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Photo ©: Swift

First Edition News for May 12, 2003

Edited by Anthony Tan and Jeff Jones

86th Giro d'Italia news

McEwen relegated in Stage 2

The move
Photo: © Sirotti
Click for larger image

The second stage of the Giro d'Italia finished with a bunch sprint, slightly reduced in size due to a category 3 climb located 20 km from the finish. First across the line today was Lotto-Domo's Robbie McEwen, who showed he had the strength to win as he hit out on the right hand side, with Fabio Baldato (Alessio) in tow. Baldato tried to come around on the inside, but in the final metres McEwen moved too far across, and more importantly thrust his elbow in the direction of Baldato's ribs. The Alessio man immediately threw up his arm in protest as McEwen threw up his to celebrate the stage win.

The race jury did not delibertate for long, and decided to relegate McEwen to last position in the bunch due to his manouvre. That gave Baldato the stage, while Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) kept the pink leader's jersey after finishing fourth and winning the Intergiro sprint.

It wasn't a good day for Mario Cipollini however, as he was shelled on the climb of Montescaglioso and could not regain contact. He finished over four minutes down on the bunch, but will have more chances next week.

For our blow by blow coverage of today's stage, click here and here for the full results and report.

Pantani doesn't want helmet rule

Marco Pantani's bald or bandana adorned head will rarely be seen in races from now on, due to the UCI's new helmet rule, introduced at the beginning of the week. The rule forces riders to wear helmets at all times, but can remove them on the final climb of a race providing it's at least 5 kilometres long.

Pantani doesn't agree with the rule, although he has complied with it so far during the Giro. "If wearing a helmet was the best way to avoid accidents I'd make an effort, but unfortunately I think riders will still die with or without a helmet," Pantani was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Pantani believes that freedom of choice is important, and that he himself feels less safe when wearing one due to restricted visibility. He also doesn't like it on hot days, and the first two days of the Giro have been over 30 degrees. "It's like wearing a mask," he said.

Pantani added that most of his colleagues agree with him, but there are no plans for a protest of any sort during the Giro.

The Coast will soon be clear: Pevenage remains optimistic

By Tim Maloney, European Editor

In an exclusive interview, Cyclingnews spoke with Team Coast directeur sportif Rudy Pevenage at his home in Geraardsbergen, Belgium, where he voiced his opinion concerning the team's second suspension by the UCI this season.

Cyclingnews: How are you doing, Rudy?

Rudy Pevenage: Well, I'm not so lucky these days, but I'm hoping something will work out.

CN: What is the current status of Team Coast?

RP: We are trying to keep this team together; that is our primary objective, rather than finding another team for Jan, Tobias (Steinhauser) and myself. We are asking Mr. Dahms [Coast owner] to reduce his sponsorship role, so that the team can become Bianchi-Coast. We will make new [financial] propositions to the riders, revisit the contracts and reduce the budget so we can continue. Early next week, we'll present this plan to the UCI.

CN: How is Jan Ullrich's morale with all this happening?

RP: His morale is OK; he's still training hard and he knows that this is not the best situation. He was supposed to race Asturias, so he's a bit annoyed that this didn't happen. But we are not looking at Ullrich to come back at the highest level this year - we really see him at the top next year.

CN: Have you had any other propositions?

RP: Of course, but that's not the way we want to go right now. Jan likes Team Coast; he's happy here and he's glad to be with riders he's known for a long time, like [his former teammate at RSV Berlin] Andre Korff. We want to fix the situation at Team Coast and keep the structure together. There are 45 people who will lose their jobs if this team folds, and I don't think the UCI or the Professional Cycling Council want to see that. What's happening is not our fault!

CN: So you see the team continuing as Team Bianchi-Coast?

RP: I hope so... Bianchi has been involved in cycling for a long time and is really behind the team. I really think it will be good for the bicycle business if Bianchi is the title sponsor for this team.

SARS effects create havoc for sports hosted in Japan

By Miwako Sasaki, Japanese Cycle Sports

This week's annoucement that Tour of Japan was to be cancelled due to the SARS epedemic is the first time the race has been cancelled since its inception in 1982 (formerly known as the International Cycle Road Race until 1995).

UCI regulations state that teams from at least five separate nations must compete for a cycling event to be awarded a UCI ranking, so when the Dutch team AXA made their withdrawal on May 6 because of a fear of the SARS virus, race organisers were forced to cancel the Tour of Japan just 11 days before the race start.

However, not only has the sport of cycling been affected. According to the Japanese newspaper Asahi (official sponsor of the Tour of Japan), the Fencing World Cup in Fukui from June 6-8 has also been ruled out after just two out of an expected 20 countries submitted their entries, with some Japanese wrestling athletes returning home at the Asian Junior Championships in India.

News from South Africa

Team announced for Junior World Track Championships

Kyle Swain, who recently set a new national record in the Individual Pursuit, will join Raynold Smith (CVT) and Boland's Nolan Hoffman as they head off to Moscow for the Junior World Track Championships from August 20-24.

After finishing second in the open Madison event at the national championships, Smith and Swain will be riding the Madison together, with Smith also contesting the Scratch and Points events and Swain including the Individual Pursuit and Points Race in his race schedule. Nolan Hoffman will be participating in the Sprint and Keirin.

Teams have also been announced for the Veterans Track Worlds in Manchester. The men's team consists of Mario Nell, Grenville Scullard, Wikus Esterhuizen Timothy Abbott, Kenny Jubber, Duncan McIntyre, Bruce Robertson, Willie Marx and Henry Smith. The women's team is made up of Diane Scullard, Paula Noah and Anne Schooling.

Guess who's coming to Dinnerville

The Illawarra Cycle Club will once again be hosting the 47th Ken Dinnerville Memorial on May 25, a 90 kilometre handicap race held on the roads of West Dapto, roughly 100 kilometres south of Sydney.

Named in honour of Ken Dinnerville, a local rider killed while training in 1955, the popular NSWCF open event attracts up to 170 riders from across the state and the country. Over the years, several state and national champions have won the race, including Peter Milostic, Steve Williams and NSWIS head coach Garry Sutton.

For further information, call Andrew Telford on (04) 1816 5174 or (02) 9868 7762.

The future's bright for CTC

President of the national cyclists' organisation in the UK and Ireland and "voice of cycling" Phil Liggett, holds high hopes for CTC in its 125th year, indicating at CTC's AGM that membership was on the increase and finances were stable.

Director Kevin Mayne presented the Annual Report to the meeting in Stevenage, saying that two years of investment and the streamlining of services had boosted membership to its second highest peak ever after six months of poor weather and the effects of foot and mouth disease left CTC with a £100,000 deficit in September 2001.

"We are becoming a leading organisation in cycle training, which began as a CTC initiative in 1938," said Mayne "We have set up mountain biking centres all over the country and CTC Holidays and Tours Ltd has just completed its first full year of operation. And through our Go Biking programme, we have given people who would otherwise never cycle, the chance to try out bikes for the first time for years."

CTC membership was 54,899 on March 31, 2003. The highest figure recorded was 60,499 in 1899.

Cipo's misses are your (possible) gain

Cipo close, but not quite...
Photo: © Sirotti
Click for larger image

In the opening stage of the Giro d'Italia, Mario Cipollini came close to winning but was pipped on the line by Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo). In doing so, Petacchi took away one opportunity from his countryman to equal the long-standing record of 41 stage wins in the Giro, held by Alfredo Binda. In stage two, Cipollini was again beaten, this time by gravity.

Both Petacchi and the climb of Montescaglioso also gave you one more chance to win that Domina Vacanze replica Specialized S-Works E5 road bike. If you've not yet entered, then please visit the competition page. and take your best punt on when Cipo will actually equal the record with his 41st stage win, and then break this record with his 42nd.

This competition follows on from our recent Specialized S1 helmet give-away and all six winners have been contacted. They will soon be receiving their rainbow-striped helmets, worn only by World Champions - and six lucky Cyclingnews readers.

We had thousands of entries from dozens of countries, but there could only be six winners: five from the USA and one from New Zealand.

One of our winners is Amy Osmond, a schoolteacher from Pennsylvania. Amy only bought her first road bike last year but is now a keen cyclist. Amy is also spreading the word by educating her second-grade pupils on really important matters, like the correct way to spell famous cyclists' names.

"I have loved every minute in the saddle. My rides average between 20-30 miles and I try to get out three-to-four times a week during the school year and much more often during the summer.

"I do what I can to create cycling interest in my second grade class. They know all about the greatness of Lance, how to spell Cipollini, and last year they watched the Vuelta during their lunch period. I can't wait to show them the helmet...and do a bicycle safety unit while I'm at it."

Our Kiwi reader Brent Backhouse told Cyclingnews "I'll be using Cipo's helmet on the road here in Wellington (New Zealand). There is no racing on here at the moment, but come August I'll be using it in our local races all the time."

Another winner was Victor Becker, who said "My cycling has become disturbingly infrequent because of three small children and my medical practice, but I do like to wear my helmet around the house and pretend that I'm riding my bicycle, occasionally throwing myself onto the floor or into a wall to simulate the real thing. That is what makes wearing a helmet so important, and I would never pretend to ride my bicycle without one.

"When I am permitted outside, I spend about 75% of my time on my mountain bike with an occasional race as a pretext to drink beer with my mates after the ride. I'm sure my new rainbow striped helmet will make me ride faster so I can get the best seat at the bar."

Thank you to everyone who entered. Keep watching the Giro coverage to see when Cipo breaks the record. Even if he doesn't do it, Specialized is still committed to offering this great bike to one lucky Cyclingnews reader, so be sure to enter.

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