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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest Cycling News for July 28, 2004

Edited by Jeff Jones

UCI rankings: Zabel back on top

The post-Tour de France UCI rankings have put Erik Zabel (T-Mobile) back on top on 2181 points, with a 318 point lead over Alessandro Petacchi, who briefly took over the reins after the national championships. But Petacchi's poor performance in the Tour compared to last year meant that he lost points relative to Zabel, and he now sits in fourth overall. In second place is Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step) on 2079 points with Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) third on 1978 points.

Tour winner Lance Armstrong (USPS-Berry Floor) moved from 7th to 6th, swapping places with Giro winner Damiano Cunego (Saeco). Other movers into the top 10 include Tom Boonen (12th - 8th), and Danilo Di Luca (14th - 9th). Robbie Mcewen (15th - 11th), Ivan Basso (23rd - 15th), Thor Hushovd (24th - 16th), Andreas Klöden (145th - 22nd), Thomas Voeckler (109th - 44th) were all big winners from the Tour, while Jan Ullrich (9th - 12th) and Iban Mayo (8th - 20th) lost a few places through relatively poor results.

In the teams rankings, T-Mobile has claimed the number one position ahead of CSC, while US Postal-Berry Floor has jumped up from 11th to 3rd in Division I.

Rankings as of July 25, 2004

Elite men
1 Erik Zabel (Ger) T-Mobile Team                                2181.00 pts
2 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step-Davitamon                      2079.00
3 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner                            1978.00
4 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                       1863.00
5 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme  1807.00
6 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service p/b Berry Floor       1717.00
7 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Saeco                                    1604.00
8 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick.Step-Davitamon                         1508.00
9 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Saeco                                    1429.00
10 Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir    1374.00
11 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Domo                               1371.00
12 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile Team                              1358.00
13 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank                               1338.00
14 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC                                    1332.00
15 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC                                    1307.00
16 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Credit Agricole                           1181.50
17 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank                            1111.00
18 Francisco Mancebo Perez (Spa) Illes Balears-Banesto          1099.00
19 Isidro Nozal Vega (Spa) Liberty Seguros                      1076.00
20 Iban Mayo Diez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                       1044.60
Men's Division I
1 T-Mobile Team                                                 6455.00 pts
2 Team CSC                                                      5993.00
3 US Postal Service p/b Berry Floor                             5278.00
4 Saeco                                                         5143.00
5 Gerolsteiner                                                  5132.75
6 Phonak Hearing Systems                                        4897.00
7 Rabobank                                                      4757.00
8 Quick.Step-Davitamon                                          4704.00
9 Fassa Bortolo                                                 4540.00
10 Euskaltel-Euskadi                                            4122.05

Men's Division II
1 Hoop CCC - Polsat                                             1162.00 pts
2 Team Lamonta                                                   976.00
3 Amore & Vita Beretta                                           707.00
4 Wurth-Bom Petisco                                              625.00
5 Volksbank Ideal Leingruber                                     615.50
6 Knauf-Mikomax                                                  542.00
7 Oktos                                                          506.00
8 Health Net Pro Cycling Team p/b Maxxis                         505.00
9 Auber 93                                                       486.00
10 Perutnina Ptuj                                                483.00
Full rankings: Individuals, Teams, Nations

McEwen not on the dotted line yet

By Jeff Jones

Contrary to what was reported report yesterday, Robbie McEwen (Lotto-Domo) has not yet signed a contract for 2005. The Australian sprinter told Cyclingnews that he is "still negotiating with several teams and is taking his time to assess all the offers before putting pen to paper with anyone."

McEwen did say that he wanted a beefed up sprint train, which helped him to two stage wins and overall victory in the green jersey points competition in this year's Tour. He wants to "ensure the future of teammates Vierhouten, Marichal, Gates and bring Henk Vogels on board as well."

The contracts of Peter van Petegem and Serge Baguet have been confirmed, and it's almost certain that Wim Vansevenant will sign. However, with riders like Leif Hoste going to Discovery Channel for two years and Axel Merckx also talking to Bruyneel's team, Lotto's lineup for next year is expected to undergo considerable changes.


The team will be part of the Pro Tour under the Omega Pharma licence, with Lotto as one of the co-sponsors. Currently, Omega Pharma co-sponsors two Division I teams (Davitamon and Bodysol), and will keep its strong interest in cycling by applying for another Belgian Pro Tour licence as part of the Quick.Step-Davitamon bid, under Patrick Lefevere's managing company Esperanza bvba.

With two Belgian Pro Tour licences up for grabs and only three candidates (Bucs Bears Promotion = Landbouwkrediet-Colnago is the other), the top level of Belgian professional cycling looks to be dominated by one company in the next few years.

Basso doesn't rule out Giro

With next year's Pro Tour likely to place a heavier demand on riders to race more of the big events, CSC's Ivan Basso said that racing the Giro/Tour double is certainly not out of the question for him. Basso commented to Datasport that, "I am convinced that it's possible with the right preparation. Besides, if Bugno, Chiappucci and Pantani succeeded, I don't see why others shouldn't?"

Basso became the first Italian rider since Pantani in 1998 to finish on the Tour podium, finishing third overall this year.

Fassa Bortolo for HEW Cyclassics

The Fassa Bortolo squad has been named for this Sunday's sixth round of the World Cup, the HEW Cyclassics in Hamburg, Germany. The eight member team contains six Tour riders, including Marzio Bruseghin, Fabian Cancellara, Juan Antonio Flecha, Kim Kirchen, Filippo Pozzato and Matteo Tosatto. The squad will be rounded out by Volodimir Gustov and Roberto Petito.

Cofidis for HEW Cyclassics

The Cofidis team will also be relying heavily on its Tour riders for this Sunday's HEW Cyclassics World Cup race in Hamburg. The team includes Tour lanterne rouge Jimmy Casper, along with Jimmy Engoulvent, Peter Farazijn, Stuart O'Grady, Staf Scheirlinckx, Janek Tombak, Cédric Vasseur and Matthew White.

Illes Balears recce the Vuelta

Four members of the Illes Balears-Banesto team have been preparing for the upcoming Vuelta a España by riding some of the key stages this week. Pablo Lastras, Unai Osa, Joan Horrach and Toni Colom, together with trainer Alfonso Galilea carried out a reconnaissance of some of the most important stages, including the climbs of Sierra Nevada and Calar Alto.

Danny Clark in hit and run

Australian track cycling legend Danny Clark has been injured in a hit and run accident in northern NSW. Clark was riding south through Tweed Heads just before Boyd's Bay Bridge at 8:50am on Tuesday morning when he was struck from the side by an unidentified driver. He was taken to hospital and was operated on on Tuesday night for a broken right wrist.

The 53 year old told the Gold Coast Bulletin that the driver "left me for dead. He hit me side on and not square on, otherwise I'd be dead for sure. He must have been doing 120 km/h when he hit me."

Clark said that he would probably give up road cycling now. "Sabina [Clark's wife] is naturally very worried and it's time to give it away. might get a turbo trainer and cycle at home and go to the gym and maybe run on the beach."

Police have called for any witnesses to the accident to come forward.

The Gold Coast roads do not have a good reputation for being cyclist friendly. Two years ago, top triathlete Luke Harrop was killed by a motorist at Robina, while 10 years ago, one of Australia's most promising cyclists Darren Smith was killed when he was hit by a truck at Yatala.

Fantasy Tour de France results announced

The results are in for this year's Tour de France 2004 competition, which was our biggest yet with 33 opportunities to win prizes. The grand prize, a Giant TCR Advanced frame, Bikestyle 10 day Grand Tour Trip and Speedplay Tyler Hamilton Signature Zero pedals was won by team manager Dan Boardley from Surrey in England with team Danobank, who was justifiably delighted with his team's performance.

"Unbelievable! I only entered one team. I just entered with two work colleagues as a bit of fun with a side bet involved. What a dream result! I noticed the USA kicked our butt in this competition last year, so its nice to get one over on them this year at least.

"This year it was very difficult to stay below the point limit. Most of the obvious selections had performed well in the Tour last year, gaining many UCI points. I didn't select my team till stage 5. I selected a few riders who had accumulated points already who came fairly cheaply, who I felt may contest sprints to some extent or get in breakaways.

"Luckily my friend Brian told me that Klöden had just won the German Championship so, though not expecting much, I picked him as my last rider. As it turned out he was my second highest point scorer behind the 'great one'. I guess I owe them both a beer sometime! A friend called me up on Saturday night telling me I had taken the lead, so on Sunday I was booing Boonen and Hondo, since I figured either of them winning could knock me off the top spot. Luckily for me, team Joaomark 13 didn't have Boonen either."

"I will definitely be defending my crown again next year. Thanks for a great competition."

Click here to view the break down of the winning team.

Second prize was a set of Bontrager Race XXX carbon wheels, which was won by team manager Joao Marques from Portugal with his team Joaomark13.

Third prize, a CycleOps trainer and Speedplay CSC Zero pedals, was won by team manager Suts the Mut from the UK with team The Merckxcenaries.

Fourth prize, a set of Bontrager Race X lite wheels was won by team manager Gianmarco from the USA with team Generally Classy.

Fifth to seventh place prizes were Zero Gravity brakes, won by team managers: Nielsen 1 from the UK with team Sjonner 10; Under Zero from the UK with team Tentetiesov; Gli Uomini di Mazzi from the UK with team Estacazo.

The eighth to 12th place prizes were Salsa shorts, won by team managers Whiskers from the USA with team Cyclops A; Markt from Estonia with team Team Everest; Team EPO from the USA with team Hushovd Fan Club; Kingsta from the USA with team Boo Boy; and Joao Marques from Portugal with team Joaomark12.

The Rudy Project Daily Stage Prizes (21 pairs of Rudy Project Tour de France edition sunglasses, 1 per stage) were won by the following teams:

P  - 2Tourstimul
1  - Brotherhood of Lunatics
2  - PhsycoPizzas
3  - Bumpers
4  - Hindsight
5  - Wilier/Velo Imports
6  - Team Beginners
7  - Slip Sliding Away
8  - Sprint for Shades
9  - Small Boz
10 - Moana
11 - Marcinster4
12 - VeloJan
13 - Boobala
14 - Ferretti Cycling
15 - Scrooter's Shooters
16 - The Cybernauts
17 - adranorma
18 - Joaomark13
19 - Danobank
20 - The Merckxcenaries. 

Register now for the Vuelta a España '04 game

You can sign up now to take part in the Vuelta game, which will begin at the end of August 2004 as soon as the provisional race list is confirmed. To take part register now at:

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