News for October 4, 2002
Edited by Jeff Jones
Aitor Gonzalez still respects Belda
Aitor Gonzalez is not critical of his current team director Vicente Belda, despite the latter's reported harsh words for him in post-Vuelta interviews. Gonzalez gave an interview to Marca today, in response to the Belda interview that appeared yesterday.
"I am not going to speak badly of Vicente, his results are there and speak of themselves. The real truth is that he put a lot of confidence in me, right from the beginning of the Vuelta, and I will not enter into any polemic about him. Furthermore, I believe that Vicente appreciates me as a rider."
When asked about the "undisciplined" quote from Belda, Gonzalez replied "I don't believe that Vicente said that. I think it was sensationalised and the press exaggerated it to excess."
When Marca's Josu Garai reaffirmed that Belda did in fact say that to him, Gonzalez replied that it was "taken out of context to create a bad impression. I hold Vicente in high esteem because he helped me a lot since I came to Kelme. I wasn't too rigorous at the start with my training and he straightened me out."
The (in)famous Angliru move will not die down either it seems. "I went ahead, I recognised that a thousand times and you have already echoed that sufficiently. But for that, the script that I followed was Belda's," said Gonzalez.
Belda also complained that Gonzalez didn't thank his team. "I believe that I did do that, because really I gave an exhibition. But in case there are any doubts I will do it again now, and not only to my teammates, who are the best in the world, but to all the other parts of the team: mechanics, soigneurs, doctors...And above all the patron, Pepe Quiles, who have me the opportunity to ride as a professional and I thank him for that."
According to Gonzalez there were no problems with any member of the team, including Oscar Sevilla, who he will train with in preparation for the World's. Regarding his probable departure from Kelme, Gonzalez said that he "hasn't discarded Kelme-Costa Blanca at any time" and will speak with Pepe Quiles about his contract very soon. He also described iBanesto.com as a "solid team" and that he would like to race in Spain.
For 2003, Gonzalez said that "I would love to try the Tour to know where I could finish, because the comparisons with Beloki and Sevilla, who have already done really well in the Tour, do not serve for anything."
When asked if he dreamed about overthrowing Armstrong, he replied "It should not be taken like that, it was a comment I made in the Coyote (a bar) at four o'clock in the morning, in the heat of a victory celebration at the Vuelta. Armstrong is still very much Armstrong, and while he doesn't demonstrate anything to the contrary, he is the patron. If I want to race the Tour it's because I want to know where I stand and how far I am from the top level."
Vuelta 2002 gets support from riders and teams
A survey conducted by organisers Unipublic on the riders and teams in year's Vuelta España has yielded a high favourability rating, with 97% of respondents rating it as "good" or "very good". The design of the Vuelta was rated as 7.7 (presumably out of 10), the stage distances 8.3 and the time schedules 6.8. The signaling of dangerous spots was rated as an 8.
On the other hand, a third of the respondents were not in favour of climbing the Angliru, while 46 percent were in favour and 19 percent were undecided. The most common criticism of the Angliru stage was not of the climb itself, but of the severity of the climbs preceding it. A point in its favour was the spectacular nature of the stage, but that was also a point against it (it's a competition, not a spectacle some said).
Dekker calls it quits for the season
Erik Dekker has ridden his last race of the season, after abandoning the second stage of the Giro di Lucca on Wednesday. Thus Dekker will not ride Paris-Tours, nor the World Championships. He had already informed Dutch national coach Gerrie Knetemann that he would not ride the Time Trial at the World's.
"The energy has completely gone, it has been a tough year," he said. Dekker broke his hip in Milan-San Remo at the beginning of the year, and had a hard time recovering and getting back into top shape. He is waiting to have another minor operation on his hip.
Sunderland forfeits the World's
Australian Scott Sunderland has decided not to contest the World Championships Road Race in Zolder. He informed national coach Shayne Bannan of this after Thursday's ride in Paris-Bourges, won by his EDS-fakta teammate Allan Johansen.
The strained tendon in his left knee has not healed sufficiently, and to risk doing more damage to it at this time of the season would be crazy. "It wasn't good at Franco-Belge when I got caught behind the crash [stage 2]," Sunderland told Cyclingnews. "I tried to do some intervals after that and I could still feel it. Today at Paris-Bourges it was raining at the start and quite cool - After 20 km I could feel it straight away."
That was enough, and Sunderland knew the correct decision to take. He was obviously disappointed at missing out participating in the World's on his "home ground", especially as Australia has sent its strongest ever team, with a very real chance of winning it. "I think I could do a vert good job for the first 150-180 km, but it's not worth risking it," he admitted. "My shape was good enough. Because I haven't done much racing I couldn't say I could do any more."
Sunderland's year has been plagued by setbacks, with the only bright spot being a period in June-July in the Tours of Luxembourg and Austria, where he won a stage. His knee problems stemmed from a bad crash in the Tour Down Under in January, and now will require some EMG analysis of the nerves in his knee to see what's causing the problem.
Unlike other years, Scott will not be returning home to Australia, and while he is enjoying Europe in winter he will be writing weekly updates where he will share his complete training schedule with Cyclingnews readers. Next year, he will perhaps start with the Tour of Qatar in January and possibly the Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia in February.
Also see: Scott Sunderland diary
Trade teams represented at the World's
Based on the UCI's list of registered riders (270 for the men's road race, not all of whom will ride), Domo-Farm Frites will be the best represented trade team in the men's road race with 13 riders. EDS-fakta is the best represented second division team with 12, while Mapei's Espoirs third division team has six riders. With eleven riders from the first division team, Mapei bids farewell to cycling with seventeen riders in all.
The full unofficial list
13: riders: Domo-Farm Frites
Riders without contract:
Jairo Perez (Col)
Courtesy of Tomas Nilsson
Sports medicine congress at World's
The Flemish Cycling School, Sporta, the Limburg Medicine Congress and the Flemish Association for Sports Medicine are organising a 3 day seminar about 'Cycling: sports and medicine into gear' at Kinepolis Hasselt.
On Thursday 10th October, the organisers will address the public with a program about training, nutrition, technical innovations and youth work. On Friday 11th October and Saturday 12th October, medical and paramedical doctors will be able attending lectures and workshops about sport physiology, sport traumatology, sport kinesitherapy and sport ethics. The closing speech will be held on Saturday 12th October by the Flemish Minister of Sports, Mister Guy Vanhengel.
More information: Limcosport, Laamheide 20 at 3550 Heusden-Zolder (Belgium). Phone: +32 11 53.30.26. Website: www.limcosport.be
From October 10-13, a small zone along the TT and Road Race parcours will be proclaimed 'Italian territory'. Traditionally, Italy is one of the biggest cycling countries of the world and it is evident that many Italians will come to Belgium to encourage their national team. Moreover, as a former mining town, the World Championships' host town Heusden-Zolder has been for many years the home base of many Italian immigrants. During these days, the Italian community of Heusden-Zolder will put up tents decorated in the Italian tricolore in the Italian enclave, where it will be serving pizza and Italian coffee (espresso). Next Thursday, October 10, at noon, the Heusden-Zolder mayor Tony Beerten will devolve the enclave to the Italian consul in Belgium.
Gontchar to Gerolsteiner
Ukrainian Serguei Gontchar has an agreement with the German Gerolsteiner team for next season. The 32 year old Fassa Bortolo rider was named as a rider for Andrei Tchmil's "new" Itera squad, but he decided to go with the more solid offer from Gerolsteiner.
Boonen will leave US Postal
According to several Belgian newspapers, Tom Boonen will leave US Postal at the end of this season, breaking his two year contract to ride for another team. Boonen will have to pay a severance fee, but he hopes that there won't be too many problems in leaving the team. "I don't want any kind of process, and it was not an easy decision for me," said Boonen.
Boonen thought that he didn't race enough this season, and his development was slowed as a result. He has not made a decision about a future team, but Patrick Lefevere's Quick Step squad is top of the list. Boonen will decide after the World Championships.
Francisco Perez to Milaneza
Young Spanish climber Francisco Perez will leave Porta da Ravessa for Milaneza-MSS next season.
Murn renews with Formaggi Trentini
Slovenian cyclist Uros Murn has renewed his contract for 2003 with the team of Stefano Giuliani and Gabriele Di Francesco, Formaggi Trentini. The contract is for another year.
Francesco Leon retires
Kelme rider Francesco Leon has announced his retirement, after five seasons as a pro. He made the decision in order to help his family's business. Leon's career has mainly been as a domestique for Kelme, and he was part of the team that won the Vuelta this year. He has not won a race, but has ridden in the Vuelta in 1998 and 2002, the Tour de France in 2000, and the Giro d'Italia in 2001 and 2002.
Danny Jonasson quits
Rolf Sorensen's nephew Danny Jonasson (CSC-Tiscali) will retire from cycling at age 28. He started his career in Rabobank and have also ridden for Acceptcard and Fakta before joining CSC. He is planning to take up his old trade as a tinsmith.
Jittery Joe's extends for three years
The Jittery Joe's Coffee Roasting Company has signed a letter of intent to continue its support of the Jittery Joe's Cycling Team through 2005. A formal contract will be signed in the coming months while a budget is being worked out for 2003.
"With just a dozen pro-cycling teams in America, we're proud to be a sponsor and we're ready to help the Jittery Joe's team establish a winning tradition," said Jittery Joe's CEO Keith Kortemeier.
"A multi-year deal is huge for us and it will allow the team to concentrate on results," said team director Micah Rice.
The team is supported solely from the sale of Jittery Joe's Cycling Coffee in bike shops and outdoor stores around the United States. The company recently signed a national distribution deal for Cycling Coffee that has the brand in stores throughout the nation. Other sponsors expected to return for 2003 are Verge clothing, K2 Bikes, Maxxis tires, and Truvativ components.
TQ Two Day all set to go
By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent
How their male counterparts must be green with envy that the ladies are staging a two-day three-stage event this weekend. Of course the support of TQ Papers makes life easy to run this event so late in the year, when the domestic scene has been done and dusted for nearly a month.
According to Susan O'Mara a former winner of this race, "a good turnout is expected, say in the region of 40 or 50 competitors. Naturally we are relying on home scene matching the number of visitors who have intimated travelling arrangements to the race that is now gaining credibility in Europe and further afield. Naturally the event held up with numbers last year, because, the season didn't start on time because of the Foot and Mouth Disease. All I need is good weather," said Susan.
Ester van Der Helm, last year's overall winner from Holland looks like repeating her success. She has a very balanced squad, which should see getting back-to-back wins. Germany's RG-Berlin Charlottenburg are listed as well as a number of English teams
The Irish team led by Louise Moriarty looks formidable on paper and the inclusion of Susan O'Mara will bring balance to the team. Initially Susan was not a member but the withdrawal of Tarja Owens because of other commitments is a blow to the organisers of the race, Dublin Wheelers who were hopeful of a local win. Tarja operates on the European circuit and her wealth of competition in the heartland of Europe would have been a significant bonus.
The event gets under way on Saturday morning with a 64 km road race, (8x8 km laps) starting at Sports Link Airport Rd, Santry at 11 o'clock.
Stage 1 - October 5: Sports Link Airport Rd, Santry Road Race, 64 km
Clif Bar announces 2002 cyclo-cross team
Clif Bar will sponsor a Northern Californian based cyclo-cross team that will concentrate on domestic (US) UCI races, The Redline Cup, and their local series: Surf City Cyclocross and Central Coast Cyclocross.
Carmen D'Aluisio - 10th 2002 World's, Silver 2001 US Nationals
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2002)