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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition News for August 4, 2003

Edited by Chris Henry & Jeff Jones

Van Petegem holds World Cup lead

Peter Van Petegem (Lotto-Domo) only finished 23rd at Sunday's HEW Cyclassics Cup, the sixth round of the World Cup series, but thanks to three points picked up in the bunch sprint he was able to hold onto his World Cup leader's jersey ahead of race winner Paolo Bettini. The Italian champion claimed another 100 points for his second World Cup win of the season, following victory in Milan-San Remo, and moves into second in the series classification.

Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) holds third place, within striking distance of the series lead. In fact, five riders are within 100 points of Van Petegem's lead, and Alexandre Vinokourov rounds out the likely contenders, 103 points back.

The hillier parcours at both San Sebastian next Sunday, and in Zurich the following week, will not suit Van Petegem as much as some of his rivals, though he could still pick up points with steady rides. Bettini, a past winner at Zurich, is a strong candidate to defend his World Cup title, being able to both climb and sprint.

World Cup standings after round 6:

1 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Lotto-Domo                         203 pts
2 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step-Davitamon                   200
3 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank                             140
4 Mirko Celestino (Ita) Team Saeco                           127
5 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner                         123
6 Dario Pieri (Ita) Team Saeco                               117
7 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Telekom                    100
8 Frank Vandenbroucke (Bel) Quick.Step-Davitamon              92
9 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom                               86
10 Fabio Baldato (Ita) Alessio                                83

Ullrich to marry

Jan Ullrich has announced that he will marry his long time girlfriend Gaby Weis. In an interview with Welt am Sonntag, Ullrich said that "When there is a little less pressure, we'll marry." The couple recently saw the birth of their first child, Sarah Maria, shortly before the Tour de France. Ullrich went on to finish second in the Tour and backed that up with a third place in today's HEW Cyclassics Cup in Hamburg, in front of his home crowd.

Track World's final day wrap up

By Valkerie Mangnall in Stuttgart, Germany

That hurt
Photo: © Hennes Roth
Click for larger image

So spent were Germany's team sprint trio after barreling to a world title, they had no strength left to do a lap of honour before their home crowd. "We gave it everything," gasped Carsten Bergemann after joining Jens Fiedler and Rene Wolff to take the gold medal in an impressive time of 49.957 seconds on the final day of competition.

They beat Frenchmen Mickael Bourgain, Laurent Gane and Arnaud Tournant, who rode 50.071 in the battle for gold and silver, and restored some German pride after the embarrassing withdrawal of the host country's team pursuit quartet because of serious in-fighting.

Fiedler said: "After the demise of the German team pursuiters, we now have a German trio instead."

For the full day 5 wrap up, including the men's madison and women's sprint, click here.

Beloki fearful of ONCE withdrawal

News that ONCE may end its sponsorship of the Spanish team at the end of this year has not been sitting well with team leader Joseba Beloki "This news is worse than my crash in the Tour," he said in an interview with Marca. "Nobody from the team has said anything, but it's clear something is happening."

Beloki, who just became the father of a baby girl, has not spoken with team director Manolo Saiz, and like his teammates must wait for the results of meetings between the ONCE directors to determine whether or not the team will continue in 2004. No contract extensions have been offered by the team for the next season.

"I have put [contract negotiations] on hold because I thought the team was going to continue," Beloki explained. "I had wanted, and I still do want, to continue with this team, because I am happy and I believe that it is a team that can win the Tour. It's clear now that these plans have been compromised. Unless they tell us something after the meeting in Madrid, [finding a new team] going to be a difficult task for everybody, not just me."

Beloki added that he has spoken with the Euskaltel-Euskadi team, where be began his career, but has not reached any specific agreements. While recovering from his crash which forced him to abandon the Tour de France, Beloki is hoping to resolve his contract question in the coming weeks.

UCI confirms Tour EPO case, withholds identity

The name of the rider who tested positive for EPO in this year's Tour de France has yet to be revealed by the UCI. The rider's B-sample test, however, has confirmed the use of EPO during the Tour. The rider, who requested the B-sample analysis, will now begin his defense in the doping case, and the UCI indicated in a written release that it is not permitted to reveal the cyclist's name at this time.

During the Tour the UCI carried out 142 urine tests designed to detect the use of EPO, in cooperation with the French Ministry of Youth and Sport. Of the 142 tests performed, only this one case revealed the use of EPO, which remains the only positive doping result from the three week tour.

The UCI revealed Sunday that the average red blood cell count from the medical tests performed on all riders at the start of the Tour was 44.9%. The arbitrary limit set by the UCI for competition is 50%, above which riders are deemed unfit for competition, but not automatically accused of doping. The use of EPO increases a rider's red blood cell count, and as a result, values in excess of 50% are considered a first warning sign that EPO may have been used. However, EPO may still be used in the case of lower hematocrits.

The results from random controls of 164 riders during the Tour, the last of which was performed July 22, revealed an overall drop in the average haematocrit level to 43.2% (the average from the July 22 test was 41.8%). It is considered normal that over the course of a demanding three week race such as the Tour results in a drop in haematocrit among the athletes.

EPO positive from Volta a Catalunya

Spanish rider Aitor Kintana of the Labarca 2-Café Baque team was found to have used EPO during the 2003 Volta a Catalunya stage race. At this point only Kintana's first positive test has been revealed, and he has the right to request a B-sample analysis, according to a Todocilismo report.

"Either the analysis is not trustworthy or a mistake has been made," Kintana insisted in a written press release. "I am most surprised by this, and at the same time I am most interested in the full facts, which should be made clear as quickly as possible."

Kintana is currently preparing for the Vuelta a España, and notes that he is "already paying the price" for what he considers unjust treatment.

Marblehead to welcome home Tyler Hamilton

Tyler Hamilton
Photo: © C.Henry/CN

After finishing fourth overall in the Tour de France, Tyler Hamilton is coming home. The residents of Marblehead, Mass. are preparing to welcome their hero back on Wednesday evening, August 6 with a special parade. Taking place at 6:15pm at Seaside Park, Atlantic Ave, the parade will see Tyler and his family will led through Marblehead by cyclists from Massachusetts. Tyler will be available following the ceremony to talk about the Tour and sign autographs.

How to get to Seaside Park

1. Take 95 North
2. Merge onto MA-128 N toward GLOUCESTER. (22.73 miles)
Take the LOWELL ST. EAST exit- exit number 26- toward PEABODY/SALEM. (0.16 miles)
3. Turn SLIGHT RIGHT onto LOWELL ST. (1.29 miles)
4. LOWELL ST becomes MAIN ST. (0.48 miles)
5. MAIN ST becomes BOSTON ST. (0.54 miles)
6. Turn LEFT onto BRIDGE ST/MA-107 N. (0.78 miles)
7. Enter next roundabout and take 1st exit onto WASHINGTON ST. (0.39 miles)
8. Turn LEFT onto WASHINGTON ST. (0.17 miles)
10. Continue to follow MA-114. (2.81 miles)
11. MA-114 becomes PLEASANT ST. (0.04 miles)
12. Turn RIGHT onto BUBIER RD. (0.11 miles)
13. Turn LEFT onto ATLANTIC AVE. (0.07 miles)
14. Seaside Park will be on your left. (0.02 miles)

Visser signs for Farm Frites-Hartol

Adrie Visser
Photo: © Hennes Roth
Click for larger image

Team Farm Frites-Hartol has signed its first new rider for 2004, Adrie Visser. The Dutch track specialist closed a one year deal with team manager Michael Zijlaard during the World Championships in Stuttgart, where Visser won bronze in the scratch race. Visser's main goal in 2004 is to make the Dutch Olympic selection for Athens.

Strait selected for MTB World's

Junior off-roader Kyle Strait of Redlands, California has been selected to race for the United States at the World Mountain Bike Championships, to be held in Lugano, Switzerland, from September 1-7. "I'm really happy and proud to be going this year to the Worlds" Strait said.

"My dream is to one day win the World Title, but I know this takes time. This will be my first attempt at junior level, and I have two more years to race as a junior after 2003, so this will be an important learning experience," he added.

One of Kyle's main goals this year was to impress the selectors at USA Cycling with his downhill racing at both NORBA Junior Expert races, and in elite open competition at the World Cup level. His results in the NORBA series so far, where he is leading the series, have given him an automatic selection for the World's.

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