantani is sharing the stage with professional singer Jovanotti.

UCI Cycle Cross Rankings Oct 28, 1997

 1 VAN DER POEL, Adrie NED			      1,593
 2 GROENENDAAL, Richard NED			      1,417
 3 DE CLERCQ, Mario BEL					806
 4 PONTONI, Daniele ITA 		  		790
 5 BRAMATI, Luca ITA					692
 6 WABEL, Beat SWI 					657
 7 FRISCHKNECHT, Thomas SWI 				636
 8 JANSSENS, Marc BEL 					625
 9 RUNKEL, Dieter SWI 					567
10 HERIJGERS, Paul BEL 					549

Jalabert Honoured in Mazamet

A square in Laurent Jalabert's home town of Mazamet has been named after him. Jalabert took part in a ceremony on Saturday (October 25) in which a stretch of the quai Cazenave was renamed Place Laurent Jalabert. The sign marking the square reads "No 1 in the World since 1995" (ie, 1st in the UCI rankings) and "World time trial champion 1997". The citizens of Mazamet plainly intend that Jalabert should keep pedalling hard to keep the reference to his UCI ranking accurate but will surely have to do some rewording some time in the next decade.

Death of Manuel Rodriguez

Spanish rider Manuel Rodriguez, second in the Vuelta a Espana in 1950 behind his brother, Emilio, has died at the age of 71. The Rodriguez brothers made the Vuelta something of a family business -- another brother, Delio, won the Spanish tour in 1945 and was second in 1947; Emilio was second in 1948.