News for February 28, 2001

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Crunch year for Pantani

Besieged Italian star, Marco Pantani, believes that this year will be one of the most important of his career. "I don't know if I will have the necessary start of mind to continue working, if I keep going like this. I am tired of going from place to place to demonstrate that I am innocent of doping," he said.

"I am not focused on my work, because there are always judges or lawyers who require my attention. I thought I had finished this nightmare once and for all - I have recovered my morale, but there are still some judicial proceedings open," he added.

Pantani and his high hematocrit are involved in three investigations at the moment: Milan-Turin 1995 (re-opened), Giro 1999, and Sydney 2000. However, he is at least racing his bike in the Tour of Valencia, where he came in 133rd on the first stage, nearly 9 minutes behind winner Michael Boogerd.

"It is my first race for 2001, and although its profile is ideally suited to me, I am far from my best form," he commented. "Although I prepared excellently during winter (6000 km), I will not be attacking to prove something in the mountains."

Pantani may finish Valencia, depending on how he feels. However, he intends to start in the Classic Almeria on March 4, followed by the Vuelta a Murcia, where he will be riding with Lance Armstrong, Jan Ullrich, Stefano Garzelli and Roberto Heras. His main goal this year remains the Giro d'Italia.

Van Moorsel will continue

Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel has decided not to retire after this coming season. She has always spoken about ending her career after an attack on the hour World Record, but the over the last few months, she has concluded that cycling still gives her a lot of pleasure.

She is influenced by the lure of another World Road Championship, but it will not be this year in Lisbon. The main reason is her decision to concentrate on the track. "I prefer a combination with the World Track Championships in Antwerp at the end of August and an attack [on the Hour Record] at the beginning of September," she said.

She wants to attempt the Hour Record in Manchester, but if that isn't possible then she will consider doing it at altitude, or on the Olympic velodrome in Sydney.

After studying parcours of the World Road Championships in Zolder (2002), she is confident of a good showing. "That's a perfect parcours for me. I can't believe there could be a nicer moment to stop after winning a World Title in Belgium."

No Paris-Nice for Lampre

The Italian Lampre-Daikin squad will miss Paris-Nice (March 11-18) in favour of Tirreno-Adriatico (March 14-21), leaving the way open for the German Gerolsteiner team who will start in the French race. The German second division squad contains World's TT silver medallist Michael Rich, as well as Austrian climber Georg Totschnig and Lithuanian sprinter Saulius Ruskys.

"In light of the persistent lack of form of Frank Vandenbroucke, Lampre has decided to reduce his activity," said team management. "He will not start in Tirreno-Adriatico either."

Blijlevens back again

Jeroen Blijlevens' re-entry to the peloton will be three days earlier than expected. He will start in the Clasica de Almeria on March 4, instead of the Tour of Murcia. "He is ready for competition. So every day early that he is back in the peloton, the better," said Lotto director Walter Planckaert.

Ochoa's condition worsens

Seriously injured Spanish cyclist, Javier Ochoa, has developed pneumonia in his lungs according to the latest medical report, and doctors in the Carlos Haya hospital are fearing for his life. Although he is maintaining his intracraneal pressure, his post-traumatic respiratory insufficiency is cause for concern, and he will be under careful observation for the next few hours.

GAS Sport Team 2001

"Sacrifice, team spirit, strength and will power"
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GAS Sport Team2001
Photo ©: GAS Sport Team

One of the top women's cycling teams in the world, GAS Sport Team, presented its 11 rider lineup on Monday in Chiuppano, Italy. The team is in its third year of sponsorship from the international sportswear brand, and collected some excellent results in 2000.

In addition to the 36 national and international races won by members of the team, the three woman Italian Olympic squad was made up completely of GAS riders. This was a remarkable achievement given the competition for places amongst the Olympic team. In addition, Montreal World Cup winner Pia Sundstedt was the flag bearer and captain of the Finnish team in Sydney.
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Pia Sunstedt
Photo ©: GAS Sport Team

The goals of the team this year include taking the lead in some of the World's biggest international races, including the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France, World Cup and World Championships. Four team members, Gabriella Pregnolato, Roberta Bonanomi, Silvia Parietti and World Road Champion Zinaida Stahurskaia will commence the GAS campaign in the upcoming Tour de Snowy (March 3-7) followed by the Canberra World Cup.

In addition to the above four, coach Marino Amadori has seven more talented riders in the ranks. Pia Sundstedt, sprinter Greta Zocca, Alessandra Cappellotto, Ilenia Lazzaro, Kettj Manfrin, and up and coming riders such as Severine Desbouys and Tania Belvederesi.

Team Roster

Team Managers: Marino Amadori, Fabrizio Cannata
Sponsors: GAS is a sportswear manufacturer
Website: (requires Flash 5.0)


Tania Belvederesi (Ita) Master Team-Carpe Diem
Roberta Bonanomi (Ita)
Alessandra Cappellotto (Ita)
Séverine Desbouys (Fra) Neo
Ilenia Lazzaro (Ita) Neo
Kettj Manfrin (Ita)
Silvia Parietti (Ita) Edilsavino
Gabriella Pregnolato (Ita)
Zinaida Stahurskaia (Blr) S.C. Michela Fanini
Pia Sundstedt (Fin)
Greta Zocca (Ita)

Napa Valley World Cup

April 6-8 is the date of the first MTB World Cup for 2001, to be held at Domaine Chandon in California's Napa Valley. For the first time since 1993, the elite riders will start with a one lap (6.4 km) seeding time trial on Saturday, to determine their positions on the starting grid on Sunday. Olympic champions Miguel Martinez (Fra) and Paola Pezzo (Ita) will both be there, along with an expected top class field. The elite races will be over five laps (women) and six laps (men).

Previously the starting position of the rider on the grid was determined by UCI ranking, which aggregates most riders' results obtained over a one year period. Whereas the old gridding system favoured the consistent performer, the new time trial format indicates which riders have form for this particular weekend. The time trial is also a way for up and coming riders to display their talent aside from the pressure of the big day.

In addition to Elite and Amateur racing, events are planned for riders aged under 18. The Shimano Youth Series on Sunday at 1pm provides an opportunity for children under ten years old to ride with some of the world's top Elite class competitors on a short course routed around the main venue. Finally, beginning at 8.30 am on Sunday are Junior World Cup races for young riders interested in accumulating points in an international series.

Trek Volkswagen train

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Trek-VW team 2001

The Trek-Volkswagen MTB team are aiming for World Cup wins this season, and have started their preparation with a training camp in Austin, Texas. Team members Travis Brown (USA), Wade Bootes (Aus), Matt Kelly (USA), Ruthie Matthes (USA), together with new recruits Alison Sydor (Can) and Roland Green (Can) enjoyed the February sun in Texas, and are clearly looking forward to the season ahead as the photo shows.

Five collegiate cyclists earn USAC scholarships

USA Cycling has announced the winners of the 2001 U.S. Olympic Committee/National Collegiate Cycling Association (USOC/NCCA) Scholarships. Five recipients from 36 applicants each received $US1,000. "All five riders selected demonstrate an enthusiasm for academics and a passion for racing," said USCF National Events Director, Tara Morris.

The scholarships were given to individual riders based on financial need, academic performance and racing accomplishments. Applicants were also required to be full-time students, be a member of an NCCA club and hold a current license. Ryan Gregory is a medical student at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Gregory received his BA in microbiology from the University of Texas at Austin, where he began his collegiate cycling career. In addition to attending the NCCA National Championships three times, Gregory started a cycling team at UTMB in 1999. His volunteering experience includes health education programs at the Texas-Mexico border and medical outreach trips to El Salvador. "I was really glad to win this scholarship," Gregory said. "It was rewarding because there is not much collegiate cycling in the Galveston area," said Gregory. "Cycling has always been a sustaining thing; it helps me to keep perspective on all the other things going on. Cycling teaches you to push yourself and strive for excellence - I don't ever see it going out of my life."

University of Idaho cyclist Allison Beall has been racing since childhood when she got her start going on training rides with her father and brother. These days, Beall is a sophomore general studies major and the captain of the UI cycling team. She has an extensive racing resume, competing in numerous races all over the country, as well as overseas.

Nara McCasland graduated in December from Colorado State University with a degree in biology and raced with the CSU team for the past year and a half. She is now attending Metro State College in Boulder and is earning a second degree in early childhood education. McCasland made impressive strides in her relatively short collegiate cycling career, finishing in the top ten in two events at collegiate nationals. McCasland is also the number one ranked National Off-Road Bicycle Association (NORBA) cross-country sport class rider.

A three-year University of Colorado cycling team member, Heather Irmiger participates in mountain bike and road races. Irmiger has competed in collegiate mountain bike nationals for three years and achieved All-American status with her 1999 downhill and 2000 omnium titles. She will graduate from CU in December with a degree in biology and plans to continue her education with a masters in kinesiology. In addition to her racing accomplishments, Irmiger is a women's coach for Singletrack Mountain Bike Adventures, a non-profit organization that educates and trains young mountain bikers.

Texas A&M graduate student Jonathan Sinclair has been racing with the TAMU cycling team for two and a half years. Sinclair is on a rigorous academic track as a research assistant and plans to receive his doctorate in horticulture in 2002. He has competed in several road and track races all over the south central area. While he's not holding his own in the Texas racing scene or working on his degree, Sinclair finds time to volunteer with and raise money for local Special Olympics cyclists.

Positive case in Germany

The German cycling federation (BRD) has confirmed that a cyclist has tested positive in controls carried out over the winter season. Currently, only the A sample has only been tested, and the athlete will only be declared positive if the B sample is as well. This will take between 6-8 weeks according to general secretary Karsten Schütze.

According to German press agency DPA, it is likely that the test was for elevated caffeine levels: "Probably one of the Six Day riders drank too much coffee in order to stay awake."

Team Fairway Subaru/Isuzu/Saab

By John Alsedek, correspondent

A new major player on the U.S. amateur racing scene was unveiled recently, as the Fairway Subaru/Isuzu/Saab team announced its roster, sponsors, and plans for the 2001 season. A long-time brainchild of the Hincapie brothers, George and Rich, this South Carolina-based lineup has gathered some of the South's best amateur talent that will be competing in a number of East Coast National Racing Calendar events, as well as the National Championships.

They are able to do this, says team captain and director Rich Hincapie, because of the level of commitment from the sponsors: "Fairway Subaru/Isuzu/Saab is a local dealership that is willing to help us go to the next level...with the support and help of all our sponsors, I feel that we are well on our way to developing this organization into a top-ranked team. Time will tell, but we are in it for the long run."

The team is also receiving a great deal of support from the cycling industry, including French frame manufacturer Cyfac, which is supplying the team with fully-customized frames.

Team Roster

Rich Hincapie
Eric Skoloff
Chandler Weekes
Steve Colavito
Pat McCallion
Chris Giordanelli
Brian Merritt
Brian Golembeski
Dave Mruz (team chiropractor)
Dr. Wayne Hollinger (team doctor)
Mark Knights (team mechanic)


Fairway Subaru/Isuzu/Saab
Raymond James and Associates
Sullivan Insurance
Palmetto Pulmonary
Upstate PHO
Shaefer Advertising
Cane Creek
Rudy Project
Carolina Cycling Gear
Eastside Chiropractic

Team Earth Fare

Team Earth Fare is a cycling team based in Columbia, South Carolina. Sponsored by Earth Fare Supermarkets of Asheville, NC, the team will focus on regional events as well as select NRC events such as Athens Twilight, Shelby, The Tour of Sommerville, The Capital Cup, The Clarendon Cup, The Michelin Classic, and Coconut Grove.

Team Earth Fare, formerly the Cycle Center/Richland Memorial Children's Hospital Team, will coordinate community events such as fun rides, health screenings, and children's bicycle safety seminars. The team's ultimate goal is to become a UCI licensed team by 2003 and participate in the NRC events.

Team Roster

Team Manager: Henry Corley
Assistant Manager: Ward Bates


Jeff Franz
Chris Knetcshe
James Wilson
Ward Bates
Jason Clutts
Henry Corley
Bob Hardison
Spencer Leuders
Ken Oglesby
Tyler Ellis


Earth Fare Supermarkets
The Cycle Center - Columbia SC
Quattro Assi bikes
Vittoria Tires
Briko Helmets and Glasses
Verge Clothing

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