By Tim Maloney, cyclingnews.com correspondent
This year's World Cycling Championship saw a number of top mountain bikers test their macadam mettle with mostly positive results.
Both Australian Cadel Evans, two time World Cup XC champ and Dane and former World XC champ Michael Rasmussen, were in the Elite Men's Road Race, while Canadian Roland Green, newly crowned World XC champ rode the Elite TT. Evans and Rasmussen both finished in the front group and both were active in the attacking on the last few laps.
"It was a long day at the office today," the skinny Rasmussen, affectionately nicknamed 'Chicken' told Cyclingnews after Sunday's Elite road race. "I'm not used to that many hours of racing but my legs were good today."
Rasmussen will ride Milano-Torino, Giro del Piemonte perhaps Giro di Lombardia for CSC-Tiscali who are hoping to keep him for 2001. "CSC-Tiscali will ask the UCI for a waiver to add me to the roster as their 26th rider for next season...I hope it works out."
Aussie Evans, who had two big stage race wins already this season in Austria and Italy will ride for Saeco next season. "I felt good (Sunday) and the course is not selective as I had thought," said the articulate Melbourne man. "In the last few kilometres I saw (sprinters) Zabel and Friere! I felt OK when Ullrich attacked but so did everyone else...I have only been focusing on this race for a month, since the MTB season ended."
When asked about his plans for next season, Evans said that "Certainly I'll do more road and fewer mountain bike events, at least in the first part of the year..."
Roland Green's excellent ride in the Elite Men's TT (14th @ 2'17" behind Ullrich) and ahead of top young testers like last year's U23 champ Petrov, Swiss star Cancellera and Australian Mick Rogers is worth a lot, especially like Evans, Green had only one month to prepare.
The only man missing from this equation is French rider Miguel Martinez; sought by Mapei but under contract with Full Dynamix, Martinez will return from vacation next week to see if his future lies on the dirt or road racing.
German time trial specialist Thomas 'The Tank' Liese will make an attempt on Chris Boardman's World Hour Record this coming Saturday at around 10 am on the 250 metre Berlin velodrome. The 33 year old Nürnberger rider will try to break 49.411 kilometres, the distance ridden by Boardman in Manchester late last year.
Liese has ridden 48.2 kilometres for the hour in non-ideal conditions in Frankfurt/Oder last year, with far less preparation than he has for this attempt. He believes he can do it if he has a good day, and gives himself a "50/50" chance of succeeding.
By Jean-Francois Quenet
Youri Krivtsov, 22, from the Ukraine, has set a new hour record for the Pays de Loire region, as he's been a member of the Nantes 44 club since 1999. He rode 45.440 kilometres on Wednesday on the outdoor Coueron velodrome, which is definitely not the best place to do it even if there was no wind.
Previously, this record was held by Frederic Rouaud (43.280 km/h) and no one could beat it since 1994. This is a goodbye present from Krivtsov to his Nantes 44 club. Next year he'll be riding with Jean Delatour.
"I'm looking forward to working with Michel Gros," he said. "This is the toughest time trial I've ever done and I don't think I want to do it again tomorrow. I'm more willing to go back on holiday to the Ukraine."
His last race as an amateur will be Chrono des Herbiers, another time trial, on Sunday. He'll be a favourite for the espoir title after he came 11th in the World Championship last week in Portugal.
Triple Vuelta stage winner Jose 'El Chaba' Jiménez (iBanesto.com) will not be taking part in this Sunday's Escalada a Montjuic, the climbing race that finishes the Spanish calendar. Neither will he be doing the Giro di Lombardia World Cup race on Saturday. According to the iBanesto team doctor, Jesus Hoyos, Jimenez will almost certainly undergo an operation to his meniscus.
His place in Montjuic will be taken by teammate Aitor Osa.
By Jeff Jones
Next year will see a overhaul of the UCI's team divisional system, that currently splits professional cycling teams into three separate divisions, which dictate the maximum/minimum UCI class of races that they are allowed to participate in. This season, there were 22 division I teams, 41 division II teams, and 32 division III teams. The largest team was Mapei-Quick Step, with 41 registered riders at the beginning of the season.
A limit of 25 has been imposed by the UCI on the maximum number of riders per trade team, and larger squads such as Mapei and Cofidis will lose some riders. Some of these teams have formed partnerships with smaller squads, who can act as feeder teams for the larger ones, and presumably benefit by association. The UCI has given the bigger squads until 2003 to pare down, in order to respect existing contracts.
Next year the divisional system will still hold but the numbers will change. There will be 30 division I teams (minimum 16 riders), of which the top 10 will be part of the "Top Club". To be in this elite division , a team needs a minimum of 18 riders, 2 team managers, 1 doctor and 8 additional staff. The advantage of the Top Club class is automatic entry into all three Grand Tours (TdF, Giro and Vuelta) and World Cup races. The remainder of the Division I teams get the pickings, hence the current rush to ensure at least top 30 status for next year.
According to the UCI rules, the top 30 will be selected from:
With the Division I trade teams Festina and Liquigas definitely stopping, and the likelihood (barring a miracle) of Mercury operating as a trade team II next year, this means that there will only be 19 teams given automatic entry into Division I in 2002. Therefore, the top eight Division II squads, currently: Alessio, Ag2R Prevoyance, Jean Delatour, Bonjour, Cantina Tollo Acqua & Sapone, La Francaise Des Jeux, Milaneza - MSS and Gerolsteiner, will make up the 27 teams covered by points a) and b), unless e) comes into play. The calendar hasn't finished yet, but there are only a few chances for Division II teams to score points, the Sun Tour (2.4) being one of them.
The remaining three teams will be selected by summing the UCI points of the top 8 riders. Phonak will be one of these (currently ranked 15th in division II), having signed riders with points such as Oscar Camenzind, Benoît Salmon and Juan-Carlos Dominguez, who have 2300 points between them. The remaining teams in the hunt for Division I status such as Team fakta, Bankgiroloterij-Batavus, BigMat, Collstrop-Palmans and others will be trying to stretch their budgets to the maximum in order to sign riders with points by December 20.
More information: UCI Rankings
Unipublic, the organisers of the Vuelta España, and the city council of Jaén have come to an agreement whereby the Andalusian province will host a stage start and finish in the 2002 edition of the race. The last time that the Vuelta visited Jaén was in 1991 when it finished there on May 2. Prior to this the race has visited there three times, in 1976, 1981 and 1986.
The stage will be an important one, as it finishes with the eight kilometre ascent of Alto de La Pandera (1,872m) with sections up to 17 percent. This climb has never been used in the Vuelta before, similar to the feared Angliru that was used in the 1999 and 2000 editions.
The day following the finish in Jaén, the Vuelta will head towards Córdoba, although this has yet to be confirmed by the organisers. The entire route will be presented within a month.
Michael Boogerd will fire the starting gun at this Sunday's Isostar Beach Classic in Scheveningen, a mountain bike race over the beach from Scheveningen to Noordwijk and back. He will not participate in the race, as he has a prior commitment to a charity event for victims of a fire in a cafe in Volendam. The starters in the Beach Classic include Bart Brentjens, Bas van Dooren and Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel.
By Jeff Jones
Three riders from the division III NetZero team (Michael Johnson, Jamie Paolinetti, Mike Tillman) recently registered a complaint with the USA cycling federation regarding non-payment of salaries. The team, funded by a free internet company, already released two of its riders Ryan Lane and Greg Medinilla in April and June, and the complaint to USAC was made on October 8.
However, in comments made to Velonews, team manager and owner of Sport 1 Marketing Martin Church, assured his colleagues that they will be paid "by the end of next week." Although this is a depressingly familiar phrase, it seems as though the riders have actually been paid their salaries in part by Sport 1 Marketing, the management company and paying agent for the NetZero Team.
Team manager Jim Fryer told Cyclingnews that he "..feels the situation is serious and that obligations to the riders must be met, and it appears that all obligations are being fulfilled...With the riders being paid in full I firmly believe that this story will dissolve."
Following last year's successful first event, some 500 cyclists are expected to take part in the second Tatonka Urban Polaris being held around the streets, national parks and trails of Sydney on Saturday, December 8.
Teams of two riders have 8 hours to get around the event area comprising the whole of the north side of the Sydney metropolitan region. Checkpoints will again be placed in spots that variously showcase the best of Sydney, challenge the riders and puzzle them too! Riders plan their own route to reach as many checkpoints as they can. To encourage use of bikes and public transport, riders are permitted to catch trains and ferries to help them get around the event area.
The location of the Event Centre (the Start/Finish point) is announced to competitors a week before the event.
At last year's event one of the checkpoints was at Royal North Shore Hospital. More specifically it was with Sean Fitzgerald. Sean was made a quadriplegic in a mountain bike accident in the Northern Territory in June 2000. Competitors were only allowed to 'clip' that control if they donated to the RNS Spinal Unit. Sean is now out of hospital and rebuilding his life back home in Canberra. The Tatonka Urban Polaris and other Polaris events are now seeking to raise $50000 to purchase a specially converted vehicle that will enable Sean to get out and about more often and more easily.
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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