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News for February 11, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

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Mercatone Uno presentation

Click for larger image
Marco Pantani
Photo: © Bettini

Marco Pantani's revamped Mercatone Uno squad was presented on Saturday. The team has kept its sponsor and core riders, but the management has changed with Giuseppe Martinelli's departure and Massimo Podenzana's arrival as directeur sportif. In total, nine riders left after 2001 and eight transferred from other teams in 2002.

Pantani is hoping that things will change for the better as a result. Last year, the team languished at the bottom of the team rankings for most of the year, with Pantani's UCI ranking almost vanishing completely. This year, he will aim to reach his highest possible level, and believes that he could be competitive in the Tour de France (if invited) and the Giro d'Italia.

There still seems to be rivalry between Pantani and Lance Armstrong, as Pantani commented at the team launch: "Armstrong is a phenomenon of cycling but he does not respect his adversaries, therefore I say that he is a great cyclist but not a great champion. I have known him for a while. I admired him a lot before his disease, but less since then."

"I already beat him, and I believe I can do so again. I would like to see a battle between Armstrong and Pantani at his best level," added Marco in the third person. "My objective is to be competitive again, to do my job without thinking of other things."

The team will ride Milan San Remo in March, as well as the early season northern classics. As preparation, Mercatone Uno will race in Spain in the Vuelta Andalucia (February 17-21), Trofeo Luis Puig (February 24), Vuelta Valenciana (February 26-March 2), Clasica Almeria (March 3) and Vuelta a Murcia (March 6-10).

Click here for the full team roster

These images from the launch by Fotoreporter Sirotti

More pics. by Bettini Photo

Cipollini to debut in Tour of the Med

Mario Cipollini will make his 2002 season debut in the Tour Mediterranean, February 13-17. It will be his first time in the Acqua e Sapone team strip, which has attracted a good deal of attention this season. Cipollini's preparation has been hampered by a bout of the 'flu, but he has recovered from it and hopes to be competitive in France starting on Wednesday.

He will be riding with Giovanni Lombardi, the ex-Telekom rider who was hired as a lead out man for the Lion King. In addition, Cipollini's lieutenant Mario Scirea, Gabriel Colombo, Guido Trenti, Christian Gasperoni and neo-pro Martin Derganc will ride for Acqua e Sapone in the Tour of the Med.
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Final sprint
Photo ©: Yuzuru Sunada

Langkawi: Brown grabs his second; overall honours to Munoz

By Tommy Campbell in Kuala Lumpur

The final criterium in Kuala Lumpur ended in a bunch sprint, with Australian Graeme Brown (Panaria) taking his second stage win of the tour in front of Daniele Galli (Index-Alexia) and the irrepressible Robert Hunter (Mapei).

Click here for the full results and report

More Langkawi news; Team Telekom Malysia profile

Tour de Langkawi news from stage 9 includes Robert Hunter's acceptance of defeat to Hernan Dario Munoz, the first mountain top hotel finish, David McQuaid on tour, Cultural highlights at the start and finish of each stage, the weather and media support.

The multi-cultural Team Telekom Malaysia is also profiled, courtesy of Steve Thomas.

Besseges: Kirsipuu gets another; McEwen wins overall

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Robbie McEwen
Photo ©: AFP

Jaan Kirsipuu (Ag2r) notched up his second sprint win in two days at the Etoile de Besseges, winning the final 150 km stage from Sauve to Bessčges. He beat, also for the second time in two days, Australian champion Robbie McEwen (Lotto-Adecco), who therefore earned enough bonus seconds to win the overall classification from Andrea Ferrigato.

Click here for the full results and report

Algarve: Zülle gives Coast the double

Swiss rider Alex Zülle has continued Team Coast's good run this season with a victory in the second stage of the Volta ao Algarve. After teammate Torsten Wilhelms won the first stage yesterday, Zülle was the best of the climbers in today's category 2 mountain finish in Foia. He finished 22 seconds clear of Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel), with Rui Miguel Sousa (Milaneza-MSS) taking third spot. Zülle is now the overall leader of the five day race.

Click here for the full results

Superprestige: Richard Groenendaal wins again in Harnes

A sick Sven Nijs loses SP lead to Vervecken

Richard Groenendaal (Rabobank) has for the fifth time won the Superprestige race held in Harnes, northern France. The vastly experienced Dutchman beat Erwin Vervecken (Spaar Select) and Sven Vanthourenhout (Domo-Farm Frites) by over half a minute. Vervecken became the new overall leader in the Superprestige series with one race to go, after Sven Nijs only managed to finish 15th, suffering from sickness.

Click here for the full results and report

Six Hours of Euskadi: McGrory/Gilmore get another

Australian Scott McGrory and Belgian-Australian Matthew Gilmore capped off a good week with a win in the Six Hours of Euskadi, held on the Velódromo de Anoeta on Saturday. McGrory and Gilmore finished with the most points, on the same lap as Etienne De Wilde/Andreas Kappes and Juan and Gabriel Curuchet. McGrory/Gilmore also won the Six Days of Copenhagen last week and were the most successful madison pairing for the 2001/2002 six day season.

An omnium time trial was also held on the same day, with various top line Spanish road cyclists competing. The winner was Joseba Beloki, who beat Roberto Laiseka by 5 seconds, with Unai Osa and Oscar Sevilla a little further behind.

Schroeder Iron Pro Cycling Team

The 2002 road season will see a new sponsor enter the US pro peloton supporting a UCI registered Division III team. In 2001 the Net Zero team arrived on the scene, only to loose their sponsorship by the end of the year amid the dot.com meltdown. The majority of the riders from that Net Zero squad will make up the core of the newly formed Schroeder Iron team, and will be joined by a number of neo-pros from last season's very strong Schroeder Iron/InCycle amateur group. The team will be competing in a large number of the NRC events, as well as traveling to both the US Pro Road Race in Philly, and the Pro Criterium Championships in Downers Grove, IL.

The Schroeder Iron team will be led by veteran racer, Jamie Paolinetti, who will serve as rider/director of the newly formed squad. The Net Zero team of 2001 racked up over 40 victories, and Paolinetti hopes Schroeder Iron can continue that momentum right into the new year. The team will be focusing on criteriums and single day events, although team goals include a good showing at the up-coming Redlands Classic, which takes place right in their backyard.

Frank Schroeder, the team's owner, plans to build the program into a powerful domestic force over the next few years, as well as providing a vehicle for young riders to develop their potential by getting a shot to race alongside the big boys of the domestic scene.

Team roster


Victor Ayala
Ryan Barrett
Jason Bausch
Ryan Cady
Ronny Chalk
Hilton Clarke
Michael Johnson
Pete Knudsen
Chris Lucas
Richard Lund
Jamie Paolinetti
Jared Shimizu
Ken Toman


Dennis Livesay
Larry Stinzel
Sean Watkins

Team Staff

Frank Schroeder - Team Manager
Dennis Livesay - Assistant Manager
Jamie Paolinetti - Sport Director
Website: www.schroederironprocycling.com


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