News for January 31, 2001

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Kelme say no to Dominguez and Cuesta

Former McCartney riders, Juan Carlos Dominguez and Iñigo Cuesta are on the hunt for a new team, after the sudden collapse of the LMC squad last week. However, according to the Spanish press there is no place for them in Kelme-Costa Blanca, who have denied any negotiations with the pair.

Team spokesman Joan Mas said that he felt sorry for the riders, but said that "under the present circumstances, with the team budget totally closed, it will be difficult for them to become part of Kelme. They are riders of recognised prestige, but it is practically impossible for them to fit them in to the team."

Meanwhile, U.S. Postal's Mark Gorski has responded to the non-payment of former Kelme rider Roberto Heras' buy out fee. This was published as an addendum to yesterday's news, and is repeated below.

He 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."

Braikia signs with Lotto

One Linda McCartney rider who has now found a home is Dane Tayeb Braikia, who has officially signed with the Belgian Lotto team for the 2001 season. The 26 year old sprinter was the Danish U23 road champion in 1996, and rode for the Danish Acceptcard team in 1998 and 1999. He is also an accomplished track rider, placing highly in several six day races in recent years.

ONCE debut in Majorca

The Spanish ONCE team will have its first race for 2001 in Majorca on Sunday, February 4. A fourteen rider squad will take part in the five events that comprise the "Challenge Majorca", beginning with an 80 kilometre circuit race in Palma. Two new riders for ONCE will start: Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano and Joseba Beloki. They will be accompanied by René Andrle, David Arroyo, Francisco García, Santos González, Jorg Jaksche, Gaizka Lejarreta, Isidro Nozal, and Mikel Zarrabeitia.

The stages

  • Stage 1 - February 4: Palma circuit race, 80 km
  • Stage 2 - February 5: Manacor - Can Picafort, 180 km
  • Stage 3 - February 6: Cala Bona - Cala Rajada, 163 km
  • Stage 4 - February 7: Alcudia - Port d'Alcudia, 172 km
  • Stage 5 - February 8: Palmanova - Palmanova, 153 km

Saeco team presentation

World Cup focus for the boys in red

By Jeff Jones
Click for larger image
Saeco suited
Photo: © Roberto Bettini

Team Saeco Macchine per Caffé chose the monastery of Santa Chiara, near San Marino for its team presentation on Tuesday. Those that couldn't attend were invited to watch on or for a streaming video version of the event.

Team manager Claudio Corti wishes to make 2001 a much better year than 2000, and has strengthened his line up accordingly. "I have many elements that lead me to believe that the new season can provide us with a great deal of satisfaction," he said. "We have a more solid team and should be competitive on many fronts."

The team has already started the season well, with two stage wins in the JCTDU (Fabio Sacchi and Alessio Galletti), and Sacchi in particular is being targetted at the early season classics. Together with Mirko Celestino, Dario Pieri (2nd in the Tour of Flanders in 2000), Salvatore Commesso and Laurent Dufaux (1st Championship of Zurich in 2000), the team looks to be quite strong for the one day races, both on and off pavé.
Click for larger image
Mario in form
Photo: © Roberto Bettini

Saeco will have to do without the talents of Mario Cipollini until March, as he has been suspended from racing for a month by the UCI for the Cerezo incident in last year's Vuelta. "I have a great desire to do well," said Cipollini. "I have gone through some difficult months, but I have not lost my enthusiasm and will to win. Supported by this team, who have done so much work for me in the past, I am sure that there will be no lack of victories."

The team probably does not lack for espressos either, and sponsors Saeco are keen to support the team in line with their expanding business goals. President of Saeco International, Sergio Zappella said that "We are going through an important phase. The entrance into the Stock Exchange has made us more visible to the entire world, and we are sure that the team will help to establish ourselves further. A desire? To win Sanremo, and perhaps Lombardy."

Finally, the younger ranks are well supported in Saeco, with neo-pro's Brad Davidson, Nicola Gavazzi and the promising Lithuanian Marius Sabaliauskas, as well as ex-Farm Frites Justin Spinelli. These riders are part of the team's future, and will be nurtured along in their first year as is usual in big teams.

Saeco will divide itself into three groups now: one will race in Langkawi with Scirea and Calcaterra, while Dario Pieri will train with colleagues in South Africa, and the remainder of the team will train in Castagneto Carducci.

Team Roster

Manager: Claudio Corti
Team Managers: Antonio Salutini
Assistant Team Managers: Guido Bontempi and Bruno Vicino
Administrator: Mario Muttoni
Sponsor: Saeco: Coffee machines.
Bikes: Cannondale


Giuseppe Calcaterra (Ita)
Oscar Cavagnis (Ita) Alexia Aluminio
Mirko Celestino (Ita) Polti
Mario Cipollini (Ita)
Salvatore Commesso (Ita)
Biagio Conte (Ita)
Brad Davidson (Aus) Neo
Laurent Dufaux (Swi)
Alessio Galletti (Ita)
Nicola Gavazzi (Ita) Neo
Jörg Ludewig (Ger)
Armin Meier (Swi)
Massimiliano Mori (Ita)
Torsten Nitsche (Ger)
Pavel Padrnos (Cze)
Dario Pieri (Ita)
Igor Pugaci (Mda)
Marius Sabaliauskas (Ltu) Neo
Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Polti
Paolo Savoldelli (Ita)
Mario Scirea (Ita)
Francesco Secchiari (Ita)
Justin Spinelli (USA) Farm Frites
Christian Wegmann (Ger)

Rabobank presentation

Click for larger image
New gear
Photo: © Bert Geerts

The Netherlands' biggest team for many years has been the Rabobank squad, sponsored by the Dutch bank of the same name and comprising three different squads (professionals, amateurs and juniors). With a total of 57 riders, not counting the sponsorship of the national team, Rabobank is one of the largest teams in the peloton. The good news for Dutch fans at least is that Rabobank have committed themselves to sponsoring the team until at least 2004.

The team presentation was held in Rabobank's main offices in Utrecht on Tuesday, where they showed off the new team jersey as well as stating their goals for 2001. The 25 man professional team is largely similar to 2000, with Niki Aebersold (Coast), Leon van Bon (Mercury) and Rolf Sörensen (CSC) the only three riders to leave. The new signings Gerben Löwik (Farm Frites), Bobbie Traksel (neo pro), Thorwald Veneberg (neo pro), and Geert Verheyen (Lotto) are not at the same standard, but the team should nevertheless have a strong presence.

Can Michael Boogerd get back to his best? We saw a glimpse of it in Plouay, and he will lead the team in Tirreno-Adriatico, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Amstel Gold Race. Of course, the Tour de France will also be on his program, and he hopes to emulate past results there. Of course, Erik Dekker will be a key man after he came into his own last season, winning three Tour de France stages and the Clasica San Sebastian. It will be difficult to top that in 2001, but Dekker showed maturity last year, and could play a role in the Ardennes classics early on in the season.

The remainder of the Rabobank team is well stocked with talent, including Maarten den Bakker, Karsten Kroon, Marc Wauters, and the Zberg brothers. This is not to forget their highly successful cyclocross trio of Gerben De Knegt, Richard Groenendaal and Sven Nijs who will be in evidence at this weekend's World Championships in Tabor.

Team Roster

Manager: Jan Raas
Team Manager: Theo De Rooy
Assistants: Adri Van Houwelingen, Joop Zoetemelk, Luc Schiemsky, Frans Maassen and Nico Verhoeven
Sponsor: A Dutch Bank
Bikes: Colnago


Coen H. Boerman (Ned)
Michael Boogerd (Ned)
Jan Boven (Ned)
Bram De Groot (Ned)
Steven De Jongh (Ned)
Gerben De Knegt (Ned)
Erik Dekker (Ned)
Maarten Den Bakker (Ned)
Marcel Duijn (Ned)
Addy Engels (Ned)
Richard Groenendaal (Ned)
Mathew Hayman (Aus)
Karsten Kroon (Ned)
Marc Lotz (Ned)
Gerben Löwik (Ned) Farm Frites
Grischa Niermann (Ger)
Sven Nijs (Bel)
Matthé Pronk (Ned)
Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Neo
Thorwald Veneberg (Ned) Neo
Geert Verheyen (Bel) Lotto
Aart Vierhouten (Ned)
Marc Wauters (Bel)
Beat Zberg (Swi)
Marcus Zberg (Swi)


Bart Aernouts
Camiel Van Den Bergh
Laurens Ten Dam
Hans Dekkers
Roel Egelmeers
Michiel Elijzen
Theo Eltink
Bas Giling
Luuc Hutten
Kenny Van Hummel
Vincent Van Der Kooij
Koen De Kort
Coen Loos
Mart Louwers
Ronald Mutsaars
Peter Möhlmann
Roy Sentjens
Thijs Verhagen
Pieter Weening
Kevin De Weert


Onno Gerritsen
Jos Harms
Reinier Honig
Johnny Hoogerland
Marc De Maar
Martijn Maaskant
Norman Meerkerk
Steven Peters
Norbert Poels
Jos Pronk
Niels Scheuneman
Kor Steenbergen

Arndt to go for the Hour

Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel is not the only woman who will try to break the Jeannie Longo's World Hour Record of 45.094 km, which she set at altitude late last year. German 1997 World Pursuit Champion, Judith Arndt has announced that she will attack the record during a cycling gala in Berlin on October 13. Zijlaard-Van Moorsel will attempt the record in October too, but is likely to choose Manchester.

Saronni and Moser in granfondo

The Italian 'granfondo' events are similar to other 'cyclosportif' events that are commonly held in Europe. Groups of over 1000 riders participate in these fun rides, that often become quite competitive as a result.

The granfondo season in Italy opens with a 117 kilometre event on February 18, and will be graced by former champions and celebrities Beppe Saronni, Francesco Moser, Gianni Motta, Pierino Gavazzi, Davide Cassani, Philip Edwards and many others. This is the second edition of the event, entitled 'Laigueglia: uno sguardo sul mondo' (Laigueglia: a glance at the world) and will start in Liguria.

It may be an auspicious day for Francesco Moser, who is a candidate for the Italian Cycling Federation Presidency. The elections will be held on the previous day, and if he is successful, the ride would be a perfect start to his term, given his election platform.

Save Mart goes back to McLane Pacific Cycling Classic

The first US national series event is the McLane Pacific Cycling Classic scheduled for March 3-4 in Merced, California. The event, now in its 8th year, was known as the Save Mart Cycling Classic earlier this year, but as a last minute move returned to its original sponsor title - McLane Pacific, a nationwide grocery distribution service.

Several top professional men's and women's teams have already indicated participation - Saturn, Mercury, Navigators, Prime Alliance, Defeet-LeMond, 7-Up, Jane Cosmetics as well as the national junior development program known as ZeroWait.

The McLane Pacific weekend in its early years was known for its 'technical' Downtown Grand Prix. Former Saturn pro, Scott McKinley, accused the race organization of running more of a circus than a bike race back then, as riders narrowly missing palm trees was a common sight. Last year the race organisers, Merlock Athletic Association, changed the course to be somewhat safer and faster, while maintaining some technical aspects. The 2000 edition saw the Navigators rip the field in the GP with first and second places, ending a two year winning streak by Mercury pro and local favorite, John Peters.

As for the road race, this is held on a typically windy, rolling hills course with complete road closure and police escorts. Last year Mike Sayers of Mercury beat out Tony Cruz of Saturn for the win from a three man break.

The 2001 event will again boost over $15,000 in cash and "McLane" laps for the first three laps in the GP. Fair chunks of change are given to the winner of the first three laps of the GP for the Pro Men, Women and Masters. This in turn sets the pace for a fast, challenging race.

USA Cycling names Clubs of the Year

USA Cycling announced the winners of its 2000 Club of the Year Awards, including individual awards for the best division I, II and III clubs, as well as four awards for clubs that focus on a particular facet of cycling.

The San Diego Bicycle Club was chosen as the Division I Club of the Year for its well-rounded members and activities, as well as excellence in racing competition. SDBC is active in the San Diego community, donating funds and helmets to a local children's organization.

Division II Club of the Year winner went to the Tulsa Wheelmen, who represent a wide spectrum of the cycling community. They participate in fundraising as well as wellness and bicycle safety programs.

Division III Club of the Year was the Tioga Velo Club from Endicott, N.Y., whose members demonstrate that results do not always come with numbers, as they fervently promote the sport in their area with less than 30 members.

2000 Women's Club of the Year was awarded to Artemis, from Silver Springs, Md, which provides a superior program for women cyclists and is helping to improve the status of women in the cycling world.

2000 Mountain Bike Club of the Year Award went to the Mercy Fitness Cycling organization from Fort Smith, Ark. Mercy Fitness Cycling draws cyclists from all age groups and consistently hosts quality events. Their activities include developing new mountain bike trails and giving bikes to children attests to the club's dedication to making cycling an activity for everyone.

Miami U Cycling from Oxford, Ohio, was named the Collegiate Club of the Year for 2000. Their active role in promoting National Collegiate Cycling Association racing, recruiting and improving the image of cycling on their campus makes the club stand out.

The USCF Chris Strader Junior Development Club of the Year was awarded to the New England Cycling Support Association. This club lives up to its name, introducing juniors to the sport of cycling and providing a support system as they move through the stages of learning.

Since no applications were received for the masters or track categories, no awards were given. The club that applied for the regional association award did not meet the requirements.

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