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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for December 9, 2003

Edited by Chris Henry

Thousands pay tribute to Jimenez

Thousands of supporters turned out to pay final tribute to Spanish cycling hero José Maria Jimenez, who died Saturday at the age of 32. Jimenez was buried in his hometown of El Barraco Monday morning. He died of an apparent heart attack at a Madrid psychiatric hospital where he was being treated for depression.

Supporters of Jimenez, who for years were enthralled by his all-or-nothing riding style and incredible climbing skills, stood silently outside the small church where services were held. The town declared Monday an official day of mourning in honour of "El Chaba". A number of Jimenez's former teammates and fellow professionals were in El Barraco to pay their respects, including Abraham Olano, José Vicente Garcia Acosta, Pablo Lastras, Carlos Sastre, and director Eusebio Unzúe.

See also: The day he tamed el Angliru: A Tribute to José Maria Jimenez

Herald Sun-Tour rider under doping cloud

By Gerard Knapp

The Australian Sports Drug Agency (ASDA) has reported an "irregular" sample was provided by a rider who competed in the Herald Sun-Tour in Victoria, one of Australia's major road races with a UCI ranking that features many top professionals from around the world.

A spokesperson for Cycling Australia, the sport's ruling body in Australia, said it had not been informed of the rider's identity or nationality by the UCI, however, it did confirm that ASDA had reported the irregular sample to the UCI. "This would infer that it's an international rider, not an Australian'" said the spokesperson. It's understood that when a rider does return an irregular or 'non-negative' sample, the sport's national ruling body is informed by the UCI.

The director of the Herald Sun-Tour, John Craven, declined to discuss further details about the rider. However, he did tell Cyclingnews, "it's my strong belief that it's not an Australian rider". This year, the race featured an international field of emerging and experienced professionals from 15 nations.

The HST director was informed last week by ASDA that it had one result pending further analysis. Craven said the ASDA report has meant "we have had to withhold prize money, so the sooner it's resolved the better". He said the HST had one of the best records for distributing prize money of any UCI stage race, while the only other positive doping incident was in 1991. "We have always given ASDA our full cooperation because personally I despise doping."

He said that ASDA conducted 12 tests over the 10-day race and they "do it randomly. They test race leaders, stage winners or any other rider. I don't know until the numbers go up on the board. They're doing more sporadic testing to reinforce the idea that no drug cheat is safe," he added.

Rumsas to Atlas-Hoop-Polsat

Lithuanian Raimondas Rumsas will join the Polish Atlas-Hoop-Polsat team for 2004. The newest incarnation of this year's CCC-Polsat formation has confirmed 14 riders thus far: 10 from Poland and four international. Two other recent signatures include ex-BigMat-Auber riders Plamen Stoïanov and Alexeï Sivakov.

The 14 confirmed riders include: Raimondas Rumsas, Plamen Stoïanov, Alexeï Sivakov, Quintino Rodrigues, Piotr Przydzia, Radoslaw Romanik, Slawomir Kohut, Seweryn Kohut, Jacek Mickiewicz, Arkadiusz Wojtas, Marek Galinski, Dariusz Skoczylas, Andrzej Zarebski, and Lukasz Bodnar.

Vini Caldirola signs Borghini

On the heels of a contract offered to Russian veteran Pavel Tonkov, the Vini Caldirola team has signed promising 23 year old rider Paolo Longo Borghini.

Busy Popovych rejoins team

Happy camper
Photo: © Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
Click for larger image

It may be the off-season, but Yaroslav Popovych is still keeping busy. The Ukrainian, third in this year's Giro d'Italia, has returned to Europe after trying his hand at the track during the Six Days of Nouméa in New Caledonia. Starting Tuesday, Popovych rejoins several of his Landbouwkrediet-Colnago teammates at a training camp in Livigno, Italy, in the Valtellina region.

Popovych, along with Yurij Metlushenko, Sergey Advyeyev, Volodymyr Bileka, Mikhail Timochine and neo-pro (and recently crowned U23 world champion) Sergey Lagutin will start preparing for 2004 with some cross-country skiing and mountain biking.

Rousseau plans his future

French track star Florian Rousseau is a man with a plan. Currently training for his final season of competition, culminating with the Olympic Games in Athens, Rousseau has a well-charted path for the coming years off the bike. With an extensive educational background in sports training, Rousseau is set to become a full-time trainer at the Institut National du Sport et de l'Education (INSEP) in Paris, France.

Rousseau, a three-time Olympic champion, will begin as trainer for the sprinters at INSEP in January, 2005, alongside current coach Gérard Quintyn, and will likely take full responsibility in 2006 when Quintyn steps down from the post.

"The idea of being a trainer came to me early," Rousseau commented in l'Equipe last week. "When I started at INSEP at 16, I discovered the concept of daily training and I was interested in understanding why one would succeed at this exercise or that. I wanted to understand what I was doing. The track has given me a lot, and I'm very motivated to do well in the role of trainer."

Holland Pro Cycling Team

HPCT in action
Photo: © HPCT
Click for larger image

The Dutch-based mountain bike team with the motto 'Together we will climb every mountain' will take its social conscience to the professional ranks. The Holland Pro Cycling Team (HPCT) team will enter 2004 with trade team status, become the Netherlands' second MTB trade team.

"The choice for becoming a trade team was actually planned for 2005, but regarding our possibilities and achievements on sportive and organizational levels this year, this step was possible earlier," explained Ralf van Heugten, one of the founders of the team.

The team rides for the support of AIDS orphans in Zambia. Parts of HPCT's sponsored budget is donated to the Pola van der Donck Foundation, an organization which is building the Palabana children's village in Zambia. In this village and in surrounding communities, structural help is given to the AIDS orphans.

The mix of Dutch and Belgian riders includes newcomers Jelmer Pietersma (Dutch champion U23 and winner European Cup U23) and Tim Wijnants (Flemish cadet champion) and returning members Maarten Wijnants (Flemish champion), Bram van der Wal and Micha de Vries. As she did in 2003, Marianne Vos (Dutch junior women's champion) will be participating as a guest rider for HPCT.

More information on the team can be found at (site is in Dutch).

2004 Bayern-Rundfahrt visits Munich

For the first time in its history, the Bayern-Rundfahrt stage race will visit Munich during the 2004 edition. The six stage race will be held in the Bavaria region of Germany from May 19 to 23, 2004, beginning in Selb and wrapping up in Burghausen. The second day of racing will feature a split stage with a morning road race and afternoon individual time trial.

The visit to Munich coincides with the race's 25th anniversary, and will offer Munich fans a chance to see the riders up close with a neutral lap through the city centre. All told the UCI 2.3 race will cover 890 kilometres. Last year's edition was won by Michael Rich of Gerolsteiner.


Stage 1 - May 19: Selb - Roth
Stage 2 - May 20: Roth - Aichach
Stage 3 - May 20: Aichach ITT
Stage 4 - May 21: München - Bad Aibling
Stage 5 - May 22: Bad Aibling - Pfarrkirchen
Stage 6 - May 23: Pfarrkirchen - Burghausen

LeMond offers camp to benefit Eddie B.

Eager to lend a hand to a former coach, Greg LeMond has offered to run a one-time cycling camp to help Eddie Borysewicz rebuild after his California home was lost to fire in October. LeMond has assembled a star-studded group of athletes to participate, and a 1984 Olympic Cycling Team reunion is planned as part of the event. The camp is scheduled for February 4-9. 2004 at the Tamarack Resort Hotel in Carlsbad, California.

The camp will include skills training, performance testing, high altitude simulation, and lectures and stories from the luminaries, as well as equipment from Rudy Project and other sponsors and photo opportunities with LeMond and the other athletes.

Greg's "Olympian Assistants" include: Steve Hegg, Harvey Nitz, Nelson Vails, Ken Carpenter, Wayne Stetina, Shaun Wallace. Roy Knickman, Danny Van Haute, Mark Whitehead, Brent Emery, Thurlow Rogers, John Beckmand and multiple National Champion Scott Berryman. 

The registration fee is $2,995.

More information is available at, or by phone: (541) 513-1467. Registration online:

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