News for November 16, 2002
Edited by Chris Henry & Jeff Jones
No hour for Nuttli
Jean Nuttli of Switzerland aborted his attempt to break Chris Boardman's world hour record at the first day of the Open des Nations in Bordeaux, France. Nuttli hopes to make another attempt on Saturday, following Friday's disappointing debut. The Swiss rider stopped his effort after 21 minutes and 17 kilometers, using a gear of 57x15. "Jean wasn't at his top speed, and didn't have the power that he had (Thursday) in training," commented Nuttli's directeur sportif Jean-Jacques Loup.
"However, he is sufficiently aware of his possibilities that he'll try again (Saturday) at the same time," Loup continued. The record to beat remains Boardman's mark of 49.441km set in Manchester in October, 2000.
Images by Yuzuru Sunada/www.yuzurusunada.com
Spanish rider battles testicular cancer
The Spanish Elite rider Markel Irizar, a time trial specialist (currently U23 champion of Gipuzkoa) is fighting against testicular cancer. The cancer was detected at the end of the 2002 season. The rider has already undergone surgery and is now having thrice weekly radiotherapy sessions. Dr. Ander Astobieta, who operated on him and is following his recovery progress, said that the early detection of the cancer raises the chances of full recovery.
Encouraged by Lance Armstrong's example of absolute determination in the fight against such a terrible disease, and his amazing will to surpass himself, Irizar is willing to return to riding in the 2004 season. The rider from the Olarra team knows that 2003 will be a hard year to get through, but it can eventually change his life - for the better.
Good luck Markel.
Courtesy of João Cravo
Three await Lotto-Domo fate
The newly merged Lotto-Domo team has yet to decide the fate of three professionals, having signed only 19 of its 22 planned riders. According to Het Laatste Nieuws, Serge Baguet, Christophe Brandt and Gert Steegmans are still without a contract, pending Lotto-Domo's search for additional sponsorship. Noël De Meulenaere has nonetheless indicated that negotiations with ABX for continued sponsorship remain open.
Van Bondt stays with CSC
Belgian classics rider Geert Van Bondt has re-signed with Team CSC for 2003. A close friend and former lieutenant of Peter Van Petegem at Farm Frites and Mercury, Van Bondt now forms part of a growing classics contingent at CSC. "Van Bondt was ill during the spring and therefore he was unable to demonstrate his potential during the classics season," said CSC's Alex Pedersen. "However, he was able to make a strong comeback in the autumn with a strong performance that brought him several good results including a stage win in the Rheinlandpfalz Rundfahrt."
Van Bondt represents the team's 18th confirmed rider. "With the addition of Andrea Tafi to our team," added Pedersen, "we now have a strong contender for the classics, and for that reason, we have chosen to keep Geert Van Bondt."
Baranowski to CCC-Polsat
Darius Baranowski (iBanesto.com) has signed a contract with the Polish CCC-Polsat team for 2003, confirmed by his manager Andrzej Sypytkowski.
De Clercq keeps options open
Cyclo-cross star Mario De Clercq has a contract with his Palmans-Collstrop team through 2004, however he is keeping his options open, according to Belgian television. Should he decide to retire prior to 2004, a clause in his contract would permit him to make that decision and carry on with the team in another capacity, most likely as a directeur sportif.
Jonker signs for Van Hemert Groep
Australian rider Patrick Jonker (BigMat) has signed a contract for one year with the Dutch Van Hemert Groep Cycling Team. He is the 13th rider to join the team managed by Arthur van Dongen, and with his signature the team is complete for 2003.
2003 Vuelta presentation
The route of the 2003 Vuelta a España will be presented on December 17 in Madrid. As previously reported, the race will continue without the maverick 'two peloton' plan originally proposed by the race organization. "The teams have not shown much interest, and without their collaboration we cannot proceed with the plan," commented Víctor Cordero, sports director for the Vuelta. "The objective was simply to modernize the sport a little, but it's been demonstrated once again that this is a very conservative sport." The presentation for the 2003 event will take place in the Recinto Ferial Juan Carlos I in Madrid.
Single day race at l'Angliru?
By João Cravo
Is the Angliru the Mount Olympus of cycling, a place that must be forbidden to mere mortals (and therefore most pro riders)? Some people answer yes, others answer no. To climb or not to climb the Angliru, that's a question that divides riders, team managers, journalists and other people linked to professional cycling.
A former super champion such as Miguel Indurain, a man who feared no mountain, says that the Angliru is inhuman and should be banned from the cycling calendar. Others like Roberto Heras may think the same, but he still attacks the 12.9 km long, 1600 m high monster that has a maximum gradient of 23.6% with an average gradient of 9.6%, with everything he's got.
Spectators, sponsors, TV channels and a few riders answer no to the question but say yes to the Angliru. The organisation of the Vuelta also think that the Angliru is too hard to be climbed, and has decided to keep it out of the race until at least 2004.
José Antonio Muņiz, mayor of the Asturian town of Riosa, thinks otherwise. Muņiz is trying to create a future classic of the international cycling calendar - the Ascent of the Angliru. The local government of Asturias is backing the idea and that could be enough to bring it to fruition. José Antonio Muņiz believes that the race would easily find partners and sponsors.
"The Vuelta will not return to the Angliru until 2005, and until then I'll try to keep our mountain's presence in cycling, where it has a reputation already," said Muñiz. "The Angliru sells itself. It is pure caviar for cycling. We will begin little by little, but the idea is to bring the best climbers world-wide every year in order to turn the race into an unofficial world championship of climbing."
The project will be an important point of debate in third "Jornadas de Ciclismo y Desarrollo" (Days of Cycling and Development), to be held next week in Riosa. The first edition of the race could not take place until 2004, because the 2003 calendar is already filled. Until then, Muņiz must find the best hole in the calendar in order to gather the maximum number of top climbers, and convince UCI to put the Angliru race on its calendar.
We must remember that some years ago the government of Asturias had asked the UCI to include a similar event on the World Cup and that demand was denied allegedly by lack of free dates.
Too hard or too good, the Angliru is an unforgettable climb.
Asturias hopes for better field
The Vuelta a Asturias (May, 13-17) was promoted by UCI from a 2.3 to a 2.2 race. The promotion means that the race gives more 70% UCI points than the previous editions. Because teams need points to obtain direct access to the Tour and World Cup races, the organisation is hoping that the 2003 edition will present the best start list of all times. With that in mind, the organisers have already made preliminary contacts with US Postal Service (Armstrong, Heras) and Telekom (Savoldelli, Evans, Vinokourov and possibly Botero).
Accolades for Ljungskog
Susanne Ljungskog of Sweden, crowned World Road Champion in Zolder last month, has been nominated for two awards in the Swedish Athletic gala, to be held January 20, 2003. Ljungskog received nominations for best female athlete and the best performance of the year. She is also among eight nominated for the most prestigous award in Swedish sports, the "svenska dagbladets bragdmedalj," which honors the athlete who has achieved the greatest sporting exploit of the year. That award will be announced on December 3.
British Cycling begins Project China
British Cycling is embarking upon its new "Project China," a review of cycling competition structure throughout the UK with an eye on grass-roots development through to elite level racing. Project China is aims to ensure that the structure of cycling in the UK is able to create a base of competition by the Beijing (China) Olympics of 2008, which will guarantee that Great Britain is the number one cycling nation in the world by 2012, a consistent long-term goal of the organisation. The revised structure will be expected to make cycling Britain's fastest growing competitive sport by 2006. Former national track manager Heiko Salzwedel will be working with the project team and will study the best practices of other countries, particularly France, Germany, Belgium, and Australia.
Irish cyclo-cross league round 5 cancelled
By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent
The penultimate event in the cyclo-cross league at Stormont in Belfast today has been cancelled because of adverse weather conditions that have been prevalent in the last few days.
Anthony Rappo Memorial Race
The Anthony Rappo Memorial Race is on again in Sydney this Sunday, 17 November. Kicking off with the E Grade race at 8.30am, the racing will conclude at approximately midday following A Grade. The venue is Marconi's summer criterium course at Britton St, Smithfield. The entry fee is $10 and entries will be taken on the line with no late entry fee. $3.00 of each race entry goes to the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute.
Britton St, (Off Long St.) Smithfield
Sign on from 8:00am (At least 15 minutes prior to Start Times)
Entry Fee: $10.00 (Information: Greg Deale: Tel: 02 9757 4000 B, Mob.0414 694141)
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2002)