First Edition Cycling News for November 11, 2004
Edited by Jeff Jones
An interview with Bobby Julich
Back in business
Just over 12 months ago Bobby Julich was on the verge of retirement. The then 32 year-old was dropped by Team Telekom and with few offers on the table, things were looking bleak. Had he stopped, it would have been a regrettable fin de carrière for a rider whose palmares included a third place finish in the Tour de France, victories in the Criterium International, stages of the Route du Sud and the Tour de L'Ain plus a ninth place finish in the 1996 Tour of Spain. But then Bjarne Riis and Team CSC stepped forward, offering Julich a place on their roster for 2004 and the chance for a career renaissance. It paid off in spades, as Shane Stokes writes.
Julich had a fine season, moving from a position of 329th in the world rankings at the end of 2003 to 30th this October. Highlights included a superb Olympic debut where he took bronze in the Elite TT in Athens, wins against the clock in the Vuelta a Pais Vasco and the Luk Challenge (the latter with teammate Jens Voigt), second in the GP Eddy Merckx, third in Paris Nice and fourth overall in the Criterium International, the Vuelta a Pais Vasco and the Dodge Tour de Georgia.
He was also fifth in the ENCO Tour of the Netherlands, eighth in the Tour of the Mediterranean and fifth and ninth in time trials at the Tour de France.
"I really have to be happy with the way the season went," Julich tells Cyclingnews. "From the first race until the last race I was always in the mix, except for a couple of days there in the Tour when because of my (broken) wrist I was really suffering. I am proud of that. I have a lot to be thankful for and I have a lot to show. But obviously the most important thing was having that medal. Being an Olympian and Olympic medallist in the same year is fantastic."
Julich says mental factors are the biggest influence to his return to form, the approach and ambiance within Team CSC perfectly synching with the kind of support structure he needs. Not surprisingly, he is delighted to remain part of the squad for the foreseeable future. There was a delay in confirming his signing due to the team's ongoing push to land a second sponsor, but last month the Danish setup confirmed that he would be staying. Julich has been given a deal for 2005 and 2006.
"I have signed for two more years and hope to end my career with CSC," he says. "I didn't want it to be one of those one-year wonders, to be there just for 2004. This was the team I have been looking for my whole career. Instead of looking back and saying, oh man, why didn't I have a team like this for the last five years, I am looking forward to having this team for definitely the next two years, and maybe even two more after that."
Rebellin and 19 others on trial
Gerolsteiner's Davide Rebellin has, along with 19 others, been put on trial in the Italian town of Este, Padova, accused of receiving prohibited pharmaceutical substances, and violating the Italian anti-doping and sporting fraud laws. The trial commenced on Wednesday morning, November 10, and most of the accused are cyclists: Dario Acquaroli, Filippo Baldo, Ramon Bianchi, Mauro Busato, Matteo Cacco, Davide Casarotto, Nadia Dandolo (athletics), Gianni Faresin, Andrea Ferrigato, Marco Fincato, Martin Hvastija, Petr Klasa, Fabio Marchesin, Mirco Marini, Selina Martinello (Rebellin's wife), Uros Murn, Gorazd Stangelj, Marco Villa and Matteo Zendron.
The trial was initiated on the basis of phone tapping and video surveillance on the riders in question. During May, 2001, Rebellin was allegedly filmed receiving a syringe containing a banned substance, while at the end of the month, he was allegedly videoed injecting himself with EPO in his hotel room in Bassano del Grappa. Rebellin has always maintained his innocence.
Problems for the Wellenses
Cyclo-cross brothers Bart and Geert Wellens are having their own problems this season, with neither of them having been able to find a satisfactory level of form. Bart will miss the upcoming World Cup race in Pijnacker, the Netherlands this Sunday, having been advised by his trainer and doctor to take two weeks off competition. He is now expected to return at the Superprestige race in Asper-Gavere on November 21.
About his brother Geert, Bart commented to Sportwereld.be, "Geert said that he will decide this season whether he will remain as a rider or get a job. For the moment, work is the likely option, but I think he will ride 'cross for a few more weeks. I find it a very understandable choice. If it doesn't work out now, he's better off working and doing cyclo-cross as a hobby."
Erbiti to Illes Balears
Spanish neo-professional Imanol Erbiti has signed a contract with Team Illes Balears for the coming season, the team confirmed today. Born on November 15, 1983 in Pamplona, measuring 1.89 m and weighing 76 kg, Erbiti rode for the Guipuzcoan amateur team Serbitzu. He is considered a good young talent with excellent potential, and had consistent results in the amateur category.
Symmetrics Cycling adds women
The Canadian based Symmetrics Cycling team has added two women to its roster for next season, bringing the squad's total women to four. Returning riders Mandy Poitras and Marni Hambleton will be joined by Maria Lee and Christina Briante to comprise the Symmetrics Cycling Elite Women's Team for 2005.
Track specialist Mandy Poitras (Langley, BC) is a 12-time Canadian National Champion, multiple World Cup winner, and World's silver medalist who will continue to race for the team on the road. Marni Hambleton (Vancouver, BC) is the current BC Criterium champion and a past BC Cup Series Champion, while both Maria Lee (Vancouver, BC) and Christina Briante (Victoria, BC) are considered to be promising up and coming racers.
Next season, the Symmetrics Elite Women's Team will concentrate on the local BC and NW races, including the BC Cup Road Series, BC Superweek, and the Canadian National Road Championships.
Former Italian pro Giuseppe Zanin has died in Schio, Italy on November 9. Zanin was active in the 1930s and '40s before becoming a mechanic, working with the likes of Eddy Merckx, Giuseppe Saronni, Marino Basso and Marino Fontana. His funeral will be held in Schio in the church of Magrè.
Adelaide track event to feature Athens 2004 gold medallists
Several stars of the Athens 2004 Olympics track cycling will be in action at the Adelaide Superdome, South Australia, next Saturday, November 20.
Heading the line-up will be local Adelaide hometown hero Stuart O'Grady, who will team up with his teammate from the Athens 2004 Madison, Graeme Brown, for a special one-off exhibition of their gold medal-winning Madison racing.
After demonstrating the hand-slings and other Madison techniques, the two riders will then go head-to-head in a 30-lap derny race that race promoter, Michael Turtur, expects to rival the days of when O'Grady raced against his former Madison partner, Sydney 2000 gold medallist Brett Aitken.
"Stuart's not been on the Superdome for three years, so this is his opportunity to say 'thank you' to all his supporters," Turtur said. "I can remember the crowd standing on its feet when O'Grady and Aitken raced each other, doing lap after lap behind the derny at 70kmh, racing side-by-side. The crowd loved seeing two great track cyclists really giving it a good go."
It's not just the endurance racing specialists on the boards, as Turtur has also lined up some of the country's best sprinters, with dual Athens gold medallist, Ryan Bayley, set to compete against fellow Australian sprinters Shane Kelly and Sean Eadie, in match sprints and the keirin.
The Adelaide event will also see a return to competition for Kerrie Meares, who is expected to line up against her younger sister, Anna, winner of the gold medal and world record holder in the 500m time trial from Athens. Kerrie Meares has been out of action for over a year due to a back injury, but is now training again at the Australian Institute of Sport under head sprint coach Martin Barras.
Keeping it in the family will be Kristine Bayley, younger sister of Ryan, who will also be racing in the women's events.
In addition, the gold medal-winning paralympic tandem cyclists, Keiran Modra and David Short, will race against Kyle Stewart and Anthony Biddel, in tandem match sprints, while paralympic cyclist Andrew Panazzolo will also be in action.
Turtur, himself a gold medallist in the team pursuit from the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, said the Superdome track event was usually held on the Saturday prior to the start of the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under. However, changes to the UCI Track Cycling World Cup race schedule meant that many top track cyclists would be in Manchester, UK, in late January, so he had to bring the event forward.
Although Turtur is now also race director of the JCTDU, "I am still a track cyclist at heart," he said, and is promoting the November event through his private company Bikesport Australia.
Doors open at 6pm with racing scheduled to start at 7.30pm, Saturday, November 20. Tickets are priced at AUS$15 for adults, concessions $10 and children under 16 $5 and family tickets for $35. They will be available at the door or pre-purchased by calling 61 (0)8 8342 1882.
Urban Polaris in Canberra
This Sunday, November 14 will see the Urban Polaris mountain bike event held in Australia's capital city, Canberra. Some 500 riders in teams of two will take to the bike paths, forest trails and routes around the city to seek out as many of the 40 checkpoints as they can in seven hours. Checkpoints will be all over the city - in buildings, up hills, houses, deep in the forest. A number of iconic Canberra attractions will be used as checkpoints and there will be the usual 'odd' checkpoints, some that might not even involve mountain bikes at all.
The Start/Finish Centre for this year's Urban Polaris is at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in the suburb of Bruce. Teams will start from 8:30-9:30am from the AIS.
The Urban Polaris is the fifth event of the 2004/2005 Strong Butt League; a group of six endurance mountain bike events where participants are ranked to find the strongest butts in Australia. The Urban Polaris is also the final event of the month long Canberra Festival of Cycling.
For further details on the 2004 Urban Polaris, visit www.wildhorizons.com.au.
Recycling on Litespeed
The new British Continental Team Recycling.co.uk/MG X-Power will be riding the U.S. brand Litespeed bikes equipped with FSA components for the next two seasons. "This two year support package from Litespeed gives us an added degree of stability in which to move the team forward," commented team director Phil Leigh.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)