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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition News for August 2, 2003

Edited by Chris Henry

Big Apple bike bash rocks Lower Manhattan Sunday

By Tim Maloney, European editor in New York

2002 action
Photo: © Jonathan Devich
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The second annual New York City Cycling Championship (NYCCC) is a day-long series of cycling events among the urban canyons of lower Manhattan that culminates in a Pro Men's 100km criterium. Last year, Lance Armstrong (USPS-Berry Floor) kicked off the inaugural edition of the NYCCC fresh from his fourth consecutive Tour De France win.

This year, 2003 Tour Stage Winner Tyler Hamilton (CSC) will be at the NYCCC, but due to his cracked collarbone, Hamilton will not compete. Instead, the Man from Marblehead will act as Official Starter along with Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Despite the absence of Armstrong, the 2003 NYCCC will provide quite a spectacle for spectators on the 50 laps of the 2 km lower Manhattan circuit. Last year's winner, Cuban missile Ivan Dominguez (Saturn) will be back to defend his title, backed by a solid squad that includes USPRO champ Mark McCormack, Chris Horner, 2002 San Francisco Grand Prix winner Charlie Dionne and Belaran blaster Viktor Rapinski.

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Ullrich ready for Hamburg

On the post-Tour circuit
Photo: © AFP
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Jan Ullrich is eager to carry his Tour de France form to the World Cup circuit, beginning with this Sunday's sixth round of the ten race series, the HEW Cyclassics in Hamburg, Germany. "People who know me know that I'm always fired up after the Tour," Ullrich said. Organisers in Hamburg are eagerly anticipating crowds of up to a million fans along the Hamburg parcours, cheering on their reborn hero Ullrich.

For his part, Ullrich insists that he will "not just be coming to take part" in Hamburg, but will be looking for a big result. "I chose my current [racing] program purely on a sporting basis," Ullrich explained, noting the importance of the Hamburg race- which he won in 1997 before it became a World Cup event- and adding that he turned down additional appearances in post-Tour criteriums for which he often receives starting fees of up to 100,000€.

Armstrong's Tour "a dream" for Beltran

Manuel Beltran, who joined Lance Armstrong's US Postal Service-Berry Floor team in the midst of the demise of Team Coast, has declared himself ready to help the five-time Tour winner tackle an unprecedented sixth win in 2004. Beltran has said that the opportunity to ride with Armstrong has been a dream, and he is content with his own Tour performance.

"I'm happy with the work that I did," Beltran said in a Todociclismo report. "I helped in the mountain stages and in the general classification I finished in the top 15 and was the fifth best Spanish rider after Zubeldia, Mayo, Sastre, and Mancebo."

Naturally, Beltran also had plenty of words of praise for his team leader, who equalled the Tour record of five victories this year. "He deserved to win a fifth Tour and we're already thinking about the next edition of the race, when Lance intends to take a sixth victory," Beltran said confidently. "He's an impressive cyclist, who overcame a serious disease and has become the best cyclist of the moment."

Beltran will now prepare to join compatriot Roberto Heras, who had a less than spectacular Tour after being dogged by illness, in US Postal's next grand tour bid at the Vuelta a España in September.

Tour EPO case to be revealed

The UCI announced Friday that the identity of the Tour de France rider who tested positive for EPO would be announced soon. On the eve of the Tour's final stage last Sunday, Tour director Jean-Marie Leblanc acknowledged that one rider had tested positive for EPO, the only positive doping result in the Tour. The rider's identity has not been released by the UCI, pending the results of his B-sample test.

The rider was tested mid-race, and according to Daniel Baal of the Tour de France, he was not one of the race's leaders. UCI President Hein Verbruggen announced Friday that "we expect to know by today or tomorrow all the results from the tests done at the Tour de France. We'll have a resume by the end of the week."

The last positive test for EPO in the Tour came from Spanish rider Txema del Olmo (Euskaltel-Euskadi) in 2001.

Steels stays

Tom Steels has decided, as have most his teammates, to stay loyal to the Landbouwkrediet-Colnago team for another season. The former Belgian champion re-signed with team manager Gérard Bulens for the coming season.

DataPhonics Racing Team contests Junior Tour

By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent

A powerful entry for the M. Donnelly Junior Tour of Ireland is the UK team from the DataPhonics/ United Rentals from Cambridge. The quartet contains two 2003 British National track champions, Bruce Edgar, who lapped the field twice to win the Junior 20 km event, and Mark Cavendish, who is the reigning British kilometre champion. They are supported by Joe Liversidge and Eddy Knowler.

The team was founded in 1996 as the Cambridge Cycling Academy with the aim of developing ambitious young riders in England to move from club level up to the verge of the Great Britain national team. The founder was none other than Cycling Ireland's Chief Executive, Stuart Hallam.

"My involvement with the Academy team has been most enjoyable," said Hallam. "We have managed to broaden the horizons of dozens of young men and women and have been able to accept invitations to races around Europe," he added. The team has won more than 40 British national titles in the last eight years and has been the backbone of the Great Britain junior team since the inception.

The team has been coming to the Junior Tour of Ireland since 1998, when the team featured the new world pursuit champion, Bradley Wiggins, who finished second that year behind Irish rider Mark Scanlon.

The team was famously sponsored by Brite in 1998 and also dominated the UK scene with a TT2 professional arm. Currently, it is sponsored and branded with the name of Hallam's management consultancy company, DataPhonics and United Rental Group, a division of Sixt A.G.

"The team manages itself nowadays with members like former Olympic medallist, Willi Moore, and multiple world masters champion Dave Le Grys doing most of the work," said Hallam. "I guess that I am the spiritual father figure watching form a distance," he joked.

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