News for October 6, 1997

Lance Armstrong to stay with Cofidis

Lance Armstrong will be riding with Codifids next year. It is rumoured that Lance will only receive $US25,000 next season from Cofidis. "I can stay with Cofidis, but i don't think that is a good idea. I ask not too much salary, but a good premium-system in case I can prove myself again on the bike."

Dutch Track Championships, Alkmaar

50 km men:
 1. Slippens    	1.04.10
 2. Van der Wolf
 3. De Boer

Omnium women:

 1. Leine
 2. Embsing
 3. Hartog


Johan Bruyneel does not have to stay any longer in hospital in Tricase. The insurance company of Rabobank sent a special hospital plane to Brindisi (Italy) on Friday afternoon with a Dutch doctor on board. He accompanied Bruyneel on the flight to Brussel and in the ambulance to the hospital in Gent. Rehabilitation will take several weeks at least. The doctors expect he can ride again in about three or four months. The wedding of Johan Bruyneel was planned for October 24, the same day as Axel Merckx. Both have plans to go on honeymoon together. Maybe Bruyneel will have to change his wedding date now.

Steels scratches from Worlds

Tom Steels is not going to San Sebastian for Belgium. He is disappointed about his condition after the Tour of Puglia. Steels will go to his team doctor Yvan Vanmol on Monday for an examination. National Coach Marc Sergeant has not yet chosen a new rider.


Oostende Belgium - Oct 4 1997

43 riders

 1. Danny De Bie
 2. P. Willemsens    	0.18
 3. P. Herijgers     	0.19
 4. D. Willemsens    	0.23
 5. K. De Roose      	0.55

Moerbeke-Waas (Belgium) Oct. 5

36 riders

 1. Paul Herijgers
 2. P. Van Santvliet   	0.15
 3. K. De Roose        	0.44
 4. B. Rondelez 	1.30
 5. H. De Clercq 	1.40

Duffel (Belgium) Oct 5

 1. Arne Daelmans
 2. Ben Berden
 3. Danny De Bie

Museeuw may miss Worlds

Road-race world champion Johan Museeuw pulled out of the Paris-Tours World Cup cycling classic with fever on Sunday and might not be able to defend his crown in San Sebastian, Spain, next week.

``Yesterday evening, the world champion felt unwell and had fever. It turned out his temperature was 39.8 degrees (Celsius),'' his Mapei team said.

Team director Patrick Lefevre said the Belgian rider would be given antibiotics for three to four days and undergo a test on Wednesday to decide whether he is fit to take part in the San Sebastian race.

Mapei added that the precise illness affecting Museeuw had not been determined but team doctors did not rule out the possibility that it might be the same virus which hampered his form during the Tour de France.

It came as a hard blow for Belgian chances at the world champonships after Franck Vandenbroucke and sprinter Tom Steels pulled out because of poor form.

Tour de France TV coverage to Canal+

These comments are from Johannes Homan who maintains the excellent WWW site.

In a conversation with Volkskrant journalist Paul Onkenhout, Canal+ director Joop Daelmeijer mentioned that Canal+ acquired the TV rights for the Tour de France (either from 1999 or 2000). [source: Volkskrant 4-10-1997]

Canal+ is a commercial TV station in the Netherlands and some other countries in West-Europe which can only be received with a decoder.

The question about these kind of deals is who is getting better of it. First of course the Société Tour de France because they receive a big load of money. Secondly Canal+ because they hope to get more revenues for the commercials they broadcast.

However, a large majority of cycling fans who want to watch the tour on TV don't have a subscription to Canal+ and don't want to subscribe. Just bad luck for them? Well, there is more. It seems to me that large teams are sponsored by companies who want to have as much TV exposure as possible. Since cycling is very much a TV sport, those sponsors are exclusively interested in large TV crowds. Therefore deals between organisers of the major tours and World Cup races and commercial TV channels like Canal+ and some italian stations are not in their interest.

What will happen if only a small part of the dutch public can watch the Tour de France.

I suppose Rabobank will reconsider their commitment to cycling and have strong doubts about the continuation of their professional cycling team.

Already a number of World Cup races and also the Giro d'Italia can only be watched on commercial channels. The Giro organisation achieved that they have nowadays less prestige than the Vuelta and I have the impression that, despite of the successes of the Italian cyclist of the last few years, the number of teams in Italy is decreasing next season.

I can only conclude that this kind of deals are short-sighted and not good for cycling.

Last week, Mr. Hein Verbruggen (UCI chairman and IOC member) made an appeal to governments to protect sport against the dangers of commercializing. [source: NRC Handelsblad 3-10-1997].

Mr. Verbruggen said, among other things, that he was worried about the developments in international soccer. About the Champions League he said that it was a big commercial feast with hardly no contact with the roots of soccer.

Well Mr. Verbruggen, if that is your opinion, then be alert about what happens with cycling.

Johannes Homan, CycleBase