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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

First Edition News for September 4, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones & John Stevenson

Cipollini and Domina back in the Vuelta

Mario Cipollini at the Giro
Photo: © Sirotti
Click for larger image

The Domina Vacanze team is back in the Vuelta España, after World Champion Mario Cipollini changed his mind about attending the three week Spanish tour, in which he won three stages last year. The team arrived in Gijon last night and will be submitted to the compulsory medical tests before taking the start in the team time trial on Saturday.

"We did what we had to," said team manager Vincenzo Santoni in an official statement. "The final contract did not require [Cipollini's] presence in the Spanish stage race, but we had discussed it only in the initial phases, therefore morally we have an obligation to the organisers."

Cipollini's attitude was decisive, according to the team. "He assumed responsibility to represent the team to the best of his ability. He demonstrated that he is a true captain and a genuine World Champion. I thank him for this. Surely Cipollini will be more comfortable in this team after renewing his contract until 2005."

Santoni believes that "This rules mechanism needs to be reviewed. Paradoxically we had a lot of difficulty with the World Champion because all the organisers wanted Cipollini. However now we're thinking of the Vuelta. We aim to do well, we've contested the Spanish race since 1996 and we have always figured in it."

The director of the Vuelta, Enrico Franco, said that "In the case of Domina, keep in mind that they responded to the Vuelta after receiving an invitation from the organisation, after asking us to participate and facilitating a list that included Cipollini."

If Cipollini should do the unthinkable and abandon on the first stage, then Franco said that the Vuelta cannot exclude the team, but the UCI may take measures.

The full Domina Vacanze team consists of Mario Cipollini (Ita), Giovanni Lombardi (Ita), Gianpaolo Mondini (Ita), Miguel Martin Perdiguero (Spa), Kyrylo Pospyeyev (Ukr), Michele Scarponi (Ita), Francesco Secchiari (Ita), Filippo Simeoni (Ita) and Santos Gonzalez Capilla (Spa), with Giuseppe Petito and Enrico Paolini as directeurs sportifs.

Tests for McGee

Bradley McGee en route to a Tour prologue win
Photo: © Jeff Tse
Click for larger image

Tour de France prologue winner Bradley McGee, whose Tour was blighted by mysterious attacks of 'hunger flat', will check into hospital in Nice today for two days of tests, according to his manager Kerry Ruffels. A sport science doctor will also perform tests on McGee during training.

Previous testing has revealed that McGee is producing too much insulin, which plays havoc with his blood glucose levels, possibly leading to the problems he experienced during the Tour. This week's tests will establish conclusively if the problem relates to McGee's insulin system.

The Australian struggled to finish some stages, especially in the mountains, and during the final 47km individual time trial he had to go back to his team car for a can of Coke in order to finish. McGee likened the problem to being "a vehicle with a full tank but the engine not being fed the fuel". More troubling was that now and then some fuel would reach the engine and he would be fine.

McGee said that he was "happy that a doctor had worked through the problem and in her eyes also has a solution." McGee is hoping to return to Australia mid September and has plans for a training camp in November to kick-start his training for 2004.

US Postal fields "strongest ever" Vuelta team

US Postal has revealed the riders that will take part in the Vuelta a España which starts Saturday in Gijon.

Previous Vuelta winner Roberto Heras will lead the team, according to directeur sportif Johan Bruyneel. "[Heras] deserves to be the leader of our team at the Vuelta," said Bruyneel. "I think our team is probably the strongest we have ever sent to the Vuelta in our history. Roberto is fully recovered from the Tour de France and said he is ready to go for it."

Heras will be supported by his fellow Spaniard Jose Luis Rubiera, Canadian Michael Barry and Australia's Matt White, allof whom rode last year's Vuelta in which Heras finished second. They will be joined by Manuel Beltran of Spain, Americans George Hincapie and Floyd Landis, Luxembourg's Benoit Joachim and Max Van Heeswijk of the Netherlands.

"George and Floyd are two good riders who, due to other circumstances this season, have not yet reached 100 percent of their strength," said Bruyneel. "They both rode the Tour but still have lots of energy left for the rest of the season. These are riders who are still fresh to ride the whole month of September and that is the key. The most important thing is you have to have fresh and motivated riders - that is 50 percent of their performance in the month of September. If you have a rider who is motivated and fresh, that is a pretty good guarantee for good results. Floyd in particular is very motivated. He was already talking about the Vuelta during the last week of the Tour."

Bruyneel also said Heras has been feeling well the last month. "He took time off after the Tour, tested his feelings at the Tour of Burgos, left that race feeling good and has continued to work hard since."

ONCE for Vuelta & Tour of Poland

The ONCE-Eroski has announced the composition of the teams that will start the Vuelta a España and the Tour of Poland. The Vuelta starts Saturday and runs until September 28, while the Tour of Poland goes from September 8 to 14.

Staying at 'home' for ONCE's swansong appearance in the Spanish national race will be Jose Azevedo (Por), Igor Glez. De Galdeano (Spa), Jan Hruska (Cze), Jörg Jaksche (Ger), Isidro Nozal (Spa), Mikel Pradera (Spa), Joaquín Rodríguez (Spa), Marcos Serrano (Spa) and Ángel Vicioso (Spa).

Travelling to Eastern Europe for the Tour of Poland will be René Andrle, (Cze) David Arroyo (Spa), Alberto Contador (Spa), Allan Davis (Aus), Rafael Díaz (Spa), Xabier Florencio (Spa), Koldo Gil (Spa), and Mikel Zarrabeitia (Spa).

Another year at Panaria for Tiralongo

The Panaria team has announced that it has renewed Paolo Tiralongo's contract for 2004, with an option for 2005. Tiralongo was seriously injured in a crash in stage 12 of this year's Giro d'Italia and has been quiet ever since. In a statement issued yesterday the team affirmed its "total confidence" in Tiralongo, and said he was now able to race again and expected to return to competition at the Tour Down Under in January.

Junior Giro della Lunigiana starts today

Italy play host this weekend to its only UCI-ranked stage race for juniors, the Giro della Lunigiana which runs from today until Sunday. The race will feature 167 riders from 29 teams representing 14 countries (13 national teams and 16 Italian regional teams). For the first time the international delegation will include a team from Iran, whose youngsters will get to test themselves against Italian road champion Enrico Peruffo, time trial champion Fabio Sabatini and the top four on the current UCI rankings, Peter Velits (Slovakia), Kai Reus (Holland), Martin Velits (Slovakia) and Gregor Boli (Slovenia).

The stages

  • Stage 1a - September 4: La Spezia - Castelnuovo Magra (Sp), 68.9km
  • Stage 1b - September 4: Bocca di Magra (Sp)- Montemarcello (Sp) ITT, 9km
  • Stage 2 - September 5: Cerbaia di Lamporecchio (Pt) - Cerbaia di Lamporecchio (Pt), 122km
  • Stage 3 - September 6: Fosdinovo (Ms) - Fosdinovo (Ms), 109.6km
  • Stage 4 - September 7: Sarzana (Sp) - Casano di Ortonovo (Sp), 118.6km

Latvians check out world's site

The latest delegation to pay a visit to the world championships host city of Hamilton, Ontario came from Latvia, in the form of Arnis Zvejnieks, the US representative of the Latvian Cycling Federation, according to Hamilton world's sources. Zvejnieks was in Hamilton August 26 on a reconnaissance mission and to confirm the team's lodging.

The Latvian contingent will stay at a Latvian Church Camp, 25 kilometres north of Burlington, where they will be housed in private cottages and will be fed by a gourmet chef Zvejnieks is in the process of hiring.

"I was up here last November to have a look from a technical perspective," said Zvejnieks, who is based in Cleveland, Ohio. "I took my bike hoping to ride the course but there was a lot of construction so I drove around with a handheld video camera. I sent the videotape back to the Latvian Federation and to the elite riders."

Those elite riders include time trial specialist Raivis Belohvosciks (Marlux - Wincor Nixdorf) who won the KBC Driedaagse van De Panne-Koksijde (Three Days of De Panne-Koksijde) in the Netherlands back in April, and CSC's Arvis Piziks. Another strong member of the team is Laura Telle, bronze medalist in the women's points race at the 2003 World Junior Track Cycling Championships in Moscow recently.

Latvian riders can expect a warm welcome from the area's small but enthusiastic Latvian community, which is organizing a "Meet the Riders" barbeque to help gather support for the visitors. "There are not a lot of opportunities for people in the Latvian community to cheer for their sportsmen," Zvejnieks said laughing.

Essay contest for Team Rubicon 'Polka Dot' prize

Team Rubicon, the Northwest-based cycling team that rides in support of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, is looking to donate its Polka Dot Jersey Award to a deserving your cancer survivor.

The Polka Dot Jersey Award is given by the Lance Armstrong Foundation to bodies that raise $15,000 and includes a packages of airfare, accommodation and entries for the Ride for the Roses in Austin, Texas, September 22. The prize also includes a chance to meet and ride with five-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.

Team Rubicon's Norrene Godfrey says the team would like to give its prize to the teenage or young adult cancer survivor who presents the most compelling reasons why he or she shold go to Austin for the Ride. "We are looking for a young adult or teenager whose life has been affected by cancer to write a short one page, 500 words or less, essay about why they should get this opportunity," said Godfrey, adding that entrants must be US Residents.

"There is no specific formula to follow, we are simply hoping to help someone who has dealt with or is currently fighting this disease to realize that there are positive things to look forward to just around the corner," said Godfrey. "We would like nothing better than to see a deserving person truly enjoy this special event."

For full details see team Rubicon's website at or email

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