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News Roundup December 20th: Updated
By Janna Trevisanut
Date: 12/20/2002
News Roundup December 20th: Updated

Pantani's Options

Speaking to Gazzetta yesterday, Marco Pantani's manager Manuela Ronchi expressed dissatisfaction over the Elitron business, saying that as of Tuesday afternoon the deal between Mercatone and Elitron had been concluded. However, Ronchi also stated that during the day yesterday five offers from Italian and foreign teams had been received - Ronchi mentioned the new Scanavino-La Verve team being put together by Pantani's friend David Boifava, as well as Kelme, as well as Tacconi and CSC. The main thing, says Ronchi, is that Pantani wants to ride and he will. His goal is a team that will put him in the Tour. Pantani is training in Greece.

Nardi-Colpack for 2003

The Italian Nardi-Colpack Division II team has announced its team for 2003. Its manager is Gianluigi Stanga and its directors are Antonio Bevilacqua, Oscar Pellicioli and Orlando Maini. Sergui Honchar is team captain, and the full team is as follows:

Andrus Aug (Est)
Simone Cadamuro (Ita)
Matteo Carrara (Ita)
Michele Colleoni (Ita)
Ondrej Fadrny (Cze)
Graziano Gasparre (Ita)
Leonardo Giordani (Ita)
Michele Gobbi (Ita)
Serhiy Honchar (Ukr)
Devis Miorin (Ita)
Rafael Nuritdinov (Uzb)
Giuseppe Palumbo (Ita)
Andrea Rossi (Ita)
Charly Wegelius (Fin)
Leonardo Zanotti (Ita)

2004 Tour to begin in Liege

Jean Marie Le Blanc announced today that the 2004 edition of the Tour de France will begin in Liege, Belgium, and that the first four days' parcours will visit towns such as Charleroi, Namur and Waterloo before proceeding into France. (DH Sports)

Tchmil to Marlux-Wincor-Nixdorf?

Andrei Tchmil, who retired from professional cycling earlier this year, had plans of working with the second division Itera team with Jos Braeckevelt but this has not worked out due to insufficient financial guarantees. It now appears that Tchmil may join Noël Demeulenaere's Marlux team as a trainer and public relations manager - a meeting was to be held today to make final arrangements. (DH Sports and Cycling4All)

Ullrich hopes to ride Milan-San Remo

Jan Ullrich told Gazzetta he hopes his suspension can be shortened by a few days which would allow him to ride in Milan-San Remo. Milan-San Remo commences on the 22 of March, and Ullrich's suspension, as it currently stands, will be complete on the 23rd.

Christian Pfannberger to Index Alexia

Christian Pfannberger, 23, who was second overall at Rheinland-Pfalz Rundfahrt this September, moves from Team Nurnberger to Index for next season. (Todociclismo)

Telefonica leaves Vuelta sponsorship

Spanish Telekom subsidiary Telefonica's sponsorship of the Vuelta has finished, after four years, however it will continue sponsorship of motor sports. The contract between Unipublic and Telefonica expired in October - the Vuelta organizers have asked for official word from Telefonica as to future partnerships, but none has been received. Sources say that Telefonica must trim its budget by about 30%. Altogether the company invested approximately 3.6 million euros into the Vuelta proper; two thirds of that amount was for the tour itself and the other third for peripheral expenditures, such as media, course equipment and a travelling museum. (AS)

Possible Feminine Vuelta a Espana

Organizer CDP (Communication, Sport and Promotion) of a possible womens Vuelta hopes to offer a ten day stage race in April 2003, but lacks the sponsor to provide the nearly 30 million pesetas necessary for prizes. It is also likely that the contest would be televised.

Proposed stages would run roughly in the following order:

Vilaseca-Vilaseca, Castellón-Castellón, Castello'n-Valencia, Valencia-Terra Mitica Benidorm, rest day, Terra Mitica-Murcia,  San Javier-Aguilas,  Almeria-Almeria, undecided stage, Malaga-Malaga stage.(Terra)

Spanish protest over surprise home doping controls

Earlier this week we reported how the World Anti-Doping Agency made early morning weekend doping control visits at riders' home in Spain and Portugal. The Spanish peloton, including Aitor Gonzalez, Oscar Sevilla and Angel Casero, Pablo Lastras (whose home was visited) and Oscar Freire has denounced these practices, calling it "disrespectful" and "violations of privacy."

Sevilla said, "Although we are on vacation, at this point we won't be able to leave the house for supper, go to a celebration, or anything." Gonzalez said, "I never awaken at seven in the morning (the time the anti-doping doctors made their house visits). Why must someone come and wake me up."

Angel Casero stated, "I have a young son and perhaps I don't want my life disrupted." Sevilla added, "This is like being in jail."

Freire said the fault lies more with the cycling federations, who have not ensured that they have been informed of these surprise visits, for not pressuring the doping agency for better practices, and further for not informing the cyclists how to react. Not doing the right thing could have serious repercussion, and the riders are very concerned.  Freire said, "If they come to your house, in the end you must jump through the hoop, because you do not know what the consequences could be." Casero stated that the riders still have not been informed as to what to do. A complaint has been lodged with the Superior Sports Council.

Last Minute Christmas Gift!

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Call or e-mail for details. Clark Metcalfe:

Grand Prix in Los Angeles - September 2003!

Yellow Jersey, Inc. is proud to announce the first ever LA Grand Prix to be held over Labor Day weekend in 2003 (the first weekend in September). The event is supported by the City of Los Angeles.

"I am proud to lend my support to the LA Grand Prix, and look forward to seeing everyone out there for what promises to be an exciting, fun-filled weekend," states City Councilman Dennis P. Zine.

"We want to make this a signature event for LA and the Valley. This event will bring tremendous economic impact throughout the entire region," states Bruce Ackerman, the President and CEO of the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley.

Cycling fans in LA will get more from their event as the LA Grand Prix will be part of a 3 day community festival that will include a Concert, a 5/10K Run for charity, a Criterium, Consumer Expo, and other Celebrity/Charity events.

Los Angeles will provide an excellent venue for professional cycling and the event sponsors, as LA is the media & entertainment capital of the US. Top-rated American & International pro cycling teams are expected to compete in the pro-events over the weekend. In addition, there will be a junior event (15-18 yr.) held to help further the development of the sport.

The 3-day event finale will be the Grand Prix road race. The LA Grand Prix will be a challenging course that consists of 15 laps of an 8-mile circuit (120 miles). The course includes 3 climbs with the most difficult being the 8% ascent of Chalk Hill. The race will be an important precursor to the Cycling World Championships to be held in early October in Ontario, Canada.

The LA Grand Prix is expected to draw a large crowd, as professional cycling events in San Francisco and Philadelphia have seen attendance of 400,000+ per day. For more information, please contact

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