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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

News for December 2, 2002

Edited by John Stevenson

Boonen joins Quick.Step - Davitamon

The transfer of Belgian Next Big Thing Tom Boonen from US Postal to Quick.Step - Davitamon was confirmed yesterday by Boonen's new team.

An agreement was reached Saturday between Boonen's representatives, the SEM Agency, and US Postal team manager Mark Gorski, allowing Boonen to leave his two-year contract with US Postal.

"We are very happy to have him in Quick.Step," said the team's directeur sportif Patrick Lefevre. "He has lots of potential but has already achieved a great deal."

Boonen's arrival brings the new squad to its full roster of 25 riders.

More Giro route reactions

Members of the Italian and European peloton have generally reacted favourably to the route of the 2003 Giro d'Italia, announced on Saturday.

Mario Cipollini told the Reuters news agency, "I think it'll be a really good race. I like it because there are lots of stages which suit me and could end in a sprint but there's something for everybody."

2002 winner Paolo Savoldelli thinks the last week would be the vital one, saying, "It's a very fine Giro, open to everyone. The final week will be decisive and the time trial to Milan on the last day of the race will be full of suspense right to the end."

" I already know some of the climbs after riding six Giros. The Fauniera is hard. That's one for the pure climbers. The Giro is an important objective for Telekom and I hope there will be a place there for me. The team is still deciding, but I do not have official confirmation yet."

Danilo Di Luca was also impressed. "The first week is suited to a rider like me, with three mountain finishes at Terme Luigiane, Vibo Valentia and Faenza. I will be looking for a stage victory, but I will also be helping Simoni," he said.

Stefano Garzelli thinks this will be a tough race. "It seems to me that is a hard Giro with lots of new, unknown climbs. It's one for strong climbers, but also for riders who are good against the clock. I don't know how I will go, but the important thing will be to come to the start in good form," he said.

Ivan Gotti is another climber who is happy with the route. "It appeals a lot to me, with the various mountain finishes. It reminds me of the '97 and '99 Giros."

Stam abandons due to cold

Danny Stam abandoned his attempt on the Dutch derny hour record on Sunday. Stam stopped after just 14 minutes because the velodrome in Amsterdam was too cold. "I hope to do this again but than in better circumstances," he said.

Perez Cuapio to ride Tour Down Under

Panaria-Fiordo and UniSA line-ups announced

Mexico's Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio (Panaria-Fiordo) will head to Adelaide in January to ride the year's first significant stage race, the Tour Down Under. Joining him will be Australian team pursuit stars, Graeme Brown and Brett Lancaster.

Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio rocketed to prominence this year when he won stages 13 and 16 of the Giro d'Italia, finishing 19th overall. In 2001 he also won stage 13 of the Giro despite losing two teeth in a crash earlier in the race.

His team-mate Graeme Brown was one of the revelations of the 2002 Giro, going shoulder to shoulder against sprinters Mario Cipollini and Robbie McEwen and placing second in the first stage. Later in the year he was a member of the Australian team that set a team pursuit world record when the Australians won gold at the Manchester Commonwealth Games, and he took home an individual gold in the scratch race. He last raced the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under in 2001 when he took out the opening stage.

Brett Lancaster, 23, also lined up for gold in the teams pursuit at the World Championships and joins the Italian line up after a year with the Australian iteamNova.com team.

Also in the Panaria-Fiordo starting list is Italian Paolo Lanfranchi a two time winner of the Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia (1999 & 2001). In 2000 Lanfranchi won the 19th stage of the Giro d'Italia and finished 12th overall.

The UniSA team has also been confirmed with World and Commonwealth Games champion, Luke Roberts, heading back on the road. Roberts boasts the unique distinction of being the current world record holder in both the senior and junior 4km teams pursuit. The all South Australian team also boasts Olympic Madison gold medallist, Brett Aitken and Patrick Jonker who earlier this year finished third overall in the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under.

Team rosters

Panaria-Fiordo

Graeme Brown (Aus)
Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio (Mex)
Brett Lancaster (Aus)
Filippo Perfetto (Ita)
Scott Davis (Aus)
Sergey Matveyev (Ukr)
Ruben Bongiorno (Arg)
Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita)

UniSA

Patrick Jonker (Aus /Ned)
Brett Aitken (Aus)
Jay Sweet (Aus)
Luke Roberts (Aus)
Gene Bates (Aus)
Russell Van Hout (Aus)
Steve Cunningham (Aus)
Adrian Laidler (Aus)

Jean Delatour rides out

The Jean Delatour team will start its first training camp today until December 7 in the Isle d'Abeau in the Lyons area, according to the newspaper l'Equipe.

It will be the first opportunity for the team's new recruits to meet and ride with their team-mates. Joing Jean Delatour for 2003 are Sébastien Joly (Bonjour), Ludovic Martin (Crédit Agricole), Jean-Patrick Nazon (fdjeux.com) plus new pros Mickaël Buffaz (VC Lyon Vaulx-en-Velin) and David Lefèvre. Swiss recruit Pierre Bourquenoud (Oktos) will sign for the team at the camp.

As well as four major training rides, the team will take part in a telethon to raise money for the AFM (Association française contre les myopathies). About thirty riders on tandems, including several victims of the myopathy group of genetic disorders will ride the 251km between Thel and Aiton, taking about 22 hours.

Jean Delatour 2003

Jérôme Bernard (Fra)
Gilles Bouvard (Fra)
Mickaël Buffaz (Fra)
Samuel Dumoulin (Fra)
Christophe Edaleine (Fra)
Frédéric Finot (Fra)
Stéphane Goubert (Fra)
Patrice Halgand (Fra)
Sébastien Joly (Fra)
Christophe Laurent (Fra)
David Lefèvre (Fra)
Laurent Lefèvre (Fra)
Ludovic Martin (Fra)
Jean-Patrick Nazon (Fra)
Eddy Seigneur (Fra)
Bruno Thibout (Fra)
Pierre Bourquenoud (Swi)
Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr)

Meet McEwen at Surfers

Tour de France green jersey winner Robbie McEwen will be one of the star's of this weekend's inaugural South East Queensland International Criterium at Surfers Paradise on Sunday December 8, and the day before riders and spectators will have a chance to meet and ride with McEwen and another Tour star, Marcel Wust.

On Saturday December 7, Wust will lead a group ride from South Bank to Surfers Paradise, followed by breakfast at selected Cafes in Surfers Paradise. After the ride Robbie McEwen will be available for autograph signing and a quick chat. Also joining Robbie will be Henk Vogels, winner of the 2002 USA Pro Cycling Tour at the Piazza on the Boulevard, Charlies Café from 11am.

The next day, McEwen will be the favourite for the race around the tight and technical circuit which encompasses Cavill, Elkorn and Orchid Avenues then finishing along The Esplanade.

Alongside McEwen will be young gun Baden Cooke (La Francaise des Jeux). The 24-year-old also made his mark in this year's Tour sprints and McEwen will have to contend with him at Surfers.

"I'm really looking forward to this event, I've been back in hard training now for three weeks and it will be good to have a hit out especially on my home turf," said McEwen.

Also snapping at their heels will be Olympic cyclist and Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Bradley McGee (Francaise des Jeux), McEwen's new teammate Nick Gates (Lotto Domo), and US Postal's Matt White.

(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2002)