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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition News for May 13, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones & Chris Henry

86th Giro d'Italia news

Stage 3 wrap up: Garzelli confirms

Stefano Garzelli
Photo: © Sirotti
Click for larger image

One year after his ejection from the 2002 Giro d'Italia for a positive doping test, Stefano Garzelli confirmed Monday that he is back in business, making his mark in an uphill sprint finish in Terme Liugiane. "I thought I was kind of tired today in the final, and I have to thank my teammates who have been great these last three days," Garzelli told RAI TV. "After what happened in last year's Giro, today's win really means a lot for me. I was hoping for this win and now my morale is good. I'm looking forward to the Terminillo (climb). But a win in the Giro is always something great."

Monday's stage began with a long flat cruise under the hot Italian sun. Midway through the race, a breakaway including several sprinters prompted a fierce chase from the Saeco team, winding the peloton up to an unusually fast pace in the early part of the Giro.

After that there was a brief lull before the 11km long climb to Fagnano Castello. Somewhat surprisingly, the climb did not shake the sprinters, with the notable exception of Mario Cipollini, who languished over a minute behind the main field at the summit. Robbie McEwen tried a bold escape on the following descent, perhaps working out some frustration over his relegation for irregular sprinting in stage 2, but was reeled in by race leader Alessandro Petacchi's Fassa Bortolo squad.

In the end, Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) had the strength to place third on the stage and keep his maglia rosa, but it was Garzelli who showed himself to be the smartest and strongest rider of the day.

Verbrugghe crashes and loses time

Lotto-Domo's fortunes continue to go awry in the Giro d'Italia, after Rik Verbrugghe crashed in today's third stage. The winner of the fastest ever prologue time trial (Giro 2001) suffered wounds to his left shoulder and knee after he crashed on a descent near the finish.

"It was a stupid crash," he said according to Belgian VRT teletekst. "A few riders missed their corner. I rode to the left and crashed against a pole. In the fall I hit my leg against my bike. The blow was so hard that the frame broke."

"I have the most pain in my knee," added Verbrugghe, who finished the stage in 164th position at 9'41 down. I could barely put any power in in the last two kilometres."

Stage 3 report and full results
Blow-by-blow report
Photo gallery

Play the Cyclingnews Giro fantasy game

It's still not too late to enter the Cyclingnews Giro fantasy game, with registration still open until the end of stage 6 and before the start of stage 7 (May 16-17). So as not to be disadvantaged by entering late, and also to allow time to understand the game play, you will be able to pick your teams and still earn points retrospectively for each stage so far.

The rules of the game allow you to select one (or more) teams of 15 riders, from which you choose nine riders for each stage, as well as nine for the final overall mountains, points and general classifications. You have 9000 UCI points to 'spend' on your each of your 15 rider teams, so choose wisely!

As an example, the Cyclingnews team selected for the competition (taking full advantage of the rules!) is as follows: Francesco Casagrande (Lampre), Mario Cipollini and Gabriele Colombo (Domina Vacanze-Elitron), Bernhard Eisel (, Isaac Galvez Lopez and Carlos Garcia Quesada (Kelme-Costa Blanca), Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola-SO.DI), Graziano Gasparre (De Nardi-Colpack), Rodolfo Massi (Colombia-Selle Italia), Robbie Mcewen (Lotto-Domo), Marco Pantani (Mercatone Uno - Scanavino), Alessandro Petacchi and Aitor Gonzalez (Fassa Bortolo), Gilberto Simoni (Team Saeco) and Scott Sunderland (Team fakta-Pata Chips).

Of course even if it scored enough points, the Cyclingnews team isn't allowed to win a Cannondale CAAD7 road frame or any of the other great prizes on offer. That's what you can win if you enter this week, and the game costs $7.50 to participate in. Click here for further details.

Pevenage rounding up investors

Team Coast directeur sportif Rudy Pevenage has indicated that the stage is set for a transfer of power at Team Coast. Pevenage has been working with Bianchi and additional investors in Germany to assume control of Team Coast's racing license, in an effort to protect both the team and his number one rider, Jan Ullrich. Despite a number of reported offers from other teams for the services of Ullrich, Pevenage remains clear that Ullrich's first wish is to remain within the Coast formation.

"This morning we reached an agreement with a new German investor," Pevenage told German news agency DPA on Monday. "Now we're asking [the UCI] for the new license. If we get it, which I expect we will, we will make new offers to the 45 employees of Coast, including the 22 riders. We need to do this as quickly as possible."

Should Pevenage et. al. be granted the license for the team, the new management will be required to provide the UCI with the same guarantees as Coast (which have to date been the source of difficulty) concerning the team's financial viability.

Latest UCI rankings

Tyler Hamilton
Photo: © Jeff Tse
Click for larger image

To coincide with the start of the Giro d'Italia, the UCI has updated its world rankings. During the Giro, there will probably be quite a few changes to the list, as all the favourites for this year did not finish the race last year. Similarly, two of the top three (Paolo Savoldelli and Tyler Hamilton) are not riding the Giro, meaning that they will lose the UCI points gained last year.

Speaking of Hamilton, the American CSC captain enjoyed a fantastic run of success this spring, winning Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Tour of Romandie, as well as placing highly in the Vuelta a Pais Vasco. That has given him 924 points for the season, which makes him the number one rider for 2003 (so far).

In the overall yearly rankings, there haven't been too many changes, although Dario Frigo (winner of Romandie last year) has slipped from 2nd to 5th place, while Armstrong and Rebellin have both moved up to within striking distance of perennial number one, Erik Zabel. Hamilton is up to sixth on this list, with 1645 UCI points, ahead of the likes of Robbie McEwen, Aitor Gonzalez and Mario Cipollini.

In the teams rankings, Saeco has finally claimed the number one spot from Quick.Step-Davitamon, which has been a bit quiet of late after a big start to the year. Telekom and Fassa Bortolo are also up there in the top echelons of Division I. In Division II, BankGiroLoterij has double the points of its nearest rival Colchon Relax-Fuenlabrada, however Panaria (in 4th spot) may close the gap a little during the Giro.

UCI rankings as of May 11, 2003


1 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom                            2,161.00 pts
2 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal presented by Berry Floor 1,942.00
3 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner                       1,889.00
4 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step-Davitamon                 1,871.00
5 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                          1,670.00
6 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC                            1,645.00
7 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Domo                           1,485.00
8 Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Spa) Fassa Bortolo               1,435.00
9 Mario Cipollini (Ita) Domina Vacanze-Elitron             1,428.20
10 Roberto Heras (Spa) US Postal presented by Berry Floor  1,427.75
11 Joseba Beloki Dorronsoro (Spa) O.N.C.E.-Eroski          1,420.00
12 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Lampre                       1,360.00
13 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Team Saeco                         1,275.00
14 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank                          1,251.60
15 Laurent Brochard (Fra) AG2r Prévoyance                  1,196.00
16 Santiago Botero Echeverry (Col) Team Telekom            1,141.40
17 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Team Saeco                          1,090.00
18 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) AG2r Prévoyance                     1,044.00
19 Baden Cooke (Aus)                            1,037.00
20 Michele Bartoli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                     1,001.00

Top riders of 2003

1 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC                              924.00 pts
2 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step-Davitamon                   764.00
3 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner                         701.00
4 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank                             662.00
5 Laurent Brochard (Fra) AG2r Prévoyance                     652.00
6 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Telekom                    640.00
7 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom                              628.00
8 Iban Mayo Diez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                     621.00
9 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) AG2r Prévoyance                        586.00
9 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Lotto-Domo                         586.00

Division I

1 Team Saeco                                               3,129.00 pts
2 Quick.Step-Davitamon                                     2,932.00
3 Team Telekom                                             2,731.00
4 Fassa Bortolo                                            2,698.75
5 Rabobank                                                 2,696.00
6 Team CSC                                                 2,193.00
7 Milaneza-MSS                                             2,139.00
8 Alessio                                                  1,936.00
9 O.N.C.E.-Eroski                                          1,914.00
10 Gerolsteiner                                            1,898.00

Division II

1 Bankgiroloterij Cycling Team                             1,445.00 pts
2 Colchon Relax-Fuenlabrada                                  713.00
3 Marlux-Wincor Nixdorf                                      708.00
4 Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo                                   699.00
5 Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave                                     633.00

Full rankings

Wegmann out for a week

Gerolsteiner's Fabian Wegmann will be off the bike for a week to ten days, following a crash in Sunday's stage 3 of the Peace Race. Team manager Hans-Michael Holczer explained Monday that Wegmann suffered an injury to his foot when he slid out due to some gravel on the course. Excessive swelling and a possible fracture of a bone in his foot prompted doctors to immobilise the foot.

"We hope [Wegmann] will be ready for the Tour of Germany and following that the Tour de Suisse, as planned," Holczer said. The 23 year old Wegmann was Gerolsteiner's general classification man in the Peace Race.

Rubens Bertogliati (Lampre, broken collarbone) and Stefano Casagranda (Alessio, broken wrist) were also forced to abandon after the stage.


Record Tour coverage

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Tour de France, France Télévisions plans to broadcast 120 hours of coverage of the race, including the seven mountain stages in their entirety. France Télévisions will spread its coverage over France 2, France 3, and France 5, including live coverage, documentaries, and special programs, made possible by a staff of some 300 people for the three week race.

The announcement of the breadth of coverage came in conjunction with France Télévisions' confirmation that it will extend its deal with Amaury Sport Organisation to hold the broadcast rights to the Tour for the next five years. The network's president Marc Tessier explained at a press conference that "the Tour is on France Télévisions, and it will stay there."

Yoplait Women's Cycling Summit Conference

The Great River Energy Bicycle Festival has announced that it will host a Women's Cycling Summit Conference. Participants will include women competitors and team managers who are participating in the Nature Valley Grand Prix along with cycling luminaries from across the country. The summit is also open to the media and anyone interested in women's racing. The conference will take place from 4 to 7 pm after the Winona Road Race on Saturday, June 14.

This "first of its kind" conference, sponsored by Yoplait Yogurt, is a response to recent trends, including the loss of a number of major women's races. The goal of the conference is to identify specific strategies to build women's racing at both the elite and grassroots levels.

The conference was first suggested by Saturn assistant manager Giana Roberge, who called it "a unique opportunity for women to seize control of our own future. There's a lot of energy and creativity in the sport and we're convinced that, by working together, great things can happen."

Conference participants will include Robynn Browne (International Women's Challenge), Jeanne Golay (1992 World Champion and 1993 Women's Challenge champion), Michael Aisner (Coors Classic), Tom Schuler (Team Sports), Gerard Bisceglia (USA Cycling), Rick Geist (The International/Tour de 'Toona) and David LaPorte (Nature Valley Grand Prix).

Visit for more information about the Great River Energy Bicycle Festival and the Nature Valley Grand Prix.

Unicyclist sets world record

New Zealand surgeon Ken Looi has broken the world record for riding a unicycle off-road for 24 hours [ed: there's a record for this?]. Looi rode 134 kilometres on his one-wheeled machine while taking part in the Cateye Moonride mountain bike event in Rotorua, New Zealand last weekend. He beat the previous world record of 122km, held by Joe Marshall of the UK..

Looi said that unicycling is a serious sport. "Mountain unicycling is more similar to mountain biking than it is to clowning. It requires the same attitude, fitness and challenge of riding a mountain bike," he told NZPA.

Looi started unicycling two and a half years ago, and next February plans to ride 500 kilometres from Vietnam to Cambodia to raise money for the Oxfam charity.

Tony Melton also set the 12 hour world record for offroad unicycling at the same event with 14 laps of the 12 hour course, covering a distance of 106.4km.

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