News for February 26, 2001

Recent results and new features

Jalabert out of hospital

Lauren Jalabert returned to his home in Veyrier, south of Geneva, on Saturday morning after a spell in hospital recovering from the injuries he sustained falling from a ladder on the evening of February 12.

Jalabert's CSC-Worldonline manager Bjarne Riis said, "He is much better, but he is still not well enough to ride. We are still worried about him and his rehabilitation will now go a little at a time over the coming weeks."

Jalabert is not expected to be able to ride for at least six weeks.

UCI plans anti-EPO measures

Details have emerged of the UCI's planned changes to its anti-doping regulations to control the use of EPO. The measures, to be formally announced in March, were reported in some detail over the weekend in French sporting newspaper l'Equipe.

The UCI plans to initiate EPO testing in time for the Spring classics, and will introduce a combined protocol including random blood testing, urine tests and a modification to the haematocrit regulations.

Riders with a haematocrit level above 50 per cent will continue to be declared unfit to ride and forced to stop competing for two weeks. In addition riders with a haematocrit above 47 per cent (or possibly above 45 per cent, the details are yet to be decided) will be subject to a urine test using the French method for detection of EPO.

Since the French method has not yet been fully validated this is brave move for the UCI, and the organisation could leave itself open to expensive legal challenges if it brands as dopers riders who fail this test, which is not expected to be validated until the end of 2001.

The French method will initially be used as a preventative measure within the anti-doping system, with the possibility of sanctions further down the track.

Last chance for Wüst

Marcel Wüst has undergone examination of his damaged right eye in a specialist private clinic in Barcelona, with a view to a 'last-chance' operation. Wüst remains optimistic despite no improvement in his condition over the last several months.

Wüst said an examination last Wednesday at the University of Cologne revealed "the same as December. I cannot see anything, only differentiate between light and dark. For a racer, particularly a sprinter, that's not enough."

Nevertheless life goes on for Wüst, who can still ride solo "but with no 70kph bunch sprints," and plans to celebrate Karneval in Cologne with his wife and son. And he hasn't lost his sense of humour: "Carneval? I dress up as a pirate Ñ with an eye patch!"

Pantani to go for MTB World's

Marco Pantani is contemplating switching from road to mountain bike racing with a possible attempt on the world MTB championships, according to his manager.

In an interview with an Italian newspaper at the weekend, Pantani's manager at Mercatone-Uno , Felice Gimondi, said "It's an idea. There was a time when road professionals could also dominate in mountain biking, but now it is an extremely specialist discipline. It's not so simple today, but perhaps with the next world mountain bike championships."

Three-time Giro winner Gimondi added: "Road racing gave me, as a rider, more than can describe. But if I had a son today I would not encourage him to ride on the road; it has become too dangerous."

Nürnburger riders were in danger

The German Nürnburger team withdrew from the Tour of Cuba on Friday because its riders were in danger, and not simply in protest against the light punishment of Cuban riders who had helped race leader Pedro Pablo Perez on a climb, according to Nurnbürger directeur sportif Bert Dietz.

Immediately before the finish of the tenth stage, about 20 Cuban riders had harassed Nürnburger sprinters Thorsten Wilhelms and Robert Förster, hitting their front wheels as they rode, and earlier in the stage drinking bottles had been thrown at the Nurnbürger riders.

"The attacks continued with front wheels being kicked at 50 km/h and culminated in the scandal at the finish. Fortunately Wilhelms and Förster only suffered a few scrapes," said Dietz."

"The safety of my riders was no longer assured," and that was why the team was withdrawn, not because the sanctions were too lenient as originally announced by the race commissaire. "The penalties were too low, but we could have lived with that," said Dietz.

Ullrich postpones season debut

Jan Ullrich has put back the beginning of his racing season by a week. His first race will be the Vuelta a Murcia (March 7-11) rather than the Vuelta Valenciana (February 27-March 3). Fitness testing at the Freiburg university hospital last week revealed "deficits in the intensive range" according to Telekom team physician Lothar Heinrich, who recommended a shift in Ullrich's season start.

Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantani are also planning to make their season debuts at Murcia.

In an interview with German website Radsport-news, Ullrich admitted last week that he was unsure of his form, and that the fitness test indicated he still had some problems in the 150-160 pulse range. His training in South Africa had not been geared to high-intensity work, but to distance and altitude, said Ullrich.

Problems for Svorada

Despite only arriving in Spain at 10pm on the previous night, Czech Jan Svorada (Lampre) still managed to take fourth place in the Trofeo Luis Puig, won by Erik Zabel today. He was due to fly out from Prague at 7am Saturday morning, but delays and cancellations turned it into a nightmare trip of 15 hours. However, he feels in good shape and aims to win a stage in this week's Vuelta Valenciana. The Tirreno Adriatico (March 14-21) where he won a stage last year, is also on his agenda.

Robert Hunter's back problems that were caused by a crash during the Etoile de Bessèges seem to be more serious than first thought, according to Lampre management. In the Puig trophy he had to give up after just 40 km due to the unbearable pain. On Monday he will consult a specialist to determine the correct diagnosis. Hunter's participation next Saturday in Omloop het Volk will depend upon this.

In addition, Johan Verstrepen could not participate in the Tour du Haut Var and in the Classic Haribo on the weekend, after suffering from flu. Directeur sportif Pietro Algeri will probably alter his selection for the Belgian opening weekend.

The Lampre team were also happy with the debut of Max Sciandri, who placed 7th in the Classic Haribo, after riding Haut-Var on the previous day. "He will certainly reinforce the team during the classics," said Algieri. Note: Sciandri has signed a contract for 1 year with Lampre-Daikin and not for 2 years as was previously announced.

4th Tour de Snowy 2001

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The World's greatest female cyclists will line up in Cooma for the start of the fourth staging of the internationally acclaimed Tour de Snowy on Saturday, March 3, 2001. Fourteen nations will be represented including current World road champion Zinaida Stahurskaia and the World Time Trial champion Mari Holden.

The race's ranking is equivalent to the highest in women's cycling in the world, equivalent to the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and HP Women's Challenge in the USA. The Tour de Snowy has been primarily supported by the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Authority, Snowy Hydro Trading and the NSW Sport & Recreation and has developed into a major world event on the Australian sporting calendar.

The five day race will commence in Cooma on Saturday, March 3 with a 30 kilometre criterium before heading to Jindabyne, 61 kilometres away, possibly the easiest of the five days of competition.

The following day the cyclists head to Thredbo and after the 36 kilometre road stage undertake 8 laps of a 4.4 kilometre circuit around Thredbo village, including the tough climb up Banjo Drive.
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On day 3, the cyclists race from Thredbo to Khancoban along the new Alpine Way, which has just been sealed and officially opened by the NSW Government. After climbing Dead Horse Gap (1582 m), the cyclists descend for more than 15 kilometres to just 300 metres above sea level, before climbing more than 700 metres and then descending into Khancoban.

The deciding factor of the race has always been the longest stage - 110.8 kilometres from Khancoban to Cabramurra and there will be little difference again this year. The riders start off from Khancoban at approximately 400 metres, and climb for the first 80 kilometres to just over 1000 metres, before descending back to 340 metres and then having to climb up past Tumut Power station and into Cabramurra, the highest village in Australia at 1540 metres.

On the final day, the cyclists will race 69.1 kilometres from Tumbarumba to Tumut, a slightly easier stage, before a criterium finish in the heart of Tumut's CBD.

Despite the absence of last year's champion Genevieve Jeanson and runner-up Tracey Gaudry, the race is wide open this year, with more than 20 cyclists as real chances of overall victory. To view the start list and profiles of each rider, please click here.

Once again, is proud to host the official Tour de Snowy website and we will be bringing you all the action of the race including complete results, reports, photos and more.

Tour de Snowy home page
Stages and results index
Rider profiles and start list
Overall map
Photos from 2000

Acca Due O-Hewlett-Packard-Lorena Camiche presentation

By Tim Maloney, correspondent
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The Acca Due O team
Photo: © Tim Maloney/CN

The world's number one women's cycling team, Acca Due O-Hewlett-Packard-Lorena Camiche launched their 2001 squad at a gala presentation at Hotel Fior in Castelfranco Veneto, Italy on Saturday night. was on hand for the festivities as well as a plethora of top Italian cycling personalities and a delegation from the Lithuanian Olympic Committee, on hand to award prizes for supporters of Lithuanian cycling.

Team president Maurizio Fabretto has set up a strong international squad for 2001, with 26 year old Diana Ziliute of Lithuania, the world's number one ranked women's cyclist as team leader. The Lithuanian connection is still going strong, constantly refreshing the the present and future talent pool for Acca Due O.

New to the mix at Acca Due O is the Dutch connection, with Jean Paul Van Poppel, former Dutch national women's team road coach and noted ex-road pro sprinter who will take the role of team "direttore sportivo" at Acca Due O. Anyone who has seen how Van Poppel has handled the Dutch national women's road team over the last few years will realize that he knows his stuff.

For 2001, Ziliute will re-focus her program towards winning the only title in women's cycling that has eluded her and Acca Due O: il Giro d'Italia Femminile. After a tough year in 2000 and the disappointment of facing the dominating performance of Leontien Zijlaard at the Sydney Olympics, Diana is confident in her ranking as world number one and the ability to bring the maglia rosa back to Acca Due O race HQ in Cornuda.

Dutch women's champ Mirjam Melchers is a new addition to the team. The talented 26 year old all-rounder from Gendt has joined her coach Van Poppel in Italy where Melchers will be the point woman in Acca Due O's World Cup efforts this season, after an excellent 3rd place in the 2000 Women's World Cup.
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Team Pinarello
Photo: © Tim Maloney/CN

Tour De France Feminin leaders for Acca Due O will be the always dangerous Polikeviciute twins, Rasa and Jolanta. Support roles will be played by the ever charming Zulfia Zabirova, ever present Zita Urbaniate, Goulnara Ivanova, experienced Vera Hohfeld and Australian champ Katie Mactier.

Maurizio Fabretto had a surprise for Cyclingnews: Junior World Champ Nicole Cook of Cardiff, Wales (UK) will join Acca Due O-Hewlett-Packard-Lorena Camiche this summer after she finishes her studies

The first test for Acca Due O will be the women's Tour de Snowy, where they will be represented by Melchers, Hohlfeld, Priska Doppmann and Giovanna Troldi.

Team Roster

President: Maurizio Fabretto
Team Managers: Jean Paul Van Poppel, Fortunato Lacquaniti
Assistant Team Managers: Roberto Visentin, Valery Konovalovas
Sponsors: Acca Due O: Treatment and analysis of water; Hewlett-Packard: Computers; Loreno: Women's chemise
Bikes: Pinarello
Website: (plays "We Are The Champions" upon entering)


Priska Doppmann (Swi) Master Team-Carpe Diem
Arenda Grimberg (Ned) Neo-pro
Vera Hohlfeld (Ger)
Goulnara Ivanova (Rus)
Katia Longhin (Ita) Master Team-Carpe Diem
Mirjam Melchers (Ned) Neo-pro
Jolanta Polikeviciute (Ltu)
Rasa Polikeviciute (Ltu)
Giovanna Troldi (Ita) Edilsavino
Zita Urbonaite (Ltu)
Zoulfia Zabirova (Rus)
Diana Ziliute (Ltu)

More riders favour Saronni

Beppe Saronni is looking like a popular choice for Italian national selector if comments from Italian pros and significant figures in the Italian scene are anything to go by.

Massimo Donati has come out in favour of Saronni saying, "with his knowledge he can steer a world championships assault in the right direction."

Danilo de Luca is even more positive: "He is the right person," di Luca said of Saronni. "With the undoubted intelligence of a former champion he represents the best choice to plan a widespread contest."

Luca Scinto agrees. "I have nothing against Fusi, he has put me in blue many times, but a change is necessary. Saronni knows how to motivate the riders in competition, and he is excellent with the media." - nearly

March 5 is the scheduled launch date of, Tour de France prologue winner and yellow jersey wearer, Dave Millar's official web page. Millar's diary, interviews, photos, training guide and a message board are some of the features that Millar fans can expect when the site goes live. Flash is required to view the holding page.

Rossi update

There is good news with regard to the condition of Vania Rossi, who was hit by a car last Monday and seriously injured. When she arrived in hospital she was in a coma, due to the force with which she hit the road. The doctors immediately started a pharmacological cure, and she subsequently improved each day. By late Friday night, she was able to greet her mother by moving her hand. The driver, probably a woman, is still sought after by the police.

Courtesy of Alessandro Gretter

Team AT&T Broadband/Managed Benefits (River City Bicycle Club)

The RCBC men's elite team has evolved out of a previous club team in Virginia, HDK Cycles. Gaining significant resources for the 2001 season, the aim of RCBC is to continue evolving as one of the Mid-Atlantic region's top amateur teams and to begin developing younger talent as resources allow for continued expansion.

The 2001 season should see a strong roster with the return to racing of Kyle Smith-Mendenhall, former team captain of the One+ pro/am men's team. Also returning to this newest incarnation of the team is 1998 Master's National (30+) Crit Champion, Jakob Helmboldt and Ed Shepherd.

The team plans to focus on the predominant regional races as well as east coast NRC calendar races such as Clarendon Cup, Fitchburg, Tour de Toona, culminating in the Univest GP in September.

Team Roster

Cat 1/2

Kyle Smith-Mendenhall
Leigh Carter
Jake Helmboldt
Sean Jones
Bill McCarrick
Tim Mullins
Tim Powell
Ed Shepherd
Lake Taylor

Cat 3

John Huth
Dave Wilson

Cat 4

Sean Cantrell


AT&T Broadband, AT&T RoadRunner
Managed Benefits
C.H. Robinson, Inc.
Lemond Bicycles
Rudy Project sunglasses
BikeBeat, Inc.
Cycle Service Plus
Selle Italia saddles

Contact: Jakob Helmboldt

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