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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for January 12, 2004

Edited by Jeff Jones

Saiz reaffirms interest in Valverde

The manager of the new Liberty Seguros team, Manolo Saiz, has reaffirmed his interest in young talent Alejandro Valverde, who is facing a season in Division II unless he leaves Kelme. Saiz was quoted in Diario Vasco as saying "If he interested us a month ago, he still interests us. Things haven't changed in that sense."

Asked whether the team could afford to sign Valverde, Saiz commented "If we don't have [the money] we will look for it. Until Monday, when we revise our situation, I cannot confirm anything with certainty, but Liberty is in a position to sign Valverde. In a sporting sense he is a rider who would complement us perfectly. We would be able to expand our calendar."

On the other hand, Alejandro Valverde is now finding that offers from other teams are coming thick and fast, and he already has them from Saeco, Illes Baleares and Liberty. Before making a decision, Valverde said that he will meet with Kelme managers Pepe Quiles and Vicente Belda by this coming Wednesday. "I want to sort things out to start the season stress-free," he told AS. "There are many things to examine - not just the offers, but the races that I can ride, the security...everything needs to be studied so that I don't end up in this situation again."

Valverde has not ruled out continuing with Kelme in Division II. "It seemed like everything would be fixed but everything fell apart, the team dropping to Second Division, but we should all endeavour - the cyclists, masseurs, mechanics - to do as well as we can even though we are in that category."

If he did stay with Kelme, Valverde would not be able to race the classics [the Tour was not on his program]. "It would be sad because I dream of being able to race in all the World Cups like Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Amstel Gold Race or Milan-San Remo."

Meanwhile, the Generalitat Valenciana has reiterated its support for Kelme, and says it will provide the funding necessary for it to race in Division II - whether as Kelme or a different team.

Moncassin takes over as Team France head

One of France's top sprinters in the 1990's, Frédéric Moncassin, has taken over from Charly Bérard as the head of Team France, according to an AFP report. Moncassin was appointed by FFC president Jean Pitallier, who said that Moncassin will bring "dynamism to the team at the end of the season."

"I haven't thought much about it yet, but it will be motivating," commented Moncassin, a winner of two stages in the Tour de France and wearer of the yellow jersey for a day in 1996.

Jayco Bay Classic gala dinner

By Karen Forman in Melbourne

Fifth stage winner Graeme Brown
Photo ©: CN

Winners of the 2004 Jayco Bay Classic criterium series - Oenone Wood and Baden Cooke - were presented at a gala dinner at Melbourne's Sofitel on Sunday night.

A highlight of the night, attended by 200 invited guests, was the induction by the Maillot Jaune Club of four new Hall of Fame members, Gordon Johnson, who was the young person to ever win the Australian sprint championship at the age of 17 years and six months, John Craven, Bill Cooper and Dean Woods.

Property developer and sponsor of the Drapac team which contested the event, Michael Drapac, was the successful bidder when Brad McGee and Baden Cooke's yellow and green Tour de France jerseys were auctioned off.

The night was hosted by cycling commentator Phil Liggett, with organiser Karin Jones and Phil Anderson and guests included Cyclesport Victoria's Joe Ciavola and his wife. Fifth stage winner Graeme Brown was there with fiancee Hayley Rutherford, who was second in the women's overall.


Images by Karen Forman/

Jean-Marie Bruyere killed

35 year old former Belgian professional Jean-Marie Bruyere has been found dead near the Sambre river on Saturday evening. Bruyere, who raced professionally for only two seasons (1995 and 1996), was stabbed to death on Friday night and his body was found the next day. Police are questioning several suspects over the killing.

Roland Green and Gord Fraser to Langkawi

Canadians Roland Green and Gordon Fraser will both be taking part in next month's Telekom Malaysia Le Tour de Langkawi, but on rival teams. Green, the winner of the King of the Mountains in last year's race will be racing for the Canadian National Team, and Fraser, a past winner of the Sprint King title, will be riding for the Health Net presented by Maxxis team.

Green hails from Victoria, British Columbia and will again be trying to defend his KOM title. He also placed fourth overall last year behind Tom Danielson and Colombians Hernan Dario Muñoz and Jose Gonzalez. Green's past exploits include a World Mountain Bike Championship and the Manchester Commonwealth Games MTB title in 2002 and he is now under contract to the U.S. Postal team.

While Green has set his sights firmly on the mountain challenge, Fraser (35) will be looking for a good outing in the sprints competition and will no doubt be on the hunt for a few stage wins. In Health Net, Fraser will be joined by his teammate Scott Moninger (USA), who could certainly challenge for the overall. Moninger is noted for his climbing skills, having won several mountain competitions including the Herald Sun Tour. Finally, American Danny Pate is one the new team members who is expected to put up a strong show due to his reputation as a past Under 23 World TT Champion.

Team rosters

Canadian National Team: Roland Green, Eric Wohlberg, Dominique Perras, Charles Dionne, Peter Wedge, Cory Lange, Chris Sheppard.

Team Health Net presented by Maxxis: Gord Fraser, Greg Henderson, Brice Jones, John Lieswyn, Scott Moninger, Danny Pate, Michael Sayers.

Blue Ride to encourage local cycling in Langkawi

The Telekom Malaysia Le Tour de Langkawi (TMLTdL) will once again feature the Blue Ride in 2004, a pre-event fun ride aimed at promoting TMLTdL and cycling as a healthy way of life. It's expected that 500 riders, from professional to amateur, will take part in the event on January 18 in Penang, two weeks before the start of the race.

Participants will ride with a special blue coloured T-shirt, which will be handed out free together with other goodies. The ride will cover a distance of 47 kilometres and will be conducted on several major streets and roads in the heart of Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya. Participants will ride in a big peloton under the escort of the Tour's ride marshals and traffic policemen who will ensure their safety.

The event starts from Telekom Malaysia's headquarters at Menara Telekom, Jalan Pantai Baru at 8.30 am and finishes about three hours later at the same venue. TheTMLTdL Treasure Hunt, organised by Telekom Malaysia, will also be flagged off and held on the same day. Participants are required to be at the venue by 7.30 am to register for the ride. Menara Telekom is the start host venue for Stage 9 of this year's Tour.

Athens Twilight seeks memorabilia for 25th Anniversary

Race organizers of the Athens Twilight Criterium are asking past participants and spectators alike to submit written accounts of their memories and/or photos of Athens Twilight as part of the race's 25th anniversary celebration in April, 2004.

The publication is scheduled to profile past winners, including Steve Bauer, Alex Stieda, Danny Clark, Tom Schuler and Davis Phinney. The publication will also contain interesting Athens Twilight trivia and race memories from the hundreds of thousands of cyclists and fans who have watched the race evolve into one of America's favourite criteriums.

All submissions will be considered for posting on the official Athens Twilight website, or inclusion in the printed commemorative magazine. Contributors agree to allow their photos and accounts to be posted on the Internet or published in print.

Send your contributions to:

Andra Whitworth (

225 Ansley Drive
Athens, GA 30605

9-5 Race Day #1 Postponed

Due to scheduling conflicts with two American Mountain Bike Challenge events on January 18 and January 25, Mountain Bike TV has decided to postpone the January 24 opening round of its 9 To 5 Race Day Series. With this date change, the 9 To 5 Race Day Series' February 21 event at K.A. Hanna Park in Jacksonville will become the opening round of the series, entitled "Blue Monday".

Mountain Bike TV has set a tentative new date of May 1 for the postponed event, which will still be held at Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach, although the new date has yet be confirmed.

Revised schedule

Round 1 - February 21, 2004: Blue Monday, K. A. Hanna Park, Jacksonville, Duval County
Round 2 - March 6, 2004: Idle Tuesday, Spirit of the Suwannee, Live Oak, Suwannee County
Round 3 - April 3, 2004:, Hump Day Wednesday, Alafia River State Park Lithia, Hillsborough County
Round 4 - May 1, 2004 (TO BE CONFIRMED): Almost There Thursday, Quiet Waters Park, Deerfield Beach, Broward County
Round 5 - June 5, 2004: Payday Friday, Oleta River State Park, North Miami Beach, Dade County

Terry Precision Women's Team wants riders

The Terry Precision Women's Cycling Team, based in Rochester, NY, USA, is currently seeking resumes from elite women riders. This season will be Terry's third year and it will be focusing again on national level races. The team will be racing at Valley of the Sun, Redlands, Pomona, Bisbee, Gila, Housatonic, Fitchburg, Liberty, US Nationals, Estes Park and Bermuda. Perspective riders should be available for all of the above listed races. If interested, please forward resumes to

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