Vuelta a Espana advance reactions!
The presentation of the 2003 Vuelta a Espana is still a few days off, taking
place on Tuesday, 17 December. However, Spanish news source Marca has
gotten advance reactions from six of the Spanish team directors: ONCE director
Manolo Saiz, Vincente Belda of Kelme, Zengotitabengoa of Labarca 2-Cafe Baque,
Maximino Perez of Relax Fuenlabrada, Julian Gorospe of Euskaltel and Eusebio
Unzúe of Banesto.
Saiz: It is a Vuelta that I like because it is dynamic and complete, and it
has the Pyrenees. The time trial benefits Beloki, but I am also looking at other
Unzue: It is spectacular and has everything, although the mountain finishes
are not very selective. It is a spectacular Vuelta for climbers who are good
against the clock, although neither is it bad for Aitor [Gonzalez].
Belda: With a climbing time trial it is already a completely different Vuelta
than in past years. I like it, because Unipublic has made a Vuelta that will
please most. The most positive thing is the time trial on the penultimate day,
which is better for the climbers, as they lose less than in a flat trial.
Gorospe: It is a very hard Vuelta, and that is what people will like about
it. The Pyrenees will be important, but the Sierra Nevada stages and the Pandera
I liked very much in 2002. And a climbing time trial is much more dramatic than
a flat one.
Perez: It is mountainous, similar in style to this year's, with the Cauteret
in the sixth stage. A climbing time trial has not been done for a long while. It
seems good to me, it is a dynamic and very interesting Vuelta.
Zengotitabengoa: It will benefit the climbers, there are more ascents and a "cronoescalada"
(ascending time trial). In principle I see it good mainly for Heras and later
L'Equipe reports some details of the potential marriage of Mercatone Uno and
Elitron, or more precisely, a team with Marco Pantani and Mario Cipollini. Super
Mario's manager, Vincenzo Santoni, stated that, "It is a marriage which must be
done, our availability is total, like that of Pantani. The two riders have
already discussed it and I do not see what obstacles there could be." The French
paper says that Santoni appeared very optimistic.
In order for the team to ride in Division I, approximately 50% of the old
Acqua e Sapone team would need to be part of it, which at this point would be
sponsored by market chain Mercatone Uno, data processing firm Elitron, Gi.Vi.
Plast, and possibly another sponsor, Portalupi, a meat processing company. Were
this not to occur, then Cipollini and Pantani would find themselves riding in a
Division II team. Best guesses assume that Cipollini would certinly bring his
royal guard, namely Mario Scirea and Giovanni Lombardi. Pantani would be likely
to bring at the very least Fabio Fontanelli.
Santoni has under contract 16 members of the old Acqua e Sapone team, so
maintaining a team in Division I should not be difficult in theory. A UCI filing
is required by 20 December of the two riders' managers.
Barcelona hopes for Tour stage in 2004
Barcelona, Spain, mayor Joan Clos, has made a formal request to Tour de
France organizer Jean Marie Le Blanc to have that city host a stage of the 2004
Tour de France, to coincide with that city's International Forum of Cultures. (AS.com)
Former Alessio rider and two-time Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Gotti is talking
with apparently talking with Tenax and Scanavino in addition to Landbouwkrediet.
Honors and ride for Olano
The Spanish towns of Tolosa and Anoeta today pay tribute to Abraham Olano
with a series of cycling contests and honors by the towns' city councils. Those
expected to join Olano today are Joseba Beloki, Unai Osa, Txente García, Juan
Garate, Patxi Vila, Aitor Garmendia, José Luis Arrieta, Alberto Martínez, Haimar
Zubeldia, Iker Flores, Aitor Silloniz and Rafa Díaz Justo. There will be rides
for elite men, women, juniors and fans. (Mundo Deportivo)
Sevilla wins Sanroma Memorial
The third Sanroma Memorial, a tribute to fallen rider Miguel Sanroma, was won
by Oscar Sevilla today. There were two contests, an elimination and a time
trial, with a final points scoring to determine the winner. The first was
an elimination event of 50 passes on a 400 meter course, which was won by
Francisco Cerezo of CSC with Sevilla taking second place.
The time trial consisted of four timing scores with Sevilla and Pablo Lastras
of Banesto going head to head. The final points scoring put Sevilla in first,
followed by Lastras in second and Cerezo in third. See related story on this
In related news, Sevilla was asked about Jan Ullrich joining Kelme at today's
competition, and said, "I don't know what would happen. The truth is that he is
a little crazy." He said that he and Ullrich have not spoken, that no one has
consulted him, so he will just have to see what happens.
Sevilla also stated that he wanted to continue to be the team leader, that he
is progressing well and wants to achieve great things, but in the end it is the
team that decides.
Of his victory today in the Sanroma Memorial, Sevilla said, "To have won
today in my own town is a dream come true, particularly with all these great
cyclists present. I am very content to have been able to pay tribute to my
friend in this way." (Marca and Todociclismo)
Five positive doping controls among Portuguese riders
The Portuguese Cycling Federation has made public the result of five riders
who tested postive in doping controls:
Arnoldas Saprykinas (Ltu - former Cantanhede): positive for Sabultamol in the
Volta ao Alentajo in July.
Pedro Martins (Por): positive for a diuretic in the GP CTT in
Fabio Malberti (Ita - former LA Pecol: positive during GP Rota do Marques in
March 2002. His contract for 20003 with La Pecol has been terminated.
The names of two other riders, a junior and a non-Portuguese Elite 2 riding for
a Portuguese team are not known. As Wim van Rossum points out, this is five
Portuguese cases in one year, as compared with 20 cases in Portuguese football.
(Cycling 4 All)
Change to Mavic Wheel
Press Release (BRAIN)--Mavic is putting the brakes on its front Crossmax SL
wheel due a weakness in a certain part of the hub flange. Scheduled to be
released in February, the Crossmax SL will have a different front hub that Mavic
had originally marketed.
Chris Zigmont, Mavic's marketing manager, said that while the prototype
passed all the company's quality control standards, the mass produced hubs were
faulty, for which he blames Mavic's aluminum suppliers.
"Our suppliers have been unable to ensure consistent quality levels of the
selected aluminium alloy that is used in the production of the parts that endure
the most stress," said Zigmont, who explained that a redesign may take many
months. "In order not to penalize our customers with an unacceptably long wait,
Mavic has made the decision to replace this hub with a standard version that has
already stood the test of time."
The new Crossmax SL front wheel will therefore weigh 680 grams instead of the
originally advertised 650 grams. For information visit
Matt White wins Queensland Crit
US Postal's Matt White won the South Bank International Criterium in
Queensland, Australia today, outsprinting fourth place Robbie McEwen, who was
unhappy about third-placed Craig Cahill's performance.
White and Jaaron Poad (NZ), who finished second, broke away, and a five man
chase followed, including Cahill and McEwen, Leigh Palmer and Craig Mackie.
However, according to McEwen, Cahill did not contribute to the chase group's
effort and pipped McEwen at the line. McEwen called him on not contributing to
the chase effort. For his part, Cahill said he was desperate for the prize
money, and as a "nobody" was also trying to qualify for the upcoming Bay
Criterium: "I did the wrong thing, I was with better
riders than me, I'm struggling for money at the moment."