Edited by Jeff Jones
By Ted Arnold
Rain, nor sleet, nor dead of night could stop U.S. Postal Service rider Lance Armstrong from passing the Olympic Torch on Tuesday afternoon. Chilly wet weather greeted runners carrying the torch on its journey to 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. The three-time Tour de France winner was on hand to carry the torch via his custom painted Trek 5900 down Congress Avenue, in his hometown of Austin, Texas. Lance and his wife Kristin were just two of many local participants in the event.
Many of the runners were nominated because they share personal stories of inspiration. Scott Odom, a cancer survivor, who lost his leg to the disease, passed the flame to Armstrong in a ceremony near the Texas State Capital. When asked about his connection to Lance, Odom commented, "He's been an inspiration to me, he beat his cancer and I beat mine". Referring to his connection the cancer community Armstrong added, "My wife just handed the flame to Scott so it's like a continuation of my family, those people are a part of my family now."
Armstrong also went on to praise those who braved the conditions to cheer, saying, "It's not people's job to come out and be spectator and stand in the rain, it shows a lot of patriotism on their part to do that." The flame, which began its Journey in Athens, Greece, will pass through 46 states before signaling the start of the games on February 8, 2002.
Saeco's new recruits, Gilberto Simoni and Danilo Di Luca, underwent special tests at the Pininfarina wind tunnel in Turin on Tuesday, working on their positions on the bike ready for the new season. Following the material tests done on Monday with directeur sportifs Guido Bontempi and Flavio Miozzo, on Tuesday the riders tried various bike and helmet combinations, studying their positions on the bike and handlebar positions to improve their aerodynamic profile.
The American engineers from Cannondale were able to work on the information already gained during the recent training camp in Comerio near Varese, and will be able to build the bikes for Simoni, Di Luca and the other Saeco riders for next season.
The two Saeco team leaders were enthusiastic after the tests: "It was the first time I've done anything like that," Simoni said. "I've never had this kind of support in the past...Unfortunately the rules don't allow much space for technical innovations but the tests have been really useful and we've discovered some inefficiencies in my position that I didn't even know existed."
"Seeing everybody work so hard and seeing so much technological innovation really helps me to work hard on improving my time trialing. It's going to make a difference in the major stage races next year, especially in the Tour de France."
Danilo Di Luca was also happy with the tests: "I'm really enthusiastic about this testing," he said. "I'm really meticulous about my bike and my position and so it's been a fascinating experience. We've worked on finding the best position on the bike and now I'm going to work on perfecting my pedal action in the new position. Riding in an aerodynamic position is only an advantage if it's in harmony with your pedal action."
The director of Cannondale Europe Beppo Hilfiker was in Turin to co-ordinate the tests: "We've already decided on what bikes to give the riders but we used the wind tunnel to improve the aerodynamics of the riders on the bikes. We know that 90% of wind resistance is generated by the rider and by improving the position on the bike we can save a minute during a 40km time trial ridden at 50km/h."
"Both riders were really helpful and now have to get used to the improvements we've made. The project includes two other steps: another set of tests in the lab and in the wind tunnel and then the final test in the time trials at the major stage races," Hilfiker concluded.
Laurent Jalabert needs little introduction. He is one of the all time great cyclists, winning World Championships, prestigious classics, stages in all the major tours (and the Vuelta Espana in 1995) and holding the number one UCI ranking from 1995 - 1999, with the exception of 1998 where he ended the year in second place. An impressively consistent rider, to say the least.
Many thought that 2002 would be his final year in the peloton, but that is not the case, as Danish television commentator Dennis Ritter found out when he interviewed Jalabert for DR-TV. Dennis kindly supplied the transcript of the interview to Cyclingnews.
Click here for the full interview
Reigning Australian road champion Steve Williams will be in impressive company when he meets up with his Australian Institute of Sport team mates for the 2002 Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under. In the team is one of Australia's most experienced campaigners, Scott Sunderland, who finished this year ranked 66th in the world. Also on board is Canberra cyclist Michael Rogers, who won a stage and held the overall race lead for two days in the 2000 Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under. Rogers was a dual gold medallist at both the 1997 Junior World Track Championships and at the 1998 Commonwealth Games.
They will be joined by 1999 Australian road champion, Henk Vogels, whose professional results include third place in the final stage of the 1997 Tour de France.
2000 Giro d'Italia stage winner and last year's Australia Road Cyclist of the Year, David McKenzie, will also race for the AIS. McKenzie, who has amassed eight stage wins in recent Herald Sun Tours, won the final stage of this year's Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under and wants to return to the podium in 2002. McKenzie will head up the newly formed iTeamNova from February 1st and joining him in the new team and in the AIS line up in Adelaide is Victorian Brett Lancaster.
The United Water team features Australian U/23 Road Race gold and silver medallists David Pell and Ashley Humbert. Humbert was the 2000 Australian Junior Road Champion. Mark Renshaw has been included to add sprint power to the young team. Renshaw, a three time junior world champion, this year won gold and silver at the Goodwill Games and claimed three national crowns at the Australian Track Championships.
Michael Rogers (Aus)
2nd Grand Prix Eddy Merckx
2nd Duo Normand
2nd Stage Redlands Classic
Scott Sunderland (Aus)
1st Stage Herald Sun Tour
1st Grand Prix Fourmies
1st Grand Prix Pino Cerami
2nd Stage Herald Sun Tour
2nd Brabantse Pijl
2nd Grand Prix Rennes
3rd Grand Prix Wallonie
Henk Vogels (Aus)
1st Stage and overall Grand Prix de Beauce
1st 2 stages Herald Sun Tour
Allan Davis (Aus)
David McKenzie (Aus)
1st Stage Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under
1st Grafton to Inverell
1st Melbourne to Warrambool
1st overall Tattersalls' Series
1st Stage Herald Sun Tour
Brett Lancaster (Aus)
1st Stage Herald Sun Tour
Steve Williams (Aus)
Australian Open Road Champion
7th overall Herald Sun Tour
Scott Davis (Aus)
Simon Gerrans (Aus)
Daniel Mackey (Aus)
Ashley Humbert (Aus)
2nd U/23 Time Trial Australian Titles
2nd U/23 Road Race Australian Titles
4th Grafton to Inverell
Peter Dawson (Aus)
Mark Renshaw (Aus)
1st Scratch Race Goodwill Games
2nd Madison (Aitken) Goodwill Games
3 gold, 2 silver medals Australian Track Titles
David Pell (Aus)
Australian U/23 Road Champion
2nd overall Australian National Road Series
3rd Grafton to Inverell
4th U/23 Time Trial Australian Titles
Dave McPartland (Aus)
Bruce McIntosh (Aus)
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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