News for December 4, 2001

Edited by Jeff Jones

Recent results and new features

Casero signs for Team Coast

After months of negotiations, this year's Vuelta España winner Angel Casero has finally signed a contract for next season. He will definitely ride for German first division Team Coast, signing for one year on Monday. He admitted he was talking with Lampre's manager Giuseppe Saronni last Saturday, however they could not reach an agreement and by the afternoon, he had decided in favour of Team Coast.

"I have not signed the contract of my life, but a performance based contract which is motivating for a rider. I believe that it is enough at the moment," said Casero. "I have not signed for economic reasons, only for sporting reasons."

In Coast, Casero will be reunited with his former director Juan Fernandez, as well as several of his former Festina teammates. "For me, the last few years have gone well with him. I know how the team works and I have the freedom to choose my program," added Casero.

The team is not guaranteed a start in the Tour de France, but Casero hopes that their chances will be increased by having the winner of the Vuelta in the team. "I hope that Jean Mari Leblanc pays attention to us," he said. "It would not be a disaster not to go to the Tour. I like the Giro and to dispute it would be for me a new experience. If I don't race in France I have the possibility of participating in two grand tours."

Juan Fernandez declared that Casero "will be the leader of the team in the grand tours, although if during the race somebody is better, then Casero will ride in support."

UCI cyclo-cross rankings: Nijs number 1

The pecking order has remained virtually the same in the latest set of UCI cyclo-cross rankings, issued after round 2 of the World Cup. Still way off the front is the very much in-form Belgian Sven Nijs (Rabobank), who has 1939 points compared with Erwin Vervecken (Spaar Select) on 1572 points. Richard Groenendaal (Rabobank), Bart Wellens (Spaar Select) and Mario De Clercq (Domo-Farm Frites) all follow in the usual order.

Switzerland has overtaken Italy in the nations classifications, probably because Italy refused to send a team to the Spanish round of the World Cup.

Rankings as of December 3, 2001

1 Sven Nijs (Bel) Rabobank                 1,939.00 pts
2 Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Spaar Select       1,572.00
3 Richard Groenendaal (Ned) Rabobank       1,485.00
4 Bart Wellens (Bel) Spaar Select          1,325.00
5 Mario De Clercq (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites   1,121.00
6 Petr Dlask (Cze)                           844.00
7 Daniele Pontoni (Ita)                      762.00
8 Tom Vannoppen (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim   714.00
9 Jiri Pospisil (Cze)                        709.00
10 Peter Van Santvliet (Bel) Spaar Select    624.00
11 Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank            607.00
12 Beat Wabel (Swi)                          560.00
13 Wim De Vos (Ned) Spaar Select             461.00
14 Vaclav Jezek (Cze)                        412.00
15 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Mez Team        387.00
16 David Pagnier (Fra)                       361.00
17 Arne Daelmans (Bel) Den Tip Vorselaar     292.00
18 Marc Gullikson (USA) Mongoose             275.00
18 Maarten Nijland (Ned) WTC Woerden         275.00
20 Roland Schätti (Swi)                      263.00
1 Belgium                                  6,671.00 pts
2 Netherlands                              3,043.00
3 Czech Republic                           2,353.00
4 Switzerland                              1,444.00
5 Italy                                    1,439.00
Full rankings

Dekker, Van Moorsel Dutch cyclists of the year

Erik Dekker and Leontien van Moorsel have been voted the Dutch cyclists of the year for the second year in a row. They were chosen by readers of the Wieler Revue magazine, the Wielervakbond (VVBW) and former riders from the 48 Club.

Dekker received the Gouden Spaak (Gerrit Schulte Trofee) for his wins in the World Cup, Amstel Gold Race and a stage in the Tour de France. Van Moorsel received the Zilveren Spaak (Keetie van Oosten-Hage Trofee) for her world title in the individual pursuit. Bart Brentjens was voted off-road cyclist of the year and Arno Wallaard was the best Espoir/U23 rider.

CPLD will hear Txema Del Olmo in January

The Conseil de prévention de lutte contre le dopage (CPLD) will hear the case of Spanish cyclist Txema Del Olmo in January 2002, a spokesman announced today. Del Olmo returned a "non-negative" value for EPO following the prologue of the 2001 Tour de France, and his second urine sample confirmed the result. He was sacked by his Euskaltel-Euskadi team, but managed to sign a contract with Maia-Milaneza for next season.

Del Olmo has not yet been sanctioned by the Spanish cycling federation. His lawyer said that he did not have time to prepare his defense for today's hearing, and it was postponed.

New look for Acqua & Sapone in 2002

To celebrate the arrival of Mario Cipollini to the team, Acqua & Sapone will ride in new colours in 2002. Designer Roberto Cavalli has nearly completed the jersey design, which will be black, red and white, making it "easy to distinguish in the peloton." The official presentation of the jersey will take place in early Janaury in Milan.

War and politics postpone South Asian cycling championships

By Ray Marcelo, correspondent

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) track and road cycling championships that were set to take place this week in New Delhi, India have been postponed.

Cycling Federation of India (CFI) deputy secretary Mr Jagvir Singh, told Cyclingnews that troubles from the war in Afghanistan has stopped Pakistan from competing, while uncertainty surrounding upcoming national elections has marooned the Sri Lankan team.

Mr Singh also said a team from the Maldives could not attend because their cycling administration was disorganised.

Because only India and Bangladesh were ready to compete, the SAARC championships have been postponed until September 2002.

However, it is understood the Indian cycling team has not trained together because all of the state teams have returned to their respective regions, following the end of India's national games last weekend.

The next event in Indian cycling is the national track championships planned to take place in "January or February" next year in the desert city of Bikaner in the state of Rajasthan.

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is an inter-government body made up of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Fausto Coppi monument in Turin

"Il campionissimo", Fausto Coppi, will have a monument erected in his honour in the city of Turin, which will be inaugurated on June 18, 2002. The statue will be made of bronze and will be 10 metres tall. Coppi is depicted raising his arms while the public applauds him.

Coppi was considered the greatest Italian cyclist of all time - he was the first man to win the Giro and the Tour in the same year (1949). He died under strange circumstances in Africa. In 1959 he visited what is now Burkina Faso to participate in a criterium in Ouagadougou. After the race, he went on a safari where it is believed that he was bitten by a mosquito. He contracted malaria, but doctors did not diagnose it in time and he died on January 2, 1960.

Joaquim Sabaté dies

The president of Esport Ciclista Barcelona, organiser of the Setmana Catalana and the Escalada a Montjuïc, Joaquim Sabaté i Dausa, has died of a heart attack, aged 70. Sabaté's funeral will take place tomorrow at 16:00 in tanatorio de Sancho de Avila de Barcelona.

Third division for Mälarenergi - none for SIME?

Swedish top amateur squad Team Mälarenergi will register with the UCI as a Trade Team 3, meaning that the team will be able to ride higher ranked races like the Tour of Sweden-Postgirot Open that has been upgraded for 2002 to 2.2.

The team's manager Patrick Serra earlier announced that the team would provide riders, as well as Serra's own services, to the new Spanish second division SIME. "The development of SIME has not been satisfying during the fall. The budget was too thin and I don't want to be in a situation where the team would fold in June," said Serra in a press statement.

He also believes that the SIME project now will have problems getting off the ground even if some Spanish riders are contracted. "We keep in touch though and it is possible that SIME might go in as a partial sponsor for Team Mälarenergi and bring some of their riders along. Everything will have to be settled before Christmas anyway," Serra says.

The team will not get any more funding from the main sponsor but counts on increased coverage for travelling expenses from the race organizers and maybe from some foreign sponsors.

The team will prepare with a training camp in Spain early January and will race in Spain and Portugal from February to April when they return to Scandinavia. There will be a new tour to Portugal in July after the Tour of Sweden and the National Championships. After another fortnight on Scandinavian roads Team Mälarenergi will once again head for southern Europe where the team will finish the season in mid October.

A number of the team's former riders will also probably race on a national level for the team, among them Kristoffer Ingeby and John Nilsson, who rode for CC Etupes in France last season and now probably goes to some other team there. The team's only female rider, Madeleine Lindberg, Farm Frites-Hartol, will also ride for Team Mälarenergi in Sweden.

Team Mälarenergi 2002

Niclas Ekström (Swe)
Jukka Heinikainen (Fin)
Fredrik Johansson (Swe)
Kimmo Kaananen (Fin)
Fredrik Modin (Swe)
Henrik Oldin (Swe)
Jussi Veikanen (Fin)
Martin Vestby (Nor)

Second Criterium de Talavera

Spanish cyclists Jose Luis Rubiera (US Postal) and Manuel Beltrán (Mapei) will be amongst the starters in the second Criterium ciclista "Unión Ciclista Ciudad de la Cerámica". The event will take place on December 16 in Talavera de la Reina.

Spanish triathlon champion Iván Raña, World Time Trial Championship bronze medallist Dori Ruano, track cyclists David Cabrero and Isaac Villanueva will be present, along with Carlos Sastre, Francisco Tomás García and David Arroyo (ONCE), Miguel Angel Martín Perdiguero (Cantina Tollo), José Luis Rebollo, Félix García Casas, Luis Pérez and Juan Carlos Vicario (Festina), Iñigo Cuesta (Cofidis) and Francisco Javier Cerezo (CSC).

Merrimack cyclo-cross preview

The Northeast Bicycle Club and Team NEBC/Cycle Loft will play host to the American Express Financial Advisors Cyclo-Cross at Wasserman Park in Merrimack, NH on December 9, 2001. The race has over $2000 in cash and prizes, and will be the last stop before the US Cyclo-Cross National Championships the following weekend in Baltimore, MD.

The race is part of the 2001/2002 Verge New England Cyclo-Cross Championship Series, and Saturn teammates Mark McCormack (current series leader, former national champion) and Tim Johnson (current national champion, former series leader) will be battling it out.

In the elite women's field, Canadian Lyne Bessette (Saturn) remains the favourite, as she has won every Verge NECCS series race she has entered. Emily Thorn ( is in second place, and as defending masters national champion (and winner of last year's race), she is well-positioned to take the lead.

In the master men 35 and over, Scott Wade (Gearworks/SRP) has been dominant, finishing first or second in every race. Jesse Anthony (Saturn Development) has been equally dominating in the junior men 15-18. Neither one is undefeated, and so the title of race winner remains up for grabs.

Recent results and new features on Cyclingnews

Major Races and Events
   September 7-29, 2002: Vuelta a España (GT) - Preview, stage list
   May 11-June 2, 2002: Giro d'Italia (GT) - Preview, stage list, photos
   July 6-28, 2002: Tour de France (GT) - Full preview & official route details
   December 8: Superprestige Rd 5 (Cat. 1) - Erwin Vervecken
   November 29-December 4: Six Days of Noumea (6D) - Sassone/Neuville victorious
   November 26-December 1: Six Days of Zurich (6D) - Day 6 - McGrory/Gilmore/Schnider win
   December 1: Melbourne Cup on Wheels (IM) - Scott Moller, Keirin, Sprint, Support races
   December 2: Cyclo-cross World Cup #2 (CDM) - Sven Nijs again
   November 24-December 3: Juegos Deportivos Centroamericanos (JR) - Final results
   December 8-9: Frankfurter Rad-Cross (Cat. 2) - Alex Mudroch, UK National Trophy Series #4 (Cat. 3) - Roger Hammond, Grote Prijs Industrie Bosduin - Kalmthout (Cat. 1) - Bart Wellens, Int. Radquer Obergösgen (Cat. 2) - Björn Rondelez, Trofeo Mamma e Papa Guerciotti (Cat. 3) - Enrico Franzoi, Premio Egondo (Cat 3) - David Seco, Irish cyclo-cross championships - Robin Seymour

Results: local racing
   Australia - CycleWest Promotions Omnium Series #2, Eastern Suburbs Summer Criterium Series, Carnegie Caulfield Tuesday criterium, Southern Cross Junior Track Open & Madison Cup, Manly Warringah CC, George Town Track Carnival, Carnegie Caulfield CC, Randwick Botany CC, Gold Coast CATS CC, Caesar's Illawarra CC, Caesar's Illawarra (track)
   Denmark - Danish cyclo-cross Post Cup #3   
   Italy - Gran Premio Città di Bassano
   Luxembourg - GP De Kopstal
   New Zealand - Cyco Criterium series
   Spain - Elorrio cyclo-cross
   USA - Georgia Cross Series Championship, Chimborazo Grand Prix cyclo-cross, Boulder Cross Rd 6, New Mexico State Cyclo-x Champs, Sorrento Cyclo-x & California State Champ's, Boulder Cross Rd 5, Verge New England series, Northampton CC Cyclo-cross Championships, Chris Cross International CycloCross

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