News for January 30, 2003
Edited by Jeff Jones
Team Telekom presentation
The Deutsche Telekom team has was presented in Berlin on Wednesday. After 13 years in the pro peloton, the team has a new look for 2003 with the exit of Jan Ullrich and others, and the addition of several foreign stars.
Jan Ullrich has gone to Team Coast this year, while Bartko (Rabobank), Bölts (Gerolsteiner), Grabsch and Heppner (Wiesenhof), and Livingston (Retired) have also left. These six riders have been replaced by Paolo Savoldelli (Index-Alexia), Cadel Evans and Daniele Nardello (Mapei), Santiago Botero (Kelme), Mario Aerts (Lotto) and Christian Werner (Nürnberger), and few would argue that these riders represent a very powerful set of reinforcements.
"We are collectively stronger and now perhaps the strongest team in the world in broad terms - the only thing that is missing is a big star," said team manager Walter Godefroot. That's not to discount team captain Erik Zabel, who is the current world number one ranked rider, and will again be the team's top man for the bunch sprints.
Zabel's big goal this year is to win back the green jersey from Robbie McEwen in the Tour de France. For him, finishing second is not good enough - he wants the jersey for the seventh time. Zabel will also be vying for honours in Milan-San Remo in March, hoping to win the prestigious Italian classic for a fifth time.
Telekom's top focus will still be on the Tour de France this year, and with riders like Savoldelli, Botero, Evans, Vinokourov and Klöden, the team hopes to challenge for the win. "I want to be so strong for the Tour that the whole team will ride for me," said Botero.
For the classics, Daniele Nardello, Mario Aerts and Steffen Wesemann are all part of the team's plan to challenge in the spring and autumn. On the other hand, Telekom will not be racing in the Giro d'Italia this year, preferring to go to the Tour of Germany and the Peace Race with a stronger team.
After Gerolsteiner and Team Coast finished ahead of Telekom in the UCI rankings at the end of last year, Walter Godefroot wants to reverse that in 2003. "We want to be back at the top of the world again," he said.
Simoni goes skiing
Saeco's Gilberto Simoni climbed to the summit of the Dolomites for a day of skiing and interviews with the press before starting the 2003 season. Simoni's racing season will start in Qatar on Friday, where he joked that "It'll be quite a difference in temperature."
The 2001 Giro d'Italia winner is determined to do well in 2003. He's changed his look, is about to become a father and his morale is sky high. Why not start the season skiing in the Val di Fassa, a paradise for winter sports?
"The Passo Pordoi means a lot to me, it's not just another mountain or another climb to go over during a race," said Simoni. "It's the source of inspiration that will help me try and win another Giro d'Italia. What happened last year is one of my biggest defeats but I know it's all behind me. For me the Pordoi means energy. It fills me with energy and gives me the conviction to promise everybody who came here that I'm ready to face the new season. I've got an important objective: race as much as possible, starting from the Tour of Qatar, then the Trofeo Laigueglia and Paris-Nice especially the stage to Mont Faron."
"I've changed my training this year," Simoni added. "I've got an extra 2000 kilometres of training in my legs compared to last year and I'm already in pretty good shape. I'm already looking ahead to the Giro d'Italia. Like Lance Armstrong does for the Tour de France, I've already checked out most of the important climbs of the Giro route and I already know when to attack. I'm not looking for an immediate revenge to forget about last year, I'm willing to wait for the Giro. Of course any results before then would be good for my morale."
Simoni is also looking forward to the Tour de France, as Saeco has received a wild card invitation to race in it. "When I think about the Tour, I don't just hope to do well. I want to make Lance Armstrong suffer. I should have done it last year, so will definitely try this year."
He has other goals too, "I still haven't forgotten about the world championships in Lisbon when I almost won. I want to be paid back in Hamilton in October. In Lisbon in 2001 I felt I wasn't looked after by the Italian Federation. After the incredible finale when a team mate chased me down, I expected some kind of disciplinary action. It was if a football player had purposely kicked the ball in his own net without his team saying or doing anything."
In February, Simoni will also be busy off the bike. His wife Arianna is expecting a baby, which they have already decided to call Sofia. Simoni's first race in Qatar gives him cause to reflect on the problems in the Middle East. "War is something which belongs in the past," he said. "I can't understand why we still can't find an alternative to violence."
Simoni also remembered Denis Zanette the Fassa Bortolo rider who recently died. "Denis was special and I want to remember him even after all the other words people have said after his death. During the races he gave it everything and often helped other riders even if they weren't from his team."
U.S. team has high hopes for World's
The 2003 World Cyclo-Cross Championships will take place this weekend in Monopoli, Italy. The men's junior and U23 races will be held on Saturday, followed by elite women's and men's races on Sunday. Cyclingnews will be providing live coverage of the men's race on Sunday, starting from 12:40 CET.
The U.S. has sent a full team of riders, led by reigning national cyclo-cross champions Ann Grande (Des Moines, Washington), Jonathan Page (Northfield, N.H.), Adam Craig (Corinth, Maine) and Jesse Anthony (Beverly, Mass.). The team arrived in Italy last week, and spent the weekend competing in local cyclo-cross races to "air out the legs," as men's junior and espoir Team Manager Jeff Proctor said.
"The races over the weekend were a great chance to get the bugs out," said Proctor. "They were tune-up races...nothing more. There were no expectations and no pressure...just a chance to air out the legs. Everyone is really focused right now. We have meetings every day to talk about race strategies. We have real potential in both races [junior and U23 men], and we're training smart this week."
The weather in Monopoli has been cold and wet, with conditions for the weekend's World Championships forecast to remain the same. "The weather hasn't been great, but that doesn't matter," said Proctor. "We did a two-hour training ride [Monday], and we rode to the coast. These big rollers were crashing on the shore, and the guys were standing on the rocky coastline, nearly getting knocked over by the waves. It's a great experience for these guys to be here, and I have a really good feeling about the results this weekend."
The U.S. team is as follows
Teams announced for Tour de Georgia
The first 15 American and international teams that will race in the Tour de Georgia (April 22-27) have been announced. The list includes top Division I teams US Postal and Rabobank, as well as most of the other US based professional teams. More teams are expected to be added in the coming weeks.
The Tour de Georgia will cover more than 600 miles (965 km) in six days, including a time trial, stages over rolling terrain, a tough mountain stage and a finishing circuit race around the streets of Atlanta. It's been classified as a UCI 2.3 stage race.
Teams so far
U.S. Postal Service-Berry Floor
Sportsbook.com adds duathlete World Champ
The Sportsbook.com pro cycling team has added World and US National Duathlon Champion Josh Beck to its roster. Josh won the 20-24 age group and will be named the US Triathlon Federation Duathlete of the Year next week in San Diego.
"Josh provides us with a threat for the GC," commented Sportsbook.com team director Bill Laudien. "He's obviously a talented time trialist, but as he showed in winning the PA State Championship with a mountain finish, he can climb as well."
Floyd Landis diary 2003
During last year's Tour de France, Cyclingnews welcomed Floyd Landis as a reporter. The talented, gutsy, 26 year old ex-mountain biker had ridden his way to a start in the Tour as a key part of Lance Armstrong's USPS squad, and Landis went on to distinguish himself as an important member of the now legendary "Blue Train" at Le Tour. Floyd also endeared himself to Cyclingnews readers for his unique take on an American rookie's life in the Tour De France peloton.
In 2003, Cyclingnews is pleased to announce the return of Floyd with his exclusive journal "Hangin' In There." His first entry, Crashing Into The New Year, describes exactly what happened when he broke his hip earlier this year.
Independent Fabrication/Wheelworks Women's Cycling
The Independent Fabrication/Wheelworks Women's Cycling Team has announced its roster of riders and sponsors for the 2003 season. The team is composed of returnees Brenda Bahnson, Katheryn Curi, Lisa Maxwell, Julia Oh, Heather Peck, Michele Smith, and Aimee Vasse, a mix of all-around riders, climbers, and sprinters.
The team started as Merlin/Smartfuel in 1997 and in 2000 picked up title sponsorship from Wheelworks, a New England bicycle retailer, and cyclo-cross frame manufacturer Independent Fabrication. IF /Wheelworks is based in New England and races a full schedule of regional and National Racing Calendar events.
Brenda Bahnson (Cat. 2)
*limited appearances during the 2003 season
Director sportif: Matt Bracken
Independent Fabrication (bicycle frame builder) www.ifbikes.com
Brave Soldier (athletic skincare) www.bravesoldier.com
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2002)