|Cyclingnews TV News Tech Features Road MTB BMX Cyclo-cross Track Photos Fitness Letters Search Forum|
Paolo Bettini achieved his goal of winning the 2002 World Cup title with a consistent season and his 2nd career win at Liege-Bastogne-Liege. With 10 Italian riders in the top 25 and the top three teams all from Italy, this year's World Cup had a decidedly Italian flair. Although Belgian Johan Museeuw had two wins this year and battled mightly to stem the tricolore tide, at 36 years old, Museeuw was just not competitive in the climbing races and lost to the 28 year old Bettini by a slim 9 point margin.
Museeuw nonetheless had two of the best wins in this year's World Cup: his utter domination of Paris-Roubaix in April and a thrilling sprint finish in the Hew Cyclassics in Hamburg in August. Michele Bartoli, a two time World Cup winner, had two wins as well to finish a respectable third, while Saeco's young Basque rider Igor Astarloa was perhaps the revelation of this season's World Cup with his solid 4th overall, tied with Davide Rebellin.
Round 1: March 23: Milan-San Remo / Mario Cipollini (Ita) Acqua e Sapone
Bitterly disappointed at being outfoxed the week before by Mapei at the Tour of Flanders, and denied his 4th win in the Belgian classic, Johan Museeuw contemplated retirement prior to Paris-Roubaix. Instead, he returned to ride with a vengeance. Museeuw took his 3rd crown at Paris-Roubaix by over 3 minutes after a magnificent 40km solo effort over the muddy pavé. For his 10th career World Cup win, Museeuw also assumed the series lead as Mario Cipollini was a non-starter in the cobbled classic.
Paolo Bettini's nickname is "il Grillo" (the cricket) and the diminutive puncher from Tuscany leaped home to win his 2nd Liege-Bastogne-Liege, just ahead of Mapei-Quick Step teammate Stefano Garzelli, with another Italian, classy Ivan Basso (Fassa Bortolo) in 3rd. Museeuw didn't score points in this hilly classic, but maintained the World Cup lead as Paolo Bettini moved up to 3rd.
Amstel Gold is the final World Cup round in the spring. Run through the hills of southeast Holland in and around Maastricht, this always hard-fought race saw an excellent 1-2 by Fassa Bortolo's Michele Bartoli and Serguei Ivanov, with '99 winner Michael Boogerd in 3rd and Lance Armstrong last in the 4 man break after animating the final escape. Museeuw once again failed to score any points, but still kept his World Cup lead while Paolo Bettini moved up to 2nd and Rabobank took over the World Cup team lead from Mapei-Quick Step.
After a three month break, the 2002 World Cup resumed with the HEW-Cyclassics in Hamburg, Germany. Fresh from three weeks of summer altitude training in St.Moritz, Johan Museeuw was the strongman of the day and powered to an impressive win over young Basque rider Igor Astarloa (Saeco). Museeuw increased his series lead over 4th place Bettini by almost 100 points and his Domo-Farm Frites squad moved into the lead in the team chase.
Frenchman Laurent Jalabert took a popular win in the hilly Clasica San Sebastian, the second consecutive victory for the CSC-Tiscali man in his last year of competition. Jalabert outsprinted in-form local lad Igor Astarloa (Saeco), while Bettini was 7th. Museeuw finished out of the money in 154th, but still maintained his World Cup lead by 68 points over the Italian. Astarloa surged to 3rd in the rankings with his second consecutive runner-up finish.
Dario Frigo (Tacconi Sport) took a superb solo victory along the lakefront on a hot day in Zurich in the 8th round of the 2002 World Cup series, while Paolo Bettini won the sprint for 2nd over Tour De France winner Lance Armstrong. With World Cup leader Museeuw retiring and not scoring points, Bettini took over the WC lead by just two points.
The penultimate round of the 2002 World Cup saw a breakthrough win by Denmark's Jakob Storm Piil. The 29 year old CSC-Tiscali rider, already winner of the Tour Of Denmark this year, outsprinted determined veteran Jacky Durand on Tour's Avenue de Grammont. Erik Zabel took the bunch sprint for 3rd just 20" behind, while Bettini increased his WC lead to nine points over Musseuw, who finished but failed to score any points. Astarloa continued his World Cup surge with an excellent 7th place.
With only 9 points separating World Cup leader Paolo Bettini and Johan Musseuw, the final round of the 2002 World Cup, the 96th edition of the Giro di Lombardia, became an anti-climax when Musseuw decided he would not start and all but conceded the annual competiton to Bettini. The only way Bettini could lose now was if he finished out of the points and Igor Astarloa won Lombardia, but il Grillo hung tough and finished 30th, while Astarloa was 23rd and only scored 3 points. This allowed race winner Michele Bartoli to move into 3rd overall and Lombardia runner-up Davide Rebellin to tie Astarloa for 4th place in the final points classification. Bettini's Mapei-Quick Step team won their final team World Cup title over Fassa Bortolo and Saeco-Longoni Sport.
By Tim Maloney
Lampre spokesperson Stefano Cortinovis told Cyclingnews today that "at this time, we have not officially announced that we will not continue with Raimondas Rumsas for the 2003 season. We are awaiting the eventual resolution of his problems with the French justice system."
However, with Lampre's official announcement of the arrival of tough Tuscan Francesco Casagrande for the '03 season, there are still questions about the future of Rumsas at Lampre.
The Lithuanian, third in this year's Tour de France, does not get along with Casagrande. The Italian held a grudge against Rumsas when both were at Fassa Bortolo in 2001 after Rumsas had handily beat Casagrande at the Giro di Lombardia the year before. Similarly, Rumsas claimed that Casagrande thwarted his selection to the Fassa Bortolo TDF squad in 2001.
Although his wife Edita is finally out of gaol in France, Rumsas' problems are far from over. His number one nemesis Casagrande is coming to his team next season and French police are still looking to grill him about the controlled substances found in the trunk of his wife's car just after the Tour. It's hard to see the talented Lithuanian soon emerging from the soap opera that's become his cycling career with a happy ending.
German Division I team Gerolsteiner has made a few changes for 2003, where it hopes to gain selection in the Tour de France for the first time. Leaving the team are Lithuanian sprinter Saulius Ruskys, German Tobias Steinhauser (who may follow Jan Ullrich to CSC if that deal comes off), and Italian Federico Morini, who retired from cycling after a training accident. To make up for these losses, Gerolsteiner has signed the excellent Telekom domestique Udo Bölts, Swiss sprinter Marcus Zberg (Rabobank), Torsten Nitsche (Saeco), and Robert Förster (Nürnberger). The team will again be led by Italian one day specialist Davide Rebellin.
Belgian Kurt Van Landeghem has re-signed with Landbouwkrediet-Colnago for another year. The team now has 19 riders under contract for 2003, including Tom Steels, Ludovic Capelle, Ludo Dierckxsens, and Yaroslav Popovych. Negotiations are under way with Fabien De Waele and Tom Stremersch.
Andreî Teteriuk (CCC-Polsat) will join Team Nippon Hoddo-Jura Suisse for 2003. Teteriuk scored two victories this season, Stage 2 in the Settimana Ciclista Lombarda, and Stage 4 in the GP Mosqueteiros. Prior to joining CCC-Polsat, Teteriuk rode for Mercury-Viatel in 2001 and Liquigas-Pata in 2000.
Transfer season hits Portugal, and a number of national teams have announced new hires for the 2003 season. Here is a summary of the comings and goings within the Portuguese teams:
Barbot-Torrie has signed Pablo de Pedro, Rui Pinto (Paredes Rota dos Móveis), David Gomez (Barbot-Torrie espoirs).
LA-Pecol signs Luís Pinheiro (neo pro), Nuno Ribeiro (Barbot-Torrie).
Paredes Rota dos Móveis will add Ricardo Felgueiras (Carvalhelhos-Boavista).
Cantanhede-M.Marialva adds three riders: Ezequiel Mosquera (Paredes Rota dos Móveis), Vitor Gamito (Barbot-Torrie), and Pedro Barnabé (Barbot-Torrie espoirs).
Porta da Ravessa-Zurich will promote three of its espoirs, Luis Bartolomeu, Mario Lourenço, Juan Antonio Jimenez. Also joining the team are Joaquim Andrade and Nelson Vitorino (Cantanhede-M.Marialva), Vidal Fitas (Barbot-Torrie), and David Blanco (ASC Vila do Conde).
ASC - Vila do Conde has signed Cesar Pinto (neo pro), Cláudio Faria (Barbot-Torrie), Victoriano Fernandez (Milaneza-MSS), and Marco Morais (Barbot-Torrie).
Pepolim & Irmãos - Ovarense adds neo-pro Jordi Berenger and Alexandre Pinho (Matesica-Abóboda).
Courtesy of Antonio Dias
The Colombian Orbitel team will join the UCI Division II ranks next season, tackling the better part of the European calendar. The team will ride under the guidance of Raul Mesa Orozco, former director of Cafe de Colombia, Ryalcao Postobon, and Flavia Telecom.
Three of the principal riders on the team will be Hernan Buenahora, Felix Rafael Cardenas, and Carlos Alberto Contreras. The team will carry a total of 16 riders.
Dutch riders Mirjam Melchers and Arenda Grimberg have extended their contracts with the Farm Frites-Hartol team. Melchers signed a two year contract which will take her through 2004. Her goal next season will not be solely focussed on the World Cup, which she narrowly missed this year after Petra Rossner won the final round in Rotterdam. Instead she will try to win the World Championships in Hamilton, as well as the Olympic Games Road Race in Athens in 2004.
Arenda Grimberg also extended her contract with the team of Michael Zijlaard for one year, with an option for a second year. Amongst her seven victories this season, Grimberg won the Dutch National Championship in Nijmegen.
Esther van der Helm will transfer to the team from the Dutch national team, also signing for one year with an option for a second year. Van der Helm is the fourth transfer to Farm Frites-Hartol after Christa Pirard, Sandra Missbach and Suzanne de Goede signed earlier.
The Giro di Lombardia on Saturday was Swiss rider Mauro Gianetti's last race, after a career spanning 15 years. The 38 year old has finally decided to call it quits after a fairly successful time as a pro. Although only winning 15 races in total, Gianetti's palmares include three World Cup races: Liege-Bastogne-Liege (1995), Amstel Gold Race (1995) and the Japan Cup (1996). He has also won the Coppa Placci twice (1990 and 1991), Milano-Torino (1990), Paris-Camembert (1997), Trofeo Melinda (1999) and the Tour of Japan (2000). He finished second to Johan Museeuw in the 1996 World Championships in Lugano after the pair had broken away with 30 km to go.
Gianetti started his career as a 22 year old with Weinmann in 1988, when he finished second in the Kellogg's Tour of Britain. In 1990 he switched to Helvetia, when he broke through with wins in the Coppa Placci and Milano Torino. 1992 saw him transfer to Festina-Lotus where he rode for two years, without any big wins. He changed to Mapei-Clas in 1994 before joining Polti in 1995. That was his best year, with two World Cup wins, 4th in the World Championship and 5th in the Fleche Wallonne and Milano-Torino.
He stayed with Polti in 1996, adding the Japan Cup (a World Cup race that year) to his palmares, as well as the GP Primavera, Wartenberg Rundfahrt and a stage in the Criterium International. His second place in the World's that year was an impressive ride on a tough course, with only a superb Johan Museeuw better on the day. A two year stint at La Francaise des Jeux in 1997-1998 saw him win the Paris-Camembert and Polymultipliée De L'hautil. This was followed by two years at Vini Caldirola, when he won the Trofeo Melinda, Wartenberg Rundfahrt and Tour of Japan. His last two years were spent at Team Coast, with his best result being second in the Tour de Berne in 2002.
The only controversy in Gianetti's career came after the 1998 Tour de Romandie, where he was forced to abandon due to what was thought to be gastro enteritis. He was taken to an intensive care unit in a hospital in Lausanne, where he was treated by Swiss doctor Gérard Gremion. He spent two weeks there, and Gremion told the press at the time that Gianetti sickness was caused by taking Perfluorocarbon (PFC), a prohibited drug that is used as an oxygen carrier.
Gianetti later sued Dr Gremion and his colleague Dr Randin for SFR$4 million, claiming that they defamed his character by going public with their accusations.
On Monday evening, October 21 in the Teatro Accademia di Conegliano, the 18th edition of the Gran Gala Ciclistico Internazionale will be celebrated. The theme this year is the Giro d'Italia, and there will be an impressive gathering of 23 of the past winners of the 'Corsa Rosa' at the Gran Gala: Carlo Clerici (1954), Ercole Baldini (1958), Arnaldo Pambianco (1961), Franco Balmamion (1962 and 1963), Gianni Motta (1966), Felice Gimondi (1967, 1969, 1976), Eddy Merckx (1968, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974), Fausto Bertoglio (1975), Michel Pollentier (1977), Johan De Muynck (1978), Giuseppe Saronni (1979, 1983), Giovanni Battaglin (1981), Francesco Moser (1984), Roberto Visentini (1986), Stephen Roche (1987), Andy Hampsten (1988), Laurent Fignon (1989), Gianni Bugno (1990), Eugeni Berzin (1994), Ivan Gotti (1997, 1999), Stefano Garzelli (2000), Gilberto Simoni (2001) and Paolo Savoldelli (2002).
22 year old student Alessandro Forni has broken his own 24 hour climbing record, which was set in November 2000 at 16,036 vertical metres. Between 10:00am on Saturday, October 19 and 10:00am Sunday, Forni climbed 17,650 metres by ascending Monte Bondone 23 times. In total he covered around 500 kilometres at an average speed of 20.88 km/h. He had three rest periods during his record attempt: 18 minutes, 40 minutes and 1 hour and four minutes.
Dick Heuvelman, sports journalist with Dagblad van het Noorden in the Netherlands, has embarked on a plan to bring the World Championships to Groningen. Heuvelman was largely responsible for bringing the 2002 Giro to the Netherlands, and is also working on a bid to bring the Vuelta to Groningen in 2007. The Dutch Cycling Union (KNWU) has submitted its candidature for 2007, 2008, and 2009. The KNWU celebrates its 80th anniversary in 2008.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2002)