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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

Latest Cycling News for January 15, 2004

Edited by Jeff Jones

Zoetemelk, Van Moorsel voted as best Dutch cyclists

At the "Gala of Champions" in Hilversum, the Netherlands on Wednesday night, Joop Zoetemelk and Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel were voted as the "best Dutch cyclists ever." More than 14,000 fans voted via the Internet, and this counted as 50 percent of the final results. Journalists and riders voted for the other 50 percent.

There were 10 nominations for the award. Besides Joop Zoetemelk, Hennie Kuiper, Adrie van der Poel, Bart Brentjens and Jan Janssen were nominated in the men's category, and besides Van Moorsel, Corine Dorland, Daphny van den Brand, Keetie van Oosten-Hage and Monique Knol were nominated for the women's. Zoetemelk won the Tour de France in 1980 and finished second six times. In 1985 when he was 38 he won the World Road Championship. Van Moorsel has won numerous World and Olympic titles, and is a two time winner of the Tour Féminin. Last year she also broke the World Hour Record for women.

The contest was organized by the Koninklijke Nederlandse Wielren Unie (KNWU), which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Former Dutch Prime Minister (and cycling fan) Dries van Agt presented the trophies to the winners.

Susanne Ljungskog to strengthen Team S.A.T.S.

Susanne Ljungskog
Photo ©: Sirotti

With the signing of World Road Champion and UCI number one Susanne Ljungskog along with several other top women to its roster for 2004, Scandinavian based Team S.A.T.S. will start the season as the top team on the UCI rankings. Ljungskog, who won the World Championships in Zolder in 2002 and Hamilton in 2003, said that she is happy with her new team, after racing for Bik-Powerplate last season.

"I am really looking forward to racing with Team S.A.T.S. in 2004," she said. "It is a special year with the Olympics, and the thought of a Scandinavian team really thrills me. It is fantastic that a team from the Nordic countries can be ranked number 1 in the world of cycling. It is something I have always dreamed of. I believe this is the beginning in a new era in women's cycling in Scandinavia. The team has a great and proven organization with a fine director. These factors and the great team of riders that has been assembled give me a tremendous sense of confidence in the upcoming season".

Besides Ljungskog, Team S.A.T.S. has signed several top international riders, including Norwegian champion and number 6 in the world Anita Valen, Aussie sprinter Rochelle Gilmore, Canadian powerhouse Manon Jutras, British time trial specialist Sara Symington, and Aussie all-rounder Emma James.

Returning to the team in 2004 are the core members from the 2003 squad, Danes Mette Fischer Andreasen, a young and talented sprinter with multiple top 5 finishes in the 2003 Grand Boucle Feminine, Christina Peick, a support rider and climber, Trine Hansen, a support rider and time-trialist and Mette Andersen, Denmark's MTB champion and Athens Olympic gold hopeful, and American Meredith Miller, an aggressive support rider who had a podium finish in a stage of the 2003 Giro d'Italia.

The team started two years ago under the name Team GRACE with the ambitious goal of becoming the strongest team in the world. Under a new name and sponsor, this has become a reality as team founder and director Chris MacDonald explained. "I have always believed in the idea of putting Denmark on the map in professional women's cycling. I hope that the team will spark a wave of interest in the wonderful sport of cycling for women, from the recreational level to the professional level."

Team S.A.T.S. will compete in the World Cup Series and major stage races as many of the team members prepare for the Olympic games in Athens.

Team roster

Susanne Ljungskog (Sweden) ex-Bik-Powerplate
Anita Valen (Norway) ex-Bik-Powerplate
Rochelle Gilmore (Australia) ex-Ausra Gruodis-Safi
Emma James (Australia) ex-AIS
Manon Jutras (Canada) ex-Team Saturn
Sara Symington (Great Britain) ex-Great Britain National
Meredith Miller (USA) Team S.A.T.S.
Christina Peick (Denmark) Team S.A.T.S.
Trine Hansen (Denmark) Team S.A.T.S.
Mette Fischer Andreasen (Denmark) Team S.A.T.S.
Mette Andersen (Denmark) Team S.A.T.S.


S.A.T.S. (fitness centres)
Biker's Best (bikes)
Giro helmets
Rudy Project glasses
Giordana clothing
Tommy Hilfiger
Columbus Films (film company)
Tonic Production (photography)
ViperVision (TV production)
Synkron Web
Alm. Brand Rejseforsikring
Sats Sports
and Matas Sports Care.

Spanish team for Cyclo-cross World's

Spanish selector Amadeo Olmos has announced his line up for the World Cyclo-Cross Championships that will take place in Pont-Château, France at the end of January.

Full team roster

Elite Men: Fernándo Fernández Magán (Galicia), Haitz Ortiz and David Seco (Euskadi), Isaac Suárez (Cantabria)

U23 Men: Ismael Esteban (Cantabria), Egoitz Murgoitio (Euskadi), Oscar Vázquez (Galicia) and Julen Zubero (Euskadi)

Elite Women: Nekane Lasa (Euskadi)

Junior Men: Delio Fernández (Galicia), Jokin Irazola (Euskadi), Hugo Martínez (Madrid) and Miguel Vallés (Asturias)

Weispfennig heads Down Under for Bendigo Madison

By Karen Forman

Erik Weispfennig is coming back to Australia in March to try to win the Bendigo Madison after three disappointing second places. In fact, the German says the event, set down for March 12, 13 and 14, is one of his major goals for 2004, and he is confident that this will be the year the prize will be his.

"I am very excited about coming back to Australia," the 2002-03 Australian madison champion told Cyclingnews this week. "Like I told you last year, I really love Australia and I always enjoy the time Down Under very much."

He's still as in love with Australia as he ever was, but says plans to emigrate have been temporarily shelved following the birth of his second child last year. "I still want to move to Oz but now, with two kids it'll be much harder."

Despite the disappointment of being relegated to playing the bridesmaid again in 2003, shortly after he started the 2002-03 track season so well by winning the Australian Madison Championship at Vodafone Arena in Melbourne, Weispfennig will team with current World Madison Champion Franco Marvulli from Switzerland and is convinced that it will be fourth time lucky.

Last year he almost got there when he rode with Tasmanian Darren Young after his long time madison partner, Stefan Steinweg, was banned from the event after being charged with possession of prohibited substances on his arrival into Australia. Although he was fined in a Melbourne court, Steinweg was later cleared of further punishment by the German Cycling Federation on a technicality, after it was found he did not have a valid racing licence at the time of the offence.

Weispfennig and Young finished a close second behind Rodney McGee and Stephen Wooldridge. In 2002 Weispfennig and Mark Renshaw had finished second on countback to the Sydney Olympic gold medal winning combination of Brett Aitken and Scott McGrory, who had also beaten the German and Renshaw in 2001.

But Weispfennig hasn't had the easiest year. His career as a madison rider hung in the balance for months while German cycling authorities decided what action they were going to take against Steinweg. His partner's actions had a negative and disappointing effect on his own career.

"It was a year of many up and downs! All the trouble because of Stefan. Without him I couldn't ride any international competitions like World Cups and I haven't had any chance at the German titles with a new partner. So it was a very difficult season. But I had some good results anyway. The best was the victory at the biggest German one day madison races in Oberhausen together with Scott McGrory.

"We've beaten all good teams like Risi-Betschart, Kappes-Beikirch, Villa-Quaranta. Another good result was the second place at the Noumea, New Caledonia, six days - the first race I did was together with Stefan, after his problems."

Things were only a little less traumatic in his private life. "The highlight was the birth of my second son, Tim, but we had really big problems during the pregnancy and even during the birth! But even that he was four weeks too early. He's a healthy and very good growing baby now."

He says he is hoping to put the year behind him, however, and his confident about his Bendigo campaign for 2004. "If I wouldn't think that, I wouldn't race! It's one of my main goals this year to win the Bendigo Madison," he says. "After winning the Aussie Madison title I really want this victory. But cycling is my job so I want as many good results and victories as possible."

He's not planning any major changes to the way ride he rides the event this year. "I think there is no need to change. The only thing I change is that I'll come earlier to Australia than last year. But last year was special because of the problems we had during the pregnancy (his wife was very ill when pregnant with their second child and Weispfennig stayed with her in Germany until the last minute, arriving just a couple of days before the Bendigo weekend began. "But anyway every race is different."

Weispfennig is expecting some tough competition. "I don't really know who is riding but I've heard that Scott McGrory is riding with Brett Aitken, so they'll be the main competitors. But it's such a long race and there are so many good Australian and international riders every year in Bendigo. If you wanna win you've to beat them all, and I tell you: that's f**** hard! Like you've seen the last years."

Launceston International Classic likely for 2004

By Matthew Conn

Action from last year's race
Photo ©: Shane Goss

The 2004 Launceston International Classic should be unaffected by the fact that the race's naming rights sponsor, the Doherty Hotels Group, is in negotiations that will likely see the sale of the Launceston International Hotel, which is the hub of the 80km criterium.

Dr Stan Siejka, race director of the LIC, said on Tuesday that recent discussions with the current hotel management were very positive and that he strongly believed the event would continue in its current format and grow in the future.

He said that a change in ownership of the current naming rights sponsor would not necessarily have an adverse effect on the event, as his team was looking at other avenues to fund the increasing budget of Australia's richest criterium race.

The Launceston International Hotel is the focal point for the Doherty Hotels Classic with the Start/ Finish line in front of the property, most of the contracted riders put up in rooms at the hotel and the newly completed convention centre hosting the presentation dinner.

If the sale is finalised, Dr. Siejka is confident that the existing race package will be an attractive sponsorship vehicle for the hotel's new owner.

Cooma Women's Tour cancelled

The Cooma Cycling Club has been forced to cancel this year's Cooma Snowy Women's Cycle Classic, scheduled for February 14-15, 2004 in Australia. The club found that meeting the planning and financial requirements for running a successful and safe race was not possible this year, and apologises for any inconvenience to riders.

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