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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for November 30, 2004

Edited by Jeff Jones

Prosecutor asks for light penalty for Vandenbroucke

The public prosecutor in the France Vandenbroucke case in Dendermonde, Belgium has requested the lightest possible sanction against VDB, who was found in possession of illegal drugs in February, 2002. Although the maximum sentence for this crime in Belgium is five years imprisonment, prosecutor Philip Van Linthout has asked that Vandenbroucke does community service instead.

"What goes for Joe Blow, goes for top sportsmen as well," said Mr Van Linthout. "Belgian law forbids possession of doping products without a prescription. But I do not want to make an example out of Frank Vandenbroucke. A community service penalty should suffice."

Vandenbroucke's lawyer, Luc Deleu, took it a step further, arguing that his client has already served a six month sporting sanction and that he should not be penalised further. "We have already been sanctioned," Deleu told VTM. "We accepted it and there is no point in doing it again in 2004."

The case started on February 27, 2002 when police raided Vandenbroucke's home, finding EPO, clenbuterol, growth hormone and morphine along with other illegal performance enhancing products. But the investigation was hard pressed to find their source. "Vandenbroucke has swallowed a lot of junk," Mr Van Linthout was quoted by Sportwereld as saying. "Many products came from the German and Spanish market. There was even a brand new product that wasn't available in Belgium yet. We would have gladly examined the dossier in greater detail and found the big fish in the trade, but Vandenbroucke chose to be silent about that."

The court is expected to make a ruling in the case next Monday, December 6.

Dekker and Van Moorsel Dutch Cyclists of the Year

Erik Dekker and Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel have been named the Dutch Cyclists of the Year in Den Bosch on Monday evening. Dekker, winner of Paris-Tours, Ronde van Nederland and Dutch national championship this year, was chosen ahead of Michael Boogerd, Max Van HGeeswijk, Gerben Löwik and Karsten Kroon. It was the third time that he has been awarded Dutch Cyclist of the Year.

The title was also nothing new for Van Moorsel, who has won it an incredible 10 times. She was voted better than Mirjam Melchers, Marianne Vos, Chantal Beltman and Marlijn Binnendijk, after winning gold and bronze medals at the Athens Olympics.

World Sprint Champion Theo Bos and Bart Brentjens (MTB) won the U23 and Mountain Bike Rider of the Year categories respectively. The U23

An interview with George Hincapie

Roubaix or bust!

George Hincapie
Photo ©: Russ & Nancy Wright
Click for larger image

When one thinks of George Hincapie, the image of a mud-covered cyclist during the 2001 Hell of the North springs to mind first. The second most common sight is George riding mile after mile at the service of his friend Lance Armstrong at the Tour de France, forging a reputation as Lance's strongest and most loyal lieutenant.But with the birth of his first child one month ago and Armstrong pledging his help at next year's Spring Classics, the focus is shifting for the 31 year-old. Cyclingnews' Mark Zalewski caught up with him in between feedings at his home in South Carolina, before he and his family moves back to Spain for the start of the 2005 season.

CN: First thing is first - tell us more about your new addition to the family?

GH: Her name is Julia Paris Hincapie - she was born on November 3, a Wednesday night about three weeks ago. She's doing good, she's sleeping pretty much the whole night - she only wakes up once a night.

CN: Will she be the next great Hincapie cyclist?

GH: [Laughs] I don't know, she'll do whatever she wants!

CN: What have you been doing in the off-season besides becoming a father?

GH: I took three weeks off the bike, just relaxing. Trying to catch up on a bunch of stuff. I went to Las Vegas and New York, but no vacation really. I just spent time here with my family and friends.

Click here for the full interview

Marsal injured

Recently retired cyclist Cathy Marsal has suffered severe injuries to her kidneys after a fall whilst practicing BMX moves at the CREPS (Regional Sport Education Centre) in Dijon, France where she is completing a Diploma in Sports Education and Cycling Activities.

She was hospitalised for four days but is now back at the school continuing the course and recovering. "I'm out of hospital now, thank god," she told Cyclingnews. They were talking of surgery at a certain point and I said 'au revoir' to this!"

Marsal explained that, "The crash happened in the corners of the track which were about two meters high. I was doing an exercise with another rider and we kind of misunderstood each other and I flipped back on a left hand corner, rolling on the left side of my back falling a good 1.5 meters onto my back hurting my left kidney. The doctor did an x-ray and an ultrasound and said that the kidney had been bleeding and that there were little blood rocks within it."

Marsal is in a stable condition now but is under strict orders to take it very easy for a month so that the kidney does not start to bleed again. She will continue with her course but will have to opt out of the practical exercises.

Giro presentation next January

The presentation of next year's Giro d'Italia will most likely take place in the third week of January, 2005, according to organisers RCS Sport.

González and Escobar to Illes Balears

Jonathan González (Paternina) and track specialist Sergi Escobar will ride for Illes Balears next season, the team confirmed. González, from Lemona (Vizcaya), will turn 24 next February and has already notched up a couple of professional victories. This year he won stages in the Vuelta a la Rioja and Vuelta a Asturias, also taking out the mountains classification in Asturias. Escobar, from Lleida, is 30 years old and is the current World Champion and Olympic bronze medalist in the individual pursuit. He has been riding as an amateur with Excellent-FC Barcelona up until now.

Both riders have signed contracts for one year.

Madsen stays

Danish rider Jens Erik Madsen will stay with Glud & Marstrand Horsens in 2005, the team announced.

Flynn to New Zealand

Ex-Australian High Performance Manager Michael Flynn will accept a new job in a similar role with the New Zealand cycling federation, BikeNZ. Flynn spent the past eight years working as High Performance Manager with Cycling Australia and has been acknowledged by those within the sport as playing an important role in the team's success at the world level, particularly in track cycling.

BikeNZ's high performance program will integrate road and track cycling, BMX and mountain biking. Flynn will be responsible for the building a high performance structure across all of BikeNZ's member organisations, with major goals being the 2006 Commonwealth Games and 2008 Beijing Olympics.

"This is a very exciting opportunity that I've been fortunate to secure and I look forward to being part of the BikeNZ team", said Flynn. "2004 has clearly been a successful year for cycling in New Zealand, and it is now my mission to work with the coaches, management personnel and riders to ensure that we build on these results."

Flynn will start his new job on Wednesday, January 5, 2005.

East Coast 'cross rankings

The cooperation between the Verge sponsored New England and Mid-Atlantic cyclo-cross series in the USA has led to the creation of the East Coast 'Cross Ranking, which is comprised of every east coast cyclo-cross event in the US. The system mirrors the UCI points scale for Elite/U23 Men and Elite Women, while the Masters and Juniors follow the women's points scale.

Currently, the consistent Mark McCormack (Clif Bar-Colavita) holds a comfortable lead over Todd Wells (GT-Hyundai) and Ryan Trebon (Kona) going into the final weekend. In a race that will go down to the wire, Jesse Anthony ( has a very slight lead over his season-long rival Matt White ( in the under-23 standings.

On the women's side, Mary McConneloug (Seven) has a 16 point lead over Anna Milkowski (Rona), and with Barbara Howe (VeloBella) and Anne Knapp (Kona) not expected to be in attendance in the final weekend, it's a two-woman race for the top spot, with Mo Bruno-Roy ( hoping to leapfrog into third.

Going into the Gearworks Bay State Cyclo-Cross in Massachusetts last weekend, California's Rich Maile (Art by Opsal) was leading the masters category. But with Corner Cycle's Jonny Bold's second place to the Mid-Atlantic's Greg Ferguson (Fort-GPOA), Bold picked up enough points to move into the lead.

The junior's race is another national affair, although Verge New England Series and USGP Series leader Charles "Toby" Marzot (Corner Cycle) is also leading the East Coast 'Cross standings, with a large gap over Redline's Adam McGrath from Colorado.

There are two events remaining on the East Coast 'Cross calendar, with the Verge New England series finals on Saturday in S. Kingston, RI, and the Verge Mid-Atlantic series finals on Sunday in Reston, VA.

More information:

Melbourne Cup on Wheels this Saturday

The 56th Melbourne Cup on Wheels will be run once again at Vodafone Arena in Richmond this Saturday night, December 4. The event is being staged in conjunction with the Oceania Track Cycling Championships, and will feature the best cyclists from Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Tahiti and Fiji. Shane Kelly, Sean Eadie, Ben Kersten, Daniel Thorsen, Liz Williams and Joanne Kiesanowski have all been confirmed as starters.

The program will include the Oceania Championships in the Men's keirin, the Women's sprint, the Junior Men's scratch race and the Women's individual pursuit. The feature event of the night will be the Melbourne Cup on Wheels, a handicapped wheelrace run over eight laps (2000m) of the 250m board track at Vodafone Arena. Over 100 riders are entered in this event, and 15 finalists will be selected from five heats.

The Melbourne Cup on Wheels is the first race of the four round International Track Cycling Series being promoted by Cyclists International.

Australian team wanted for Vuelta del Sur

The organisers of the Vuelta del Sur in Chile are looking for an Australian team to take part in the race, which runs between February 5-13, 2005. The organisation will provide transport within Chile, team cars and hotels. Any team/manager interested can contact Robinson Nuñez at

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