It's been a busy weekend all over Europe, with most countries running their national championships run over the last few days. Some results have been exactly as expected — Jan Ullrich drew the right straw to take the Telekom-dominated German championship, for example — while others have been less predictable, like the failure of Domo and Lotto to control the Belgian championship which went to Ludovic Capelle (Ag2r-Prevoyance) after a 230km 'giant kermesse.'
In the Netherlands nationals, Jans Koerts (Mercury-Viatel) benefited from Rabobank's attempts to control the race, sprinting across the line first in a mass finish, while in the women's championships it was no surprise to see a Farm Frites rider take the victory, though it's Sissy van Alebeek who'll be wearing the Dutch champion jersey, as Leontien van Moorsel was campaigning the World Cup track in Pordenone, Italy.
Cyclingnews has results and coverage from all the weekend's nationals. The simplest place to start is our national championships summary page.
Despite making the crucial 17 man selection in the Belgian championships in Halle, Domo's Axel Merckx wasn't able to pull off his second win, eventually finishing 6th in the sprint for the line. It was not through lack of trying, as he put in two strong attacks on the climb on the second last and the last lap. However, he couldn't manage to put a decent gap into the group, and was actually chased down by sprinter Fabian de Waele both times.
"On the last climb of Drasop I tried again. More on my good will than anything else... But what could I have done? In the sprint I was so-so for my trouble."
"I think that my lack of competition showed in this championship. Instead of the Volta a Catalunya, which I missed due to some bronchitis, I had to train. In the end, that's how it went."
Lotto-Adecco managed to place six riders (reduced to five after Glenn d'Hollander fell off) in the final selection. What happened to the lead out train for Fabian de Waele?
"I looked round an suddenly saw no-one left to pull for me in the sprint," he said at the post-race press conference, visibly frustrated. Later, he had calmed down and had some good words to say about his teammates.
"I must firstly compliment Paul Van Hyfte, and also Stive Vermaut who rode a great race. This is the biggest moment in my career. Through the loss I have spoken badly about my workers. I realise that, but I have to take my own responsibility."
"I came to the finish in the lead, with Capelle on my wheel. I was the strongest in the championship, but I earned nothing for it. Then it must happen in a Tour stage."
Johan Lammerts was probably sitting in the team car of Mercury-Viatel for the last time on Sunday during the Dutch championships. "I think I have to stop with this team very soon," said Lammerts.
The financial problems with Viatel means that there will be an end to the cooperation with Mercury very soon. John Wordin will travel to Europe on Monday to talk about the new situation. The team will probably no longer do a double program anymore, but a single one. That means there is no work any more for Lammerts.
"It's a pity, so I have to think about my future," he said. He hopes Greg LeMond will come back with a new team, because then he hopes to come back to the peloton too.
José Maria Jiménez has accepted with resignation his failure to be included in iBanesto.com's final selection for the Tour, despite having planned his season round the Grand Boucle. Jiménez heard about the decision of his directeur sportif Eusebio Unzué on Saturday via the media.
"I was surprised by the decision and I did not expect it," he told Spanish reporters. "I do not understand it, but I must respect his decision. He has his point of view and everyone sees things differently. He thinks I am not in perfect condition, I believe I am, but he is the boss and that's it."
"To me, my preparation was going perfectly, but now I will have to focus on the Vuelta."
Jiménez admitted he had not been going well in the Volta a Catalunya, but claimed this was part of a strategy to peak for the Tour and that the ten days between the two races would be enough to bring him to perfect condition. He added that he was disappointed at missing the chance to add a Tour stage victory to his palmares.
Lance Armstrong's USPS team announced its final Tour line-up over the weekend. From the five riders previously announced as in the running for the squad's last three places, Cedric Vasseur and Matt White are the unlucky ones who will be watching the Tour from the sidelines. Making the cut are Christian Vandevelde (USA); Steffen Kjaergaard (Nor); and Victor Hugo Pena (Col). They join already-selected riders Lance Armstrong (USA); Tyler Hamilton (USA); George Hincapie (USA); Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus); Roberto Heras (Spa); and Jose Luis Rubiera (Spain).
The line-ups of several French teams for the Tour de France were also announced over the weekend. Given that some of these squads were specifically included by the Tour organisers for their 'Frenchness', it's interesting to note the range of nationalities represented across the board and within the teams. Cofidis fields just two French riders, Christophe Rinero and David Moncoutié in a team that otherwise consists of two Spaniards, two Italians, a Brit, a Belgian and a Kazakhstani while Credit Agricole has more Anglophones than native French-speakers since Christopher Jenner is really a New Zealander.
At the other end of the scale, Bonjour has an all-French line-up, as does Jean Delatour, which will no doubt please Tour boss Jean-Marie Leblanc, and after its disastrous Giro the Bonjour team should be imbued with new confidence after Didier Rous' success at the French national championships. Oddly, both of the controversial 'final pair' wildcards, La Francaise des Jeux and Big Mat, include non-French riders. These teams were selected specifically for their support and development of young French riders. Nevertheless, FdJ will field Sven Montgomery (Swi), Daniel Schnider (Swi) and Bradley McGee (Aus) while Alexeï Sivakov (Rus) is Big Mat's sole foreigner.
The French squads are:
Cofidis: David Millar (GBr); Daniel Atienza (Spa); Inigo Cuesta (Spa); Andreï Kivilev (Kaz); Massimiliano Lelli (Ita); Guido Trentin (Ita); Nico Mattan (Bel); Christophe Rinero (Fra); David Moncoutié (Fra)
Credit Agricole: Bobby Julich (USA); Jonathan Vaughters (USA); Anthony Morin (Fra); Sébastien Hinault (Fra); Frédéric Bessy (Fra); Christopher Jenner (Fra); Stuart O'Grady (Aus); Thor Hushovd (Nor); Jens Voigt (Ger)
La Francaise Des Jeux: Jimmy Casper (Fra); Sven Montgomery (Swi); Daniel Schnider (Swi); Bradley McGee (Aus); Frédéric Guesdon (Fra); Christophe Mengin (Fra); Jacky Durand (Fra); Nicolas Vogondy (Fra); Emmanuel Magnien (Fra)
AG2r Prevoyance: Ludovic Capelle (Fra); Jaan Kirsipuu (Est); Sébastien Demarbaix (Bel); Alexandre Botcharov (Rus); Christophe Agnolutto (Fra); Benoît Salmon (Fra); Ludovic Turpin (Fra); Stéphane Bergès (Fra); Gilles Maignan (Fra)
Bonjour: Didier Rous (Fra); Walter Bénéteau (Fra); Sylvain Chavanel (Fra); Jean-Cyril Robin (Fra); François Simon (Fra); Franck Renier (Fra); Damien Nazon (Fra); Franck Bouyer (Fra); Olivier Perraudeau (Fra)
Jean Delatour: Laurent Brochard (Fra); Patrice Halgand (Fra); Jérôme Bernard (Fra); Gilles Bouvard (Fra); Stéphane Goubert (Fra); Christophe Oriol (Fra); Laurent Roux (Fra); Eddy Seigneur (Fra); Olivier Trastour (Fra)
Bigmat-Auber: Stéphane Heulot (Fra); Xavier Jan (Fra); Ludovic Auger (Fra); Guillaume Auger (Fra); Thierry Gouvenou (Fra); Christophe Capelle (Fra); Sébastien Talabardon (Fra); Loïc Lamouller (Fra); Alexeï Sivakov (Rus)
Next month it will be fifty years since the Dutch rider, Wim Van Est, made headlines in the Tour de France in spectacular style, by surviving a 70 metre fall off the Col d'Aubisque while wearing the yellow jersey. Wim survived the horror fall while being the first Dutchman to be in yellow, and was hauled back onto the road by a chain of spare tyres. Yet he bust out of the ambulance and wanted to get back on his bike. His team manager insisted he get checked out at the hospital, where the doctors found nothing wrong apart from a few cuts and bruises. So his team pulled out, in a gesture which resulted in them being feited as heroes back home. Van Est's teammate Gerard Peters stopped where Van Est fell and said 'Een boterbloem in het gras', meaning 'With his yellow jersey he looked like a buttercup in the grass'. The reason Wim fell, it seems, is that he was trying to make up the time he had lost climbing back up a 30 metre gully after overshooting a corner a few kilometres back up the mountain.
More on Wim van Ests's fall
In an interview with Madrid newspaper El Pais, International Olympic Committee president Juan-Antonio Samaranch has said that the war against doping can never be completely won, and only "partial victories" have been attained. Nevertheless, Samaranch, who retires on July 16, said progress had been made. "When Ben Jonson was stripped of his medal in 1988 after a positive test, people said it was the end of the Olympic ideal. But the opposite occurred. Jonson's punishment was a warning to others and a prelude to other actions against doping like the Tour de France in 1998." Samaranch also reflected on the Salt Lake City scandal, claiming the IOC had learned from that experience and he had convinced the IOC to stop visits to candidates cities, introduce an eight-year term for the next president and include athletes in IOC activities.
The winners of our Cannondale Giro d'Italia contest have been in touch, and we can therefore reveal that they are Caroline Towers from the UK, David Fields of Bloomington, MN, USA and Fred Clausen from Denmark. More details of them and their prizes in our Cannondale contest winners page.
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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