First Edition Cycling News for March 12, 2004
Edited by Chris Henry
Bruyneel not in favour of changing UCI radio rule
By Tim Maloney, European Editor
In an exclusive interview with Cyclingnews, US Postal Service-Berry Floor team director Johan Bruyneel explained why he believes strongly that the UCI should not change the current rules concerning race radios. "It's time to wake up," said Bruyneel. "It's 2004 and the progress shouldn't stop. I was surprised to read about this possible ban on Cyclingnews. I'm completely against it. I find it ridiculous."
Bruyneel pointed out several key reasons to use the race radios, saying "the use of the race radios has become first of all a working tool for riders and team managers to do our jobs with. I can't believe that people would even consider going back to the pre-radio days."
Bruyneel pointed out that although the UCI Technical Commission is making some arguments about safety and the use of earpieces, "it's more dangerous for team cars to go up to the bunch to give their riders direction than to do it via radio. The riders are now used to this and feel comfortable about it."
Bruyneel continued by saying that "cycling has evolved with the use of race radios. I remember a few years ago, the UCI Technical Commission banned TT bikes in team time trials, saying that they considered a TTT like a breakaway. This is the same thing...
"A few years ago, Formula One had to put some limits on cars because they were going too fast. (Cycling) isn't the same thing," said the USPS-Berry Floor team leader. "Race radios offer a level playing field for everyone and they make the racing safer, not more dangerous. Progress like (race radios) should be encouraged, not limited."
Bartoli tips Vandenbroucke
Italian Michele Bartoli (Team CSC) is one of a growing number of observers who has been keeping an eye on his classics rival Frank Vandenbroucke (Fassa Bortolo) this spring, insisting that after several seasons in the wind, the Belgian is quickly returning to his top form. Vandenbroucke himself has made a point of downplaying his recent results, even as he sits in seventh place overall in Paris-Nice, less than a minute behind Bartoli's teammate, yellow jersey Jörg Jaksche.
"I already saw Frank this winter in Grossetto (Tuscany), where we often trained together along with some other guys," Bartoli explained in a La Dernière Heure interview. "He was very motivated, serious, and in good shape. But today, he's even stronger and more focused. We've seen that since the start of Paris-Nice."
Bartoli, a double winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, fell victim to Vandenbroucke's power in the 1999 edition of the race when Vandenbroucke powered clear on the brutal La Redoute climb. Less than a week before, Bartoli had earned his own triumph in a cold and snowy Flèche Wallonne.
"I think Frank is in great shape but he's not yet at a hundred percent," Bartoli added, echoing Vandenbroucke's own statements. "I'm sure he'll get better, and Paris-Nice is a hard race, perfect for preparing for the classics. All the better if he reaches his old level. Cycling needs champions like him and duels between talented riders."
Minute of silence for Paris-Nice
A minute of silence will be observed Friday morning before the start of the sixth stage in Paris-Nice. The ceremony will be made in memory of the victims of Thursday's bombings in Madrid, Spain which killed more than 190 people and injured over a thousand others. Three Spanish teams are currently racing in Paris-Nice: Illes Balears-Banesto, Liberty Seguros, and Euskaltel-Euskadi.
Stéphane Goubert, who rides for Ag2r-Prévoyance, injured his coccyx in a fall on Thursday's fifth stage of Paris-Nice. Goubert finished the stage and went for x-rays after the finish.
Cycling takes out national honours
Cyclists were among the winners of prestigious Australian Sports Awards announced at a black-tie ceremony in Sydney on Thursday, March 11. Among the cyclists honoured was mountain-biker Lisa Mathison, who was named Young Australian Female Athlete of the Year in a tie with water skier Nerissa Wright.
Mathison, who rides for Team Ghost, was junior world champion in 2002 and 2003 and last month was crowned Australian national champion in the elite women category.
The Australian junior track cycling team received the award for the Young Australian Team of the Year. The award was accepted by Rebecca Borgo, a member of the squad that last year continued an 11-year sequence of young Australian track cyclists taking the overall team honours winner at the World Junior Track Cycling Championships.
Australia's reigning world junior downhill champion, Sam Hill, was a finalist in the category of Young Australian Male Athlete of the Year, while Tour de France green jersey winner Baden Cooke was nominated for Male Athlete of the Year.
In the Sport Media Award category, Cyclingnews.com reached the final three after it was nominated for the category by the sport's ruling body, Cycling Australia. However, the Australian Broacasting Corporation's coverage of the Rugby World Cup, the world's largest sporting event in 2003, took out the award.
Cyclingnews.com is the first Web site to be nominated and reach the final selection of an award that is open to all media covering all sport in Australia.
Ras Mumhan route announced
By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent
The Route for the 2004 Credit Union Ras Mumhan 4 Day International Cycle Race has been announced. The event will be based in Killorglin, Co. Kerry and will be held over the Easter weekend, from Good Friday, April 9th to Easter Monday, April 12th. The Race is sponsored by the Killorglin Credit Union, Ltd.
This year's race will be include five stages. Race organiser Sean O Callaghan has changed the format of the race and added a spectacular Town Centre Criterium Stage to be held in Killarney on Easter Sunday.
The race will begin on Good Friday with the Killorglin Credit Union Stage, which will take the riders on a 52-mile loop to Killarney, Castleisland, Tralee, onto the Sliabh Mish climb and back to finish in Killorglin.
Stage 2 on Saturday is the Irish Ferries Ring of Kerry stage, 96 miles starting in Killorglin, on to Killarney, over the Cat. 1 Ladies View and Molls Gap climbs, through Sneem and then another Cat. 1 climb at Coomakista, on to Waterville, Cahirsiveen , Glenbeigh and back to Killorglin.
Easter Sunday will see two stages: a 6.25 mile individual time trial from Beaufort to Killorglin and the Killarney Town Centre Criterium, a 1.2-mile course for 1 hour plus 3 laps.
The Western Union Stage on Easter Monday Morning at 10am is the final stage of the race. This is the traditional finish which will see the race do three laps of the 15 mile Killorglin/Beaufort circuit, followed by four laps of the smaller Donal McKenna circuit, a total of 58 miles before the finish up the hill in Killorglin town.
Closing Date for Entries: Wednesday 24th March 2004. Race entry form and the appropriate Remittance to be sent to:
Race Secretary: Eileen Scully, The Village, Beaufort, Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland
Telephone 064 44791, Mobile 087 9906912
Hincapie Sportswear rider killed
Hincapie Sportswear-Bianchi rider Garrett Wonders, a professor in Charleston, South Carolina, was killed while training Wednesday. Wonders was struck by a car from behind while training near Charleston; the car apparently tried to pass him from behind when there was a car approaching in the opposite lane, reports Steve Baker from Hincapie Sportswear. Cyclingnews extends its condolences to Wonders' family and friends.
UW Health-Sports Medicine Center
The Midwest United States welcomes its newest member to the elite racing community for 2004 with the creation of the UW Health Cycling team presented by the UW Health Sports Medicine Center. Manager and director Keith Meyer returns for year two (last year with Trek/VW Midwest regional team), bringing along many of last year's members, including: Wisconsin state junior road race champion Ulric DeYoung, Joseph Shanahan, Andy Cicero, Ben Anderson, James Lennon, Dirk Rettig (Wisconsin state masters criterium champion) and John Munhall.
Four new young riders have been added including Tristan Schouten (2003 Saturn Development), Brian Schaning (2003 Saturn Development), Brian Matter and Paul Kronser.
The team will concentrate on major National Racing Calendar (NRC) events in the Midwest, including the International Cycling Classic, USPRO Championship weekend in Downers Grove, and Proctor cycling classic.
The program is supported by sponsors including UW Health Sports Medicine Center, The Trek Bicycle Store of Madison, Verge Custom Apparel, Digisound, Bontrager Wheelworks and Components, Rudy Project and Wrench Force Tools and Lubricants. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Independent Fabrication/SMRT women's team
The Independent Fabrication / SMRT Inc. Women's Cycling Team has announced its roster of riders and sponsors for the 2004 season. The team, which started as Merlin/Smartfuel in 1997 and in 2000 picked up title sponsorship from Independent Fabrication, is based in New England and will race a full schedule of regional and National Racing Calendar events.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)