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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for October 15, 2004

Edited by Jeff Jones and Hedwig Kröner

UCI/ASO issue Pro Tour statement

In the ongoing disagreement about the UCI's Pro Tour cycling reforms of 2005, the UCI and the Tour de France organiser ASO have respectively issued a press release which confirms that UCI President Hein Verbruggen and the President of the Professional Cycling Council Vittorio Adorni met today with the organisers of the three major tours. The statement reported that each party exposed its respective positions and agreed to carry on a constructive dialogue in order to succeed in an acceptable agreement for all.

While this information seems to be a step towards a compromise between the International Cycling Union and the Grand Tour organisers - especially the French ASO, owner of a several other races and instigator of the current dispute - it appears that the solution is still not close to being finalised.

Team selections for Lombardia

Lampre, Cofidis and Landbouwkrediet-Colnago all announced their selected riders for the upcoming Giro di Lombardia, the last World Cup race on Saturday October 16. The team rosters are:

Lampre: Igor Astarloa, Sergio Barbero, GianLuca Bortolami, Manuel Garate, Manuel Quinziato, Daniele Righi, Michele Scotto d'Abusco, Patxi Vila.

Cofidis: Frédéric Bessy, Christophe Edaleine, Peter Farazijn, Bingen Fernandez, Dmitriy Fofonov, Guido Trentin, Cédric Vasseur.

Landbouwkrediet-Colnago; Yaroslav Popovych, Maxime Monfort, Volodomir Duma, Cristian Gasperoni, Santo Anza, Sergiy Avdyeyev, Ruslan Gryshenko, Lorenzo Bernucci. Reserves: Mikhail Timochine and Yuri Metlushenko. N.B. Nico Sijmens had hoped to start but is still suffering hip pain from his crash in the first stage of the Circuit Franco-Belge.

Hondo out of Piemonte

Gerolsteiner sprinter Danilo Hondo was supposed to take the start in Italy's second of the three-race trittico d'autunno (autumn triptych) today, the Giro del Piemonte, won by Allan Davis (Liberty Seguros). But the German felt ill with some stomach problems and missed out on the race. "Danilo couldn't eat," said directeur sportif Christian Henn, adding, "He's really smashed. It's a shame, because I'm sure he would have made a difference in the result."

Instead, his lead out man René Haselbacher could sprint for himself and managed to finish seventh. "It's incredible for René to finish so well after competing at such few races after his crash," said Henn. Haselbacher had crashed during the sixth stage of this year's Tour de France in a bunch sprint in Angers after his handlebar broke. The accident had created a little controversy as Robbie McEwen was also involved.

Some World Cup victory mind games

The final act of the last World Cup as we know it will be an exhilarating one, with Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) just 13 points behind current leader Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step). Victory will be decided in the last of the ten World Cup races, the Giro di Lombardia. Bettini won the overall classification of the last World Cup there last year, although his victory was already sealed through his previous performances. Rebellin finished second in Lombardy in 2003, but the course has been changed. Not to his disadvantage, thinks Rebellin, who has studied the parcours during a training ride and said, "This is my race."

With the following points awarded for the first 25 riders, and the overall standings being so close (Bettini has 340 points, Rebellin 327), a number of results can lead to victory.

1st placing = 100 points, 2. = 70, 3. = 50, 4. = 40, 5. = 36,
6th placing = 32 points, 7. = 28, 8. = 24, 9. = 20, 10. = 16,
11th placing = 15 points, 12. = 14, 13. = 13, 14. = 12, 15. = 11,
16th placing = 10 points, 17. = 9, 18. = 8, 19. = 7,
20th placing = 6 points, 21. = 5, 22. = 4, 23. = 3, 24. = 2, 25. = 1.

For example, Rebellin wins if he wins the race or gets second and the winner is not Bettini. Rebellin has to make up 13 points against Bettini, which means that if Rebellin gets third, Bettini must at least be fourth to win the World Cup. If he gets fifth or less, Rebellin is the winner. In case of equal points, UCI rules will award the title to Davide Rebellin, because he has achieved more victories this season.

Roche makes it official

By Shane Stokes,

Nicolas Roche, the 20 year old son of the former Tour de France winner Stephen Roche, recently completed his signing of a contract for the Cofidis team for the 2005 and 2006 seasons. The young Irishman had reached a verbal agreement with the French team but didn't actually put pen to paper on the deal until after returning from the World Championships in Verona. He finished 22nd in the under 23 road race there. Roche is now taking some time off the bike to recharge his batteries before knuckling down again to training. He will meet up with his new teammates at their first pre-season camp next month.

Fellow VC La Pomme rider Philip Deignan will also be joining Roche in the paid ranks next year, after inking a two year deal with Ag2R Prevoyance this summer. Together with second-year professional Mark Scanlon, a total of three Irish riders have made the leap from La Pomme to the pro ranks.

Meanwhile the 20 year old Dubliner Tim Cassidy is expected to stay with the Marseille club next season. His signature had been wooed by French managerial legend Cyrille Guimard during the world championships in Verona, Guimard trying to get him to join his continental team for next season. However Cassidy looks set to stay put.

"Guimard really wanted me for the team but although he was offering a very good deal, I think it is best for me to remain where I am for now", he said recently. "I know the setup in Marseille, the VC La Pomme team are very good and they are really going places. I will stay with them for another year and then hopefully get a pro contract."

Cassidy finished fifteenth in the Junior World Championships in Lisbon three years ago. He struggled with knee problems during the next two seasons but this year got back on track when the symptoms disappeared. While his form has been a little inconsistent due to the lack of a good base, he has shown enough flashes of form to suggest a good year could be in store in 2005.

His namesake Mark Cassidy will also be aiming high after a good senior debut this year. The son of the double FBD Milk Rás winner Philip Cassidy ran up a fine total of race wins in Ireland this season and got some experience in racing abroad. He is also likely to compete with VC La Pomme in 2005.

Irish Women's Commission AGM this weekend

By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent

The Irish Women's Commission AGM will take place on Saturday, October 16th in the Red Cow Hotel on the Naas Road in Dublin. With the season now finally over, thoughts will turn to the year 2005. The success of the Ladies TQ International Two-Day held last month and the League events over the summer months will no doubt be a barometer for the future of the sport.

Election of representatives to the commission will also take place during the AGM. Anyone interested in women's racing, including playing an active role in women's cycling, is asked to attend. The meeting will start at 11:00 am in the 'Curragh Room'.

Contact Valerie Considine for additional information: +353 (0)86 382 5842.

London messenger wins award

The International Federation of Bike Messenger Associations (IFBMA) has awarded Buffalo Bill Chidley of London the Markus Cook Award (MCA) for service to the international messenger community. Since 1998, the IFBMA has awarded the MCA "to the person who has inspired and empowered the wider messenger community, and who puts all messengers before themselves."

"Bill's continued enthusiasm for the community is an inspiration. I'm not sure and my participation within the IFBMA would be what it is today without his encouragement and overall spirit," said council member and 2001 MCA recipient Joel Metz.

An incomplete list of his contributions to the messenger community would include organizing the Cycle Messenger World Championships (CMWC) in 1994 and the 2003 European Cycle Messenger Championships (ECMC) in London. He is one of the founders and Chair of the London Bicycle Messengers Association (LBMA) and his "Moving Target" is the world's longest running messenger zine. He's not a bad courier racer either noted by his title of Veteran's Champion at CMWC 1996 in San Francisco.

Bill was the only president of the IFBMA's predecessor, the International Federation of Cycle Messengers and Companies (IFCMC) and a driving force behind the creation and continued success of the IFBMA and its concept of grassroots organizing including the annual open forum.

After the death of London cycle courier Sebastian Lukomski this past February Bill and the LBMA have mounted a campaign to prevent similar tragedies. To date seven London bicycle messengers have been killed while working, all by heavy goods vehicles (HGV's)

The LBMA's campaign seeks to ensure that "HGV operators be persuaded that they have a duty of care towards vulnerable road users," and that HGV's be equipped with appropriate safety equipment such as near side mirrors eliminating blind spots. The LBMA calls for a ban from Central Congestion Charge Zone on all HGV's that fail to comply.

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