News for June 13, 2001

Recent results and new features

Mercury and Lemond part ways

Lemond Cycling and John Wordin Sports have officially terminated their contract, effective immediately. The press release from Lemond Cycling is as follows:

"LeMond Cycling, the endorsement company of Greg LeMond and Shadetree Sports, its cycling team contract partner, announce the termination of the co-title sponsorship arrangement with the Mercury Cycling Team, run by John Wordin Sports, due to certain conditions which were the foundation of the agreement that put them together."

"LeMond Cycling and Shadetree Sports will be looking to energize an independent team for the next racing season. The confidentially of the agreement does not allow for interviews at this time."

A full followup will be published in Cyclingnews.

CONI calls for a suspension of racing in Italy

Today's meeting between the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), the Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) and several rider and team representatives (Simoni, Pantani, Cipollini) finished with CONI chairman Gianni Petrucci calling for an indefinite suspension of all cycle racing in Italy until the doping problem is substantially reduced.

Currently, up to 86 people are being investigated by the authorities for alleged drug infringements. This includes up to 60 cyclists and several more team personnel. According to the Italian media, only two teams have been found to be completely clean in the Giro after analyses of the seized substances last Wednesday night have been made. Gilberto Simoni, Marco Pantani and Mario Cipollini are probably not under suspicion.

The CONI proposal will now go to the Italian cycling federation meeting on Wednesday, and it calls for all racing in Italy to be suspended at least until a cycling code of ethics can be implemented. During today's meeting, the FCI opposed this rather radical step, with head Giosue Zenoni saying that "There would be no reason for it and it would be illogical and unjustified...It would have devastating consequences."

The Italian anti-drug law can lead to jail sentences of up to three years for those found taking or administering illegal substances.

Riders disagree

Giro d'Italia winner Gilberto Simoni was one of the critics of the proposed ban, saying that it would turn cycling into a "show business."

Marco Pantani commented that "Doping is a complex problem and the responsibility doesn't lie simply with the riders. The problem lies in being able to demonstrate who's been cheating."

UCI amazed

The reaction from the UCI to the CONI proposal was fairly predictable, as the following press statement reveals:

"The UCI notes with astonishment that this decision by CONI expresses a premature judgment on the development of a judicial enquiry whose conclusions are not known to date."

" All measures that could possibly be undertaken by the Italian Cycling Federation will only apply to the national calendar. The competitions on the international calendar are controlled by the UCI, who are the only authority behind all decisions on the subject."

Liquigas suspends five

The investigation into the Liquigas team has led to the suspension of five of their riders pending the outcome of the inquiry. Sergei Gontchar, Marco Zanotti, Denis Zanette, Gianni Faresin, and Ellis Rastelli are the names of the riders. Team management emphasised that the new world number one, Davide Rebellin, is not under suspicion.

"The riders will not be able to compete until this affair is cleared up," said directeur sportif Fabio Bordonali in La Gazetta dello Sport

Olano's hour this Saturday

Abraham Olano will attack the World Hour Record this coming Saturday in San Sebastian. On the Anoeta track he will start at 5:00 pm local time to attempt to break Chris Boardman's 49.441 kilometre mark.

VDB's friends concerned

After Frank Vandenbroucke broke off relations with his personal manager Paul de Geyter and the SEM management team, some of his friends are worried about his future. For example Nico Mattan (Cofidis): "If he can't start in the Tour I don't know what to think about his future. I know him very well: he will be very frustrated after the troubles with his Achilles tendon. So it isn't good with him."

"Otherwise he would ask me to training together in the mean time. I still believe he can reach his former level. He is only 26 years old; but then he will have to come back to the peloton very soon. I hope to see him in the Tour of Luxembourg.

Lampre's spokesman Luc Verschueren said that "The decision by Paul de Geyter to stop his work with Frank is hard for Frank. The manager was a kind of a second father for him."

Vandenbroucke will start in the Tour of Luxembourg on Thursday.

30 blood tests before stage 2 in the Dauphiné

One Tuesday morning, 30 of the 103 riders in the Dauphiné Libére were blood tested by the UCI. The Jean Delatour, Cofidis, Festina, and Mercury teams were tested, with no rider being declared unfit for competition.

Wilfried Cretskens goes home

The second stage of the Dauphiné proved to be too much for Domo's Wilfried Cretskens. "Heavy legs, a total day-off, it didn't work," he commented. He flew back to Belgium on Tuesday night.

Ronellenfitsch and Zülle in Tour de Suisse

Team Coast's "new" signing Dirk Ronellenfitsch will be riding for Alex Zülle in the upcoming Tour de Suisse (June 19-28). Accompanied by Mauro Gianetti, Rolf Huser, Niki Aebersold, Anton Chantyr and Sascha Henrix, Ronellenfitsch says that "I have trained well, and I hope that I can play a good role as a helper."

The 25 year old former Farm Frites rider signed in May for Team Coast.

Egbert Koersen to come back

The appropriately named Egbert Koersen will come back to the cycling world with an amateur team next season. He had to stop at the end of 1999 after Agu stopped its sponsorship in cycling.

"I can't yet reveal the name of the sponsor, but it's okay," he said. "There is still a second option to form an amateur team with a license for a new international pro-team. At the beginning of August I hope to clarify. I will - again - start with talented young riders."

Anniversary of Wim van Est's fall

On July 17 it will be exactly 50 years ago that Dutch cyclist Wim van Est fell in the Tour de France whilst wearing the yellow jersey. His 70 metre fall down a ravine off the Col d'Aubisque is still a historical day in the Dutch cycling world and many people still remember the words spoken by Van Est.

"I fell 70 meters deep, my heart stood still, but my Pontiac still worked" (Pontiac was his watch). Van Est won stages in the Tour de France and the Giro, and was the first Dutch rider who won the Ronde van Vlaanderen.

A marketing company in Laren (Holland) are considering putting an official but simple plaque at the spot where Van Est fell. Director Karel Hubert: "The story about Van Est is a legend. There, in that ravine is the beginning of the Dutch Tour-history."

Recent results and new features on Cyclingnews

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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