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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition News for April 16, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones

Ullrich OK for Aragon

Team Coast to become Bianchi-Coast

For the second time in eight days, Jan Ullrich has been given a last minute reprieve to race by the UCI. The German star from Team Coast will therefore be permitted to start in the Vuelta a Aragon on Wednesday, alongside Marco Pantani and Gilberto Simoni, among others. According to DPA, the UCI gave its permission on Tuesday evening, less than 24 hours before Ullrich is due to race.

The UCI has been reluctant to grant Ullrich a licence without receiving a bank guarantee worth three months of his salary. Team Coast announced that it would be able to furnish this as a result of signing Bianchi as a new co-sponsor. A team spokesman in Spain said on Tuesday that "In future, we will be known as Bianchi-Coast."

UCI president Hein Verbruggen will meet with Team Coast boss Günther Dahms and Ullrich's manager Wolfgang Strohband on Wednesday to discuss the situation further. In the meantime, Ullrich will be able to continue his much awaited comeback to racing, after finishing 20th in the Circuit de la Sarthe last week. Team sources indicate that Ullrich will probably ride Liege-Bastogne-Liege on April 27 and the Rund um den Henninger Turm (May 1) as part of his program.

Bennati's Roubaix woes

Daniele Bennati
Photo: © CN
Click for larger image

Unfortunately for him, Daniele Bennati's specially made Specialized Roubaix did not make it to the first section of pavé on Sunday in Paris-Roubaix. The Domina Vacanze fell after 90 km together with Zanini, Commesso and Baldato and destroyed his bike. "I had to ride the first sections of pavé with a normal road bike," explained Bennati. "Incredible: the asphalt with the pavé bike, the pavé with the asphalt bike."

"There were five of us rolling over and we were going strong: we had a gap of 2'30 to the top group and were holding them. But, it was a useless labour. After 200 kilometres I went back to the car, it made no sense to continue. However, for the umpteenth time I understood that on the pavé I had a special feeling, I was going very strongly. I have another regret: I would have liked to experience the Specialized Roubaix in the Arenberg Forest to see how it responded, but that's how it goes."

Zanotti out for three weeks

Fassa Bortolo's Marco Zanotti was another rider to succumb to the pavé of Paris-Roubaix. Zanotti crashed during the race and fractured his T11 and T12 vertebrae. The result is that he can't ride for three weeks, and will therefore return to riding in mid-May.

91st Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen

Tomorrow's midweek Belgian classic is the Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen, which celebrates its 91st edition this year, making it one of the longest running classics in Belgium. The UCI 1.1 classed race starts next to the Schelde in Antwerp's Grote Markt, before heading out to Schoten for the official start. The parcours then follows the Albert Kanaal down to Herentals, then turns north up towards Turnhout before returning west to Schoten after 155 km. The 200 km race finishes with three laps of a 15 km circuit, with the sprint in Churchilllaan.

As the parcours is largely flat, the wind and several cobbled sections will be more of a factor in creating a selection. Last year's winner was Robbie McEwen, and the Australian Lotto-Domo rider will be looking to continue his team's success, buoyed by Peter Van Petegem's impressive Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix double. Van Petegem won't be riding the Scheldeprijs, and Lotto-Domo will include Nick Gates, Thierry Marichal, Nico Eeckhout, Gert Steegmans, Stefan van Dijk, Leon van Bon and Aart Vierhouten as part of its lineup.

The challengers include Quick.Step's Tom Boonen and Servais Knaven, with Frank Vandenbroucke also riding. Rabobank has Steven de Jongh and Robert Hunter, while Telekom will line up with its sprinters Erik Zabel and Danilo Hondo, as well as Gent-Wevelgem winner Andreas Klier.

The top division II squad BankGiroLoterij will present Rudi Kemna and Jans Koerts, winners of last weekend's Dutch classics (Noord Holland and Drenthe). Ag2r's Jaan Kirsipuu will be back in action, as will Damien Nazon (La Boulangère), Oleg Grishkine and Henk Vogels (Navigators), Jo Planckaert (Cofidis), Julian Dean (CSC), Tom Steels (Landbouwkrediet), and Kurt Asle-Arvesen and Frank Höj (Team fakta).

Cyclingnews will feature full results, report and photos following the race.

Criterium du Dauphiné Libéré details

By Russell Standring,

The stage details of the 55th Criterium du Dauphiné Libéré (June 8-15) have been announced for this important pre-Tour Hors Categorie stage race. The eight days of racing will take the riders in a clockwise direction around the Rhone Alps region of France. Starting with the prologue in the ski resort of Villard-de-Lans, the riders will climb to Le Balcon de Villard (2.1 km climb at 7%) on the slopes of the Vercors mountains.

The first stage will take the riders south from the Vercors and into Provence to finish in Vaison-la-Romaine, a town famous for its wine. Stage two takes the riders north to Vienne, a small town south-east of Lyon and famous for the Vienne Jazz Festival that is held every summer. The riders transfer to the rolling hills of the Loire, north of St Etienne, for the 33 kilometre individual time trial on the picturesque roads between Saint-Paul-en-Jarez and Saint-Héand. The time-trial course has a low point of 320 metres, climbing to 780 metres at the Côte de Valfleury after 13 kilometres.

Stage four is the longest of the race, with 237 kilometres between Vienne and the pretty ski resort of Morzine, and the first day in the mountains. The route will include the Col de la Ramaz, the 1613 metre Col that will be used as the deciding climb on stage seven of this year's Tour de France.

The route of stage five undulates over a number of lower category climbs on the edge of the Alps before the 500 metres of vertical climbing to the Tunnel du Granier and the final 10 kilometres of descending into Chambery for the stage finish.

The high mountains return on stage six, when the race will climb the 1570 metre Col du Telegraphe before the steeper gradients of the 2646 metre Col du Galibier. The riders will not climb over the Col du Galibier, but instead pass through the tunnel which is slightly lower at 2556 metres. The riders then have a long descent to the stage finish in Briançon, one of the highest towns in Europe.

On the final day, stage seven, the riders will climb the 2067 metre Col du Lautaret before descending toward Grenoble and onto two climbs in the Chartreuse mountains. The 1434 metre Col du Coq is 12 kilometres at nine percent before a very technical descent to then join the easier gradients of the 1326 metre Col du Porte and a 15 kilometre descent to the finish in Grenoble.

The teams

The teams will include US Postal-Berry Floor and last year's winner, Lance Armstrong. Also riding are former winners, American Tyler Hamilton (Team CSC) and Frenchman Christophe Moreau (Credit Agricole).

US Postal Service Presented By Berry Floor
Cofidis, Le Crédit Par Téléphone
Quick Step - Davitamon
Credit Agricole
Phonak Hearing Systems
Ag2r Prevoyance
Brioches La Boulangere
Euskaltel - Euskadi
Jean Delatour
Team CSC
Bigmat-Auber 93

The stages

Prologue - June 8: Villard-de-Lans (Isère) ITT, 5.1 km
Stage 1 - June 9: Méaudre (Isère) - Vaison-la-Romaine (Vaucluse), 198 km
Stage 2 - June 10: Bollène (Vaucluse) - Vienne (Isère), 195km
Stage 3 - June 11: Saint-Paul-en-Jarez (Loire) - Saint-Héand (Loire) ITT, 33.4 km
Stage 4 - June 12: Vienne (Isère) - Morzine (Haute-Savoie), 237 km
Stage 5 - June 13: Morzine (Haute-Savoie) - Chambéry (Savoie), 192 km
Stage 6 - June 14: Challes-les-Eaux (Savoie) - Briançon (Hautes-Alpes), 153 km
Stage 7 - June 15: Briançon (Hautes-Alpes) - Grenoble (Isère), 174 km

Panaria's Alejandro Borrajo to make his debut

23 year old neo-professional Alejandro Alberto Borrajo, who recently signed for the Ceramiche-Panaria Fiordo team, will make his debut with the team in the Settimana Lombarda, which starts this Thursday. There, the young Argentinean will ride with Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio, Paolo Lanfranchi, Fabio Gilioli, Ruben Bongiorno, Graeme Brown, Brett Lancaster and Filippo Perfetto.

Lehigh's NRC track racing events

The Lehigh Valley Velodrome in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania, has announced the details of its four National Racing Calendar (NRC) events, including qualification for Category 1 road cyclists, event information, entry fees and prize lists. The traditionally road biased NRC is comprised of the top U.S. cycling events, with a series ranking to go with it. 2003 marks the first season track cycling has been added to the NRC.

Lehigh Velodrome Executive Director Pat McDonough said that they were "extremely excited" about the addition of track cycling to the NRC. "And we are determined to show it deserves to remain there," he added.

Marketing director Jacob Burns said that, "By releasing the NRC event information now, we hope to secure a majority of riders who plan on participating. That way we will be able to properly promote the event, riders and their team affiliates."

Contact Pat McDonough (610.967.7587 or or visit the Lehigh Valley Velodrome website at for more event information.

(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2003)