News for January 30, 2001

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Team Telekom presentation

By Jeff Jones
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Aldag stands tall
Photo: © AFP

The Deutsche Telekom team presented its 2001 line up in its offices in Bonn on Monday, January 29. The squad headed by Jan Ullrich has been enhanced to 25 riders in 2001, and hopes to have a stronger representation in all the major races this year. Their main objective is simple: to regain the Tour de France title that they won in 1996 and 1997.

Last year was by no means a failure for Team Telekom, after winning 64 races including gold, silver and bronze in the Olympic road race, silver in the Olympic time trial, the overall World Cup and several major stage races. Jan Ullrich's second placing in the Tour after yet another failed early season was both surprisingly good and disappointing, but he has vowed to go one better this year.

After training in Mallorca and South Africa this winter, Ullrich was noticeably leaner at the presentation than in previous years. Although the Tour de France is over 5 months away, Ullrich is clearly focussed. "Each year that I do not win the Tour is a lost year. Now I am due for a victory," he said.

He will be accompanied by one of Lance Armstrong's strongest TdF domestiques, Kevin Livingston, who left the U.S. Postal team late last year to join Telekom. In addition to Livingston, Telekom have signed Italian climber Roberto Sgambelluri (Cantina Tollo), Andreas Klier (Farm Frites), dual Olympic gold medalist Robert Bartko and another neo-pro, Torsten Hiekmann.
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Der Kaiser
Photo: © AFP

Ullrich said that he was happy with his Christmas training, where he concentrated on endurance keeping his heart rate between 120 and 140 BPM. He is scheduled to make his racing debut in either the "Trofeo Luis Puig" on February 25 or the Tour of Valencia February 27 to March 3. However besides the Tour de France, his season has not been mapped out in detail.

The most successful rider of 2000 is also a key member of the Telekom team. Erik Zabel won the World Cup last year after dominating the early season classics, including his third win in Milan San Remo. His fifth green jersey in the Tour de France was another record, and it seems as though last season will be very hard to top for Zabel.

He has made a less intense start to 2001, missing the Tour Down Under where he has raced for the past two years, preferring to concentrate on training. His goals are similar however, and he would like a fourth Milan San Remo as well as an unprecedented sixth Tour de France green jersey. Provided he maintains his health, he could well emulate last year's successes.

Team Roster

Manager: Walter Godefroot (Bel)
Team Manager: Rudy Pevenage (Bel)
Assistant Team Managers: François Van Looy (Bel) and Mario Kummer
Administrator: Eddy Vandenhecke (Bel)
Sponsor: German telecommunications company
Bikes: Pinarello


Rolf Aldag (Ger)
Robert Bartko (Ger) Neo
Udo Bölts (Ger)
Alberto Elli (Ita)
Gian Matteo Fagnini (Ita)
Ralf Grabsch (Ger)
Giuseppe Guerini (Ita)
Jens Heppner (Ger)
Torsten Hiekmann (Ger) Neo
Danilo Hondo (Ger)
Kai Hundertmark (Ger)
Matthias Kessler (Ger)
Andreas Klier (Ger) Farm Frites
Andreas Klöden (Ger)
Kevin Livingston (USA) US Postal
Giovanni Lombardi (Ita)
Andrei Mizourov (Kaz)
Jan Schaffrath (Ger)
Stephan Schreck (Ger)
Roberto Sgambelluri (Ita) Cantina Tollo
Gerhard Trampusch (Aut)
Jan Ullrich (Ger)
Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz)
Steffen Wesemann (Ger)
Erik Zabel (Ger)

Kelme report US Postal to UCI

There is certainly no love lost between Kelme-Costa Blanca and Roberto Heras. The top ranked Spanish team has announced that it is reporting Heras and the US Postal team to the UCI after failing to pay Heras' buy out money. In a press release, Kelme claim that they had agreed to reduce the buy out figure from 250 million pesetas ($US 1.4 million) to 180 million pesetas ($US 1 million), due on January 25. However, US Postal wished to pay this over the next three years, and this was "unacceptable" to Kelme.

Kelme are claiming therefore that Roberto Heras still belongs to them, "because neither he nor the US Postal team have paid the buy out clause stipulated in the rider's contract." Before the transfer occurred, Heras was under contract to Kelme until December 2002.

The team said that they wished to avoid legal action, but have asked the UCI to deny his transfer until the matter was resolved.

In response, U.S. Postal's Mark Gorski said that he has contacted UCI president Hein Verbruggen, and "indicated to him my interest in having him work with us to develop a mutually agreeable solution to this matter. He is willing to assist and says that Kelme seems to be open to this approach. At this point, I believe it's just a matter of working out the terms of the payment and I'm confident that we should be able to do that very quickly."

Dominguez and Perdiguero owed

Former Vitalicio Seguros/Linda McCartney riders, Juan Carlos Dominguez and Miguel Martin Perdiguero, are owed money by the Spanish Federation (RFEC), who have not paid their scholarships for the latter part of last year. The money came from ADO, who sent the RFEC a cheque for just under 45 million pesetas, 30 million of which was to be distributed between Oscar Freire, Miguel Angel Martín Perdiguero, Santos González, Juan Carlos Domínguez and Abraham Olano by January 12, 2001. These five riders represented Spain at the Olympics last year.

However, the RFEC has claimed that the money is in a Zaragozan bank, and that they are awaiting documentation from the riders detailing their expenses. "None of them has signed and returned the receipt and only Santos Gonzalez has detailed his expenses," said the RFEC.

Angel Buenache, a former RFEC member who is representing the riders, said that the whole situation is ridiculous. The riders have been asked to present their airline tickets for the Tour of Poland, held just prior to the Olympics. However no-one asked them at the time.

"The Federation has sent them threatening letters where they say that if the riders do not pay 154,000 pesetas, the RFEC will not pay the 6 million," said Buenache. "It is the same lack of sensitivity that I always protested against in the Federation...they are not helping cycling."

Conconi recommended for trial

Italian anti-drug prosecutor, Pierguido Soprani, has requested that Professor Francesco Conconi be placed on trial for allegedly supplying athletes with banned drugs. Conconi and his associates are being accused of "systematic doping" of approximately 60 endurance athletes, including several high profile cyclists. A preliminary investigation into the matter has been ongoing for over a year, but the presiding judge will decide whether there is enough evidence to grant Soprani's request.

Documents seized from Conconi's medical centre in Ferrara provided details of blood tests carried out between 1992 and 1998 on the athletes. Marco Pantani, Gianni Bugno, Maurizio Fondriest and Claudio Chiappucci are some of the cyclists named, but they will not be considered as suspects in the case.

Professor Conconi has always denied the allegations, saying that "I studied EPO to fight doping and now I'm treated like a pusher."

However Soprani believes otherwise, and said in a recent interview that he has met with considerable resistance from Italian sports authorities in his investigation. "I didn't receive much cooperation from sports a world not used to ordinary justice," said Soprani. "I believe this investigation would lead to a better knowledge of doping, and as a result would help to face and fight doping."

Saturn train indoors in California

After a week of doing interviews, photo shoots, and bike fitting, the entire Saturn team were finally able to get out on the road for their first real training ride as a whole. They rode last Wednesday, in the rain and cold, for just a photo shoot. Other than Wednesday, they have been riding trainers indoors since there has been no chance for "real saddle time."

Everyone seemed upbeat and excited to be out riding especially the newer riders who have never been to this part of California. New director Jim Copeland is very optimistic about the team and its new line up, mentioning that near the end of last season the team's morale was low and the riders were somewhat "out of it."

After riding with them, there was no sign of that. Frank McCormack is looking very fit as does Trent Klasna, who says he is looking for more than just a stage win at this years Redlands Classic. The Saturn team breaks camp this Wednesday with most of the men's squad headed for the Tour De Langkawi.

Report courtesy of Jeremy Dixon

Ag2r Prevoyance presentation

The French division II Ag2r Prevoyance squad announced its lineup and goals at its recent presentation. Headed by Estonian Jaan Kirsipuu and Frenchman Christophe Agnolutto, the aim is to perform well in the early season classics and the Tour de France.

The Queen of the Classics, Paris-Roubaix, will be high on the list, as well as Paris-Nice and the Critérium du Dauphiné-Libéré. They do not have to gain a wildcard entry into the Tour, but team manager Vincent Lavenu is conscious of the fact that they do not have a sponsor for 2002 and will expect some good results.

Team Roster

Manager: Vincent Lavenu
Team Manager: Laurent Biondi
Assistant Team Manager: Gilles Mas
Public Relations: Jean-Yves Grand
Sponsor: AG2r Prévoyance is an insurance company
Bikes: Décathlon
Website: www.ag2rcyclisme


Christophe Agnolutto (Fra)
Lauri Aus (Est)
Linas Balciunas (Ltu) St Quentin
Stéphane Berges (Fra) Big Mat
Philippe Bordenave (Fra)
Alexandre Botcharov (Rus)
Ludovic Capelle (Bel) Ville de Charleroi
David Delrieu (Fra)
Sébastien Demarbaix (Bel) Lotto
Laurent Estadieu (Fra)
Alexandre Grux (Fra) Neo
Arturas Kasputis (Ltu)
Jaan Kirsipuu (Est)
Thierry Loder (Fra) Cofidis
Gilles Maignan (Fra)
Innar Mandoja (Est)
Benoît Salmon (Fra)
Ludovic Turpin (Fra)

Team Peggy-Rock City announce 2001 line up

Team Peggy-Rock City is an all-women's team based out of Chattanooga, TN, consisting of four mountain bikers and a regional team of approximately eight women racers in road cycling, mountain biking, and triathlons. The Elite Team focuses on the AMBC and NORBA National Series Races, and the Regional Team focuses on races within the Southeast.

After a successful 2000 season, Kym Flynn returns to lead the Elite team as a Senior Expert, and she will be moving up to the Professional ranks in the Spring. Also moving up to the Experts is Anne Najjar, who was number one ranked in the NORBA Master's Sport Women division last year. Trish Albert, who finished in the Top 10 in the NORBA Senior Sport Women's division will continue racing in that division, while Rachel Park joins the Team Peggy-Rock City Elite Team as a second year Senior Sport Women's rider.

Team Roster

Elite Team

Trish Albert
Kimberly Flynn
Anne Najjar
Rachel Park

Regional Team

Mary Aho
Kristin Brantley
Brenna Fairchild
Amy Foster
Stephanie Hopka
Karen Rogers
Joni Sharp
Petty Smith
Heather Yamada


Rock City
Suck Creek Cycle

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