News for October 22, 2002
Edited by Chris Henry
CSC-Tiscali eyes Botero
As the CSC-Tiscali team continues to search for additional sponsors in the interest of signing Jan Ullrich, the team has added a new star to its wish list. The Danish team, headed by 1996 Tour winner Bjarne Riis, would like to add world time trial champion Santiago Botero to its roster for next year. CSC-Tiscali spokesman Brian Nygaard told Cyclingnews "yes, we are interested [in Botero] but it all (including the contract with Ullrich) hinges on whether we will get the right budget for next year. That is still to be solved."
Botero, however, remains under contract with Kelme for the coming season, and is not expected to come cheaply. Deutsche Telekom has also expressed interest in the Colombian, whose market value has undoubtedly increased since his TT win in Zolder.
"Botero already has a contract with Kelme," Nygaard continued, "and I'm not sure that they will let him go that easily. It would be brilliant to have him, though. He is a fabulous rider with many qualities and he would fit in perfectly with our plan for the Tour de France if we sign Ullrich."
As ex-world champion Oscar Freire heads north to join the Dutch Rabobank team, six riders will leave the team at the end of the year, according to French sports daily l'Equipe. As reported yesterday, Swiss sprinter Markus Zberg will move to the German Gerolsteiner team. Also leaving Rabobank are Belgian Geert Verheyen, and Dutch riders Matthé Pronk, Marcel Duijn, Coen Boerman, and cyclo-cross ace Richard Groenendaal, who is going to the Division III squad.
Meirhaeghe to Acqua e Sapone
Belgian Filip Meirhaeghe, perhaps best known for his off-road success with Specialized, will join Acqua e Sapone on the road for 2003. Meirhaeghe raced on the road this year with Landbouwkrediet-Colnago in addition to off-road racing with Specialized. The versatile Belgian will continue to hit the dirt for Specialized for 2003, and has also thrown himself into the six day racing scene this winter, including this week's Six Days of Amsterdam, and the Six Days of Gent which begins November 19.
FDJeux.com adds one more
Marc Madiot's FDJeux.com formation has announced the addition of one more rider to next year's roster. Austrian Bernhard Eisel of Mapei's espoirs team will join the team for 2003. Eisel, 21, is a native of Voitsberg, Austria and turned pro with Mapei in 2001. Eisel finished second overall behind Baden Cooke in last month's Paris-Corrèze.
The team is also reportedly in talks with Michael Pichon of Bonjour.
The Swiss component of the Saint Quentin-Oktos team, Oktos-MBK, will undergo several changes for next season. Notably, Loup Sport will discontinue sponsorship of the team. Riders leaving the team include Jean Nuttli and Roman Peter, while Pierre Bourquenoud's future with the team is as yet undecided. Possible additions to the team may include Vincent Bader, Alexandre Chouffe, and Bonjour's François Simon.
Marlux looks for sponsor
Marlux-Ville de Charleroi director Didier Paindaveine is looking for a cosponsor to replace Berry Floor, which has since signed on as cosponsor of US Postal. Additional sponsorship will help ensure contract renewals for Andy Cappelle, Johan Coenen, Steven De Neef, Johan Dekkers, and Christophe Stevens, and may provide spots for as many as five other Belgian riders. In the meantime, Tom Desmet and Lorenzo Lapage will retire at the end of the year.
Holland Ladies Tour loses sponsor
The Holland Ladies Tour, a six day stage race, has lost its sponsor Formido. Wim van Duivenbode of the Tour commented, "we will be talking to a (sponsorship) candidate on Wednesday. If we are unable to find a new sponsor we will still organize the six stage race, but with a smaller entourage."
The Tour will start next year on September 1, 2003 in Kampen, finishing in Noordwijk aan Zee on September 6. This year's Tour was won by Debby Mansveld (Vlaanderen-T Interim).
ASO to co-produce Classic Haribo
After acquiring Paris-Nice from Laurent Fignon last season, Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) has agreed to become a partner for the Classic Haribo race in southern France. ASO, which owns the Société du Tour du France, told l'Equipe that it would become the director of services for the one day event, run between Uzès and Marseille in late February. Last year's race was won by Jaan Kirsipuu (Ag2R).
2002 Pro Cycling Tour review: Vogels and Van Gilder take top honors
Mercury's Henk Vogels and Trek Plus' Laura Van Gilder claimed the series prizes for the men's and women's Pro Cycling Tour (PCT), while Mercury took the men's team classification and Saturn clinched the women's team prize.
The ten race PCT series (six men's, four women's) boasted over $400,000 in combined prize money, large crowds at each event, and generous coverage on local and national television networks. The series featured high quality events including the inaugural New York City Cycling Championship, the First Union Cycling Series which culminated with the USPRO Championship in Philadelphia, the enormously successful San Francisco GP, and the Miami Cycling Classic.
(Vogels is the current leader in the VicRoads Herald-Sun Tour, which is being held in Victoria, Australia from October 18-27, 2002.)
Pro Cycling Tour Standings - Women
Individual Standings (Final)
1 Laura Van Gilder Trek Plus (USA) 88 points 2 Petra Rossner Saturn (Ger) 80 3 Tina Mayolo-Pic Diet Rite (USA) 60 4 Tania Duff-Miller Freddie FU (NZl) 54 5 Sarah Uhl Dansko/IF (USA) 45
Women's Team Standings
1 Saturn 2 Diet Rite 3 Freddie Fu
Pro Cycling Tour Standings - Men
Individual Standings (Final)
1 Henk Vogels Mercury (Aus) 105 points 2 Mark Walters Navigators (Can) 88 3 Gord Fraser Mercury (Can) 80 4 Chris Wherry Mercury (USA) 65 5 Oleg Grishkine Navigators (Rus) 63
Men's Team Standings
1 Mercury 2 Navigators 3 US Postal Service
(Team standings are based on combined points of top three riders in individual classifications)
Holm sheds new light on past
Danish national coach, ex-pro Brian Holm, reveals in his memoirs "Smerten Glaeden" (The Pain, the Joy) that he used drugs during his career. "It must have been back in 1992 or '93. It was a time that I felt that my career was going downwards and I trained harder and harder and rode myself completely to the bottom."
Holm writes that he took some pills on a few occasions, but did not continue. "I did it a couple of times and only to recover. At that time I was able to convince myself that it wasn't cheating that much. Now I think it was. But when I rode at my strongest, in 1989 and the early nineties, I didn't use any."
Holm does not write which kinds of drugs it was, saying he doesn't want to advertise any doping substances.
"I am afraid that this will divert focus from the rest of the book, and the best idea would have been to shut up. But then I couldn't have stood by the book anyway. I had to write about it," says Holm. "In my first two Tours I didn't even touch vitamin pills, and I won Paris-Bruxelles on oats for breakfast and a Mars bar during the race."
Holm gets support from most of the leading people in Danish cycling, although Bo Hamburger, banned from the national team after a positive A sample test was followed by an annulled B sample value, finds fault with the Danish Cycling Federation for taking a hard line against against him and another towards Holm.
"I'm out of the team even though I haven't been declared guilty of doping," Hamburger said, noting also that the federation managing director, Jesper Worre, had himself tested positive. "It is courageous and fair of Brian to tell the story of our sport for better or for worse. He is still my friend and I won't judge him," Hamburger added.
USPRO champion Chann McRae turned in a solid performance at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. McRae finished in 9 hours, 34 minutes and 48 seconds, just over one hour down from the winning time (8:29:56). A quick glance of the race results shows that among those who beat McRae's overall time, only one got the better of Chann on the bike. McRae won the Ironhead Dallas Triathlon on September 10th, qualifying for the Ironman and likely bolstering his confidence for the gruelling event. McRae joins ex-Telekom pro Udo Bölts in the ranks of pro roadies heading to the big island for the number one triathlon event on the planet.
Irish cycling loses Kieran Hammond
By Shane Stokes, Irishcycling.com
Irish cycling is mourning the unexpected loss of Kieran Hammond, a hardworking official with the Orwell Wheelers cycling club. An affable, warmhearted man who did much to help organise their interclub league, the Noel Hammond Memorial classic race and also worked on the FBD Milk Ras, he passed away suddenly over the weekend while out cycling. Kieran had many friends in the sport and, as one of his team-mates put it, "nobody had a bad word to say about him. He was a really, really nice guy." Removal mass takes place today, Tuesday, at 5:30 at the Our Lady Help of Christians church on the Navan road with the funeral on Wednesday morning after 10 am mass. May he rest in peace.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2002)