|Tech Features Road MTB Cyclocross Track News Photos Feedback|
Edited by Jeff Jones
Jan Ullrich has been forced to stop training for a short time after experiencing knee problems. He was having trouble when overloading his right knee, and had to return home early from his training camp in South Africa for a bio mechanical examination at the University of Freiburg.
Team Telekom doctor Lothar Heinrich and professor Andreas Schmid believe that there is no serious damage, and Ullrich is unsure as to why it happened. "Perhaps I overdid it with strength training on the leg press or something," he said on his homepage, www.janullrich.de. "It is a shame, because I am highly motivated and of course it is twice as hard if you are pulled out of training in this way."
"On the other hand, I have already worked so much that I can afford to shift down a gear, without much damage. I'll take it a little bit easier this week and probably fly back to Cape Town this Friday."
Italian cyclist Gianluca Bortolami has been called in to testify in the ongoing lawsuit against Dr Michele Ferrari in Bologna. He will be questioned on Tuesday, February 12, about the discovery of EPO vials in his fridge during a search of his premises in 1999. Bortolami claims that they were given to him by former Festina soigneur Willy Voet before the infamous 1998 Tour de France, but he never had occasion to use them.
The public prosecutor in Bologna is trying to prove that an asterisk on Bortolami's health records found in the possession of Dr. Ferrari was a code for an injection of EPO. Ferrari is under suspicion of administering doping products to a large number of high level athletes, including cyclists.
By Jeff Jones
The Union Cycliste Internationale has released its first set of road rankings for 2002. The same system has been kept from last year, with riders retaining all of their points from the previous 12 months. As the year goes on, these points are gradually lost, although they can of course be gained by placing well in races. The UCI category system, which rates events from GT (Grand Tour = 500 points for a win) to 2.3 (Mid-level stage race = 100 points for a win) down to 1.6 (Elite/U23 one day race = no points for a win), determines how many points will be gained.
Therefore, the rankings from the end of the season last year have not changed much, with Erik Zabel (Telekom) still the king of the hill with an impressive 2341 points. He leads Erik Dekker (Rabobank) who is on 2086 points, followed by Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) on 1977 points. After racing in Qatar, Jan Ullrich has slipped ahead of Gilberto Simoni for the 5th ranking, just behind Lance Armstrong (USPS) who has yet to commence his racing season.
The UCI has an alternative scoring system, based on the number of points earned during the season. This is a cumulative total rather than a progressive total. The most successful rider so far this year has been Robbie McEwen (Lotto-Adecco), who won the Australian road title (60 pts - nation's ranking from last year is used), four stages in the Tour Down Under and one day in the leader's jersey (4x15 + 5 = 65 pts), one stage, the overall GC and two days in the leader's jersey in the Etoile de Bessèges (15 + 100 + 10 = 125 pts) for a grand total of 250 points. Second placed Robert Hunter earned his 160 points in Malaysia (8 days in the lead, second overall and three stage wins), while Tour of Qatar winner Thorsten Wilhelms also won a stage in the Volta ao Algarve, giving him 160 points this season.
As was the case last year, the teams rankings are determined from the start of the year. Therefore, Mapei-Quick Step has got the jump on everyone else with wins in several continents so far in 2002. They have 663 points and lead Lotto-Adecco on 307 points and BigMat on 226 points. In division II, Team fakta is also off to a flying start with 227 points, ahead of Landbouwkrediet-Colnago (159 points) and Colombia-Selle Italia (150 points).
Individuals 1 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom 2,341 pts 2 Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank 2,086 3 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner 1,977 4 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service 1,713 5 Jan Ullrich (Ger) Team Telekom 1,705 6 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 1,704 7 Oscar Sevilla Ribera (Spa) Kelme 1,493 8 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank 1,482 9 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 1,444 10 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 1,416 11 Romans Vainsteins (Lat) Domo-Farm Frites 1,262 12 Dario Frigo (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola 1,251 13 Joseba Beloki Dorronsoro (Spa) ONCE-Eroski 1,160 14 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Ag2R Prevoyance 1,114 15 Nico Mattan (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone 1,080 16 Jens Voigt (Ger) Credit Agricole 1,078 17 David Millar (GBr) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone 1,057 18 Laurent Jalabert (Fra) Team CSC Tiscali 995 19 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Rabobank 972 20 Beat Zberg (Swi) Rabobank 957 Points earned in 2002 1 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Adecco 250 pts 2 Robert Hunter (RSA) Mapei-Quick Step 160 2 Thorsten Wilhelms (Ger) Team Coast 160 4 Michael Rogers (Aus) Mapei Espoirs 138 5 Hernan Dario Muñoz (Col) Colombia-Selle Italia 131 6 Andrea Ferrigato (Ita) Alessio 127 7 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Mapei-Quick Step 120 8 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Ag2R Prevoyance 111 8 Isaac Galvez Lopez (Spa) Kelme 111 8 Rudi Kemna (Ned) Bankgiroloterij-Batavus 111 11 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom 96 Teams Division I 1 Mapei-Quick Step 663 pts 2 Lotto-Adecco 307 3 Bigmat.Auber 93 226 4 Kelme 222 5 Team Coast 218 6 Bonjour 176 7 Ag2R Prevoyance 160 8 Credit Agricole 152 9 Team Telekom 149 10 Rabobank 129 Division II 1 Team fakta 227 pts 2 Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 159 3 Colombia-Selle Italia 150 4 Bankgiroloterij-Batavus 144 5 Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo 111 Top 200 rankings
Portuguese rider Candido Barbosa (LA Pecol) has taken the first stage win for the home country in this Volta ao Algarve. Barbosa crossed the line in Albufeira in front of Spaniards Ruben Galvan (Asc-Vila Do Conde) and Angel Vicioso (Kelme-Costa Blanca) in a 50 man plus bunch sprint. Swiss rider Alex Zülle (Team Coast) finished in the lead group, and still leads the race just 9 seconds in front of Barbosa.
Click here for the full results
The Tour Méditerranéen will start on Wednesday, February 13 with a demanding team time trial from Salon de Provence to Berre l'Etang (36 km). It finishes the following Sunday, February 17 with a 120 km stage from Rousset to Marseille.
The eight man Lampre-Daikin squad to compete in the Tour Méditerranéen has been named. Raimondas Rumsas and Milan Kadlec will make their debuts with the team, as well as neo-professional Manuel Quinziato. Raivis Belohvosciks, Mariano Piccoli, Marco Serpellini, Zbigniew Spruch and Jan Svorada round out the team, which will be directed by Pietro Algeri.
"I like very much the finish on Mont Faron, and the win in the Tour Méditerranéen is my first season goal," said Rumsas. "I have worked hard, with training not scheduled in the programme: the 175 kilometre distance between the hotel of the training camp, in Donoratico, and my home, in Marlia di Lucca".
Elia Aggiano, Laszlo Bodrogi, Fabien De Waele, Pedro Horrillo Muñoz, Kevin Hulsmans, Daniele Nardello, Luca Paolini, Tom Steels
Fabio Baldato, Michele Bartoli, Serguei Gontchar, Nicola Loda, Alessandro Petacchi, Roberto Petito, Paolo Tiralongo, Marco Zanotti
The race is now over and the various teams can go home with their various amounts of prize money. As expected, Mapei-Quick Step and Colombia-Selle Italia finished with the mostest.
Click here for the full breakdown.
Also in news is Tommy Campbell's TDL race recap, a show of appreciation from the South Africans, and an insight into the hard working medical staff who helped keep the riders, officials and media in good shape during the last two weeks.
Click here for the news
By Jonathan Devich
Aaaaahh, on the road again. As the season gets closer I can see my time at the local coffee shop starting to dwindle. This past week was a warm-up for things to come as I loaded the truck and headed for Solvang CA, location of the Saturn Cycling Team's spring training camp.
Click here for the full report
By Shane Stokes, Irish Times cycling correspondent
While it has been functioning as Cycling Ireland for a number of weeks, the Irish Cycling Federation was today (Monday) officially relaunched under its new title at a reception in Dublin. In attendance were former champions Sean Kelly and Stephen Roche, plus An Tanaíste Mary Harney and John Treacy of the Irish Sports Council.
Besides the introduction of a more user-friendly and modern name, there are several reasons for today"s relaunch. The body is considerably different to that of one year ago, with a new president, CEO, development officer, a restructured board and various commissions all in place. The aims of the governing body have also become broader, with leisure and commuter cycling now an increasing part of its focus.
In addition to the continued development of its Team Ireland initiative, enhancement of the competitive wing of the sport and a bigger recruitment drive to attract new members, Cycling Ireland outlined several other projects which it will devote its energies to. These include:
- The Pedal for Points Membership Scheme, which was launched today, and which will allow all Cycling Ireland members to avail of discounts from a number of goods and services, ranging from cheaper insurance to reductions on bicycle equipment. There will also be holiday giveaways during the year under the scheme. Besides benefits to existing members, CI hopes it will also entice recreational cyclists to join the federation.
- The introduction of a National Bike week, starting on September 1st and culminating with "Bike to Work Day" five days later.
- An intention to campaign for cycling rights and to encourage more people to use bicycles for commuting and leisure activities.
Speaking at the reception, the Tanaíste Mary Harney spoke highly of the changes in the governing body. "The launch today of Cycling Ireland is a benchmark for a new era in Irish Sport. The imaginative strategies that have been put in place will inevitably allow the sport to prosper over the coming years both competitively and recreationally. I am delighted that their programme has been extended to develop recreational sport - leisure and commuter cycling are so important to the future of this country. A healthier lifestyle and safer accessible cycling routes are also paramount. The National Bike Week is an excellent vehicle to promote this and has the full support from everyone in Government."
Cycling Ireland president PJ Nolan was quick to applaud this assistance. "We very much welcome the increased support from Government through An Tanaiste, Mary Harney T.D. and the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation, Dr James McDaid. I would also like to thank the Irish Sports Council for their continued support, our sponsors, members and volunteers," he said.
"This is truly the dawning of a new era for Irish cycling. The increased support and funding through the capital sports grant programme has seen funding rise substantially by 61% in a two-year period from 2000 to 2002. Our future plans could not be implemented without this vital support".
Cycling Ireland"s strategy document will act as the blueprint for the future direction of the governing body, and according to CEO Eamon Duffy, its continued implementation is of vital importance for the future of the sport in this country. "We are very excited about the new look and structure of Cycling Ireland. The implementation of our plan will make the resurgence in our sport progressive and sustainable", he concluded.