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News Roundup 15 December Updated
By Janna Trevisanut
Date: 12/15/2002
News Roundup 15 December Updated

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 things.

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 for Beloki.


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. (

Gotti changes

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. (Sporever)

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 memorial race here.]

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 August.
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." 

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