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News Roundup December 24th
By Janna Trevisanut
Date: 12/24/2002
News Roundup December 24th

Message from Il Pirata

"Il Pirata" Marco Pantani gives his fans this holiday greeting at his website:

I wanted to give best wishes to all the dear friends of the site and to the tifosi...for the month I have been in Greece to find the proper stimulus and peace. I walk and train on the bike every day. I will be with my family for the holidays and in January I will go to Spain to continue my training.

I am working with people who believe in me and I have confidence that my sponsor will find a team that will guarantee us the right conditions so that 2003 will be a year that crowns all the sacrifices we are making to repay your tenacity and the confidence you have always shown me despite everything.

I still have great desire for the bike and believe I still have things to give to cycling. I wish a year of serenity to all and their families. 

Lance receives Spanish honors

Spanish newspaper El Pais has named four-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong as best foreign sportsman of the year.

Aitor visits children's hospital: Harder than the Angliru

Photo courtesy of
Aitor Gonzalez could not hold back tears during a visit to distribute toys at a children's hospital in Valencia. He told the Spanish he thought it would be fun, but that it was harder to do than the Angliru. Little by little the anguish built inside. him.

He said that he did not wish to cry in front of the children, but at times he was unable to hold back. "This visit has touched me deep inside."

Wynants released from hospital

Milton Wynants, the Uruguayan Olympic medalist, was released from the hospital yesterday after an accident with a truck during a training ride last week.

Team jerseys at Tour Down Under site - take a look

If you would like a look at a couple of next year's team jersey graphics, including Lotto-Domo, they displayed at the Tour Down Under official site on the confirmed teams and riders page. The TDU site is here.

Vuelta Ciclista a Costa Rica Stage 6 Results

The stage being contested today, Stage 7, is a 135 km mountain stage with a peak altitude of 880 meters (2887 feet).

Stage 6: Los Chiles - Ciudad Quesada (117 km)
Monday, 23 December
1. Paulo Vargas (Pizza Hut - Café de Costa Rica A) 3.00.16
2. Carlos Ochoa (Ven) s.t.
3. Arquímides Lam (Méx) a :47
4. Robert Núnez (CRC 2 x 1 Pizza - Tienda El Globo - Jaisa A) at :54
5. Federico Ramírez (Pizza Hut - Café de Costa Rica B) s.t.
6. Henry Raabe (Pizza Hut - Café de Costa Rica B) s.t.
7. Marconi Durán (2 x 1 Pizza - Tienda El Globo - Jaisa A) s.t.
8. Gregorio Ladino (Méx) s.t..
9. Juan Carlos Rojas (Dos Pinos A) s.t.
10. Daniel Bernal (Colombian - Dos Pinos A) s.t.

General Classification after Stage 6:
1. Marconi Durán (2 x 1 Pizza - Tienda El Globo -A) 21.50.10
2. Federico Ramírez (Pizza Hut - Café de Costa Rica B)  1.01
3. Daniel Bernal (Dos Pinos A)  1.20
4. Luis Morera (Pizza Hut - Café de Costa Rica B) 3.23
5. Gregorio Ladino (Méx 3.39
6. Julio César Rangel (2 x 1 Pizza - Tienda El Globo -A)  3.44
7. Rodolfo Camacho (Ven) 4.16
8. José Luis Vanegas (Dos Pinos B) 4.18
9. José A. Bonilla (Pizza Hut - Café Costa Rica B)  4.29
10. Alvaro Lozano (Pizza Hut - Café de Costa Rica B)  4.53

New sponsor for new US team

The world's largest Internet site for gaming and sports wagers will be the title sponsor of a new professional cycling team based in the United States. launched in 1997 and has taken in over 35 million bets in the last five years. In articles on, Yahoo and CBS MarketWatch, the company is recognized as the leader in gaming technology, innovation and customer service.

The venture into professional cycling is led by former US National Champions Adam Myerson and Ryan Oelkers, two of the most respected and successful riders in the country. The team of eight riders plans to compete in all of the major races in the Unites States, including the new Tour of Georgia. The team has also secured an invitation to the Tour of Ireland.

The team is managed by Bill Laudien, a married father of three, vice chair of the US Cycling Federation Board of Trustees and race promoter. He says the team and sponsor are a good fit.

"I have been making friendly wagers for years and was a customer long before I approached them about becoming involved with cycling," Laudien says. "It's a safe, secure way to enjoy sports and the company is very excited about the marketing possibilities of a pro cycling team. We're ecstatic." is owned by Sportingbet, a United Kingdom company publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange. processes over $2 billion in wagers each year. The company's global outreach mean unparalled accountability, security and customer service for anyone interested in laying 10 dollars on the Knicks, betting on the odds of a Schumacher repeat or a game of Internet blackjack. offers free contests and no fees to sign up. The company has sponsored a blimp, womens' professional golf and now cycling. "We want to provide an opportunity for young riders to gain expereince in a clean, well organized and supportive environment," Laudien says. "At the same time we hope to realize more immediate results with veteran riders like Adam and Ryan.

The eight rider team is not complete. "We are negotiating with other experienced riders and who hope to make an announcement soon on the team website at," Laudien says.

The team is also sponsored by Greg Kreider of Red Rose Imports, who helped secure product from OLMO (bicycles), Nalini (clothing), Challenge (tires), Selcof (parts), and other Italian companies. For more information, contact Bill Laudien at

Team News - Tour de Langkawi

Newly-merged team Flanders-Iteamnova of Belgium and division two outfit Marlux-Nixdorf are the latest addition to the Telekom Malaysia Le Tour de Langkawi 2003 which runs from Jan 31 to Feb 9.

With the inclusion of both teams, the race now has a pool of 21 teams which includes 14 professional teams (five division one and 9 teams from the second division). Six national teams and composite team, Telekom Malaysia made up the rest of the field for the eighth edition of the race, which flags off at Langkawi Island on Jan 31. Team Gerolsteiner, who had earlier indicated their interest to compete in the race, pulled out due to commitment with its sponsors.

First Cartel Executive Chairman Datuk Wan Lokman Dato' Paduka Wan Ibrahim said both Flanders-Iteamnova and Marlux are capable of giving the top teams a run for their money.

"Iteamnova put up a creditable performance in their debut appearance this year and with some good climbers and all-rounders, the Belgian outfit should be able to improve on their performance," said Wan Lokman.

Having made their debut this year, Iteamnova will enter the fray with some valuable knowledge on the condition of Malaysian terrain. The merger with RDM-Flanders and the presence of some Belgian riders in the outfit should provide the team with added strength. Among the notable and familiar names in its 2003 set up are Allan Iacuone, David McKenzie and Dominique Perras.

Marlux-Nixdorf, meanwhile, makes their debut and it would be interesting to see how the Belgium-based team will fare in the 10-day race. In its bid to make impact this season, Marlux has signed several notable riders such as Lithuanian Raivis Belohvosciks of Lampre and Saulius Ruskys of Gerolsteiner, French rider Charles Guilbert of Bonjour and Sébastien Mattozza from Landbouwkrediet.

With its new 2.2 status, next year's race will be the highest-ranked race in Asia and outside Europe with a total purse of RM1.5 million. The 10-stage race, the eighth edition in its series, will cover a total distance of 1,343 km and is scheduled to start in Langkawi with a time trial race on January 31.

THE TEAMS (as at Dec 23, 2002): Lampre (ITA), Acqua & Sapone (ITA), Credit Agricole (FRA), Index-Alexia (ITA),Team Fakta (DEN), Colchon Relax-Fuenlabrada (SPA), Formaggi Trentini (ITA), Collstrop-Palmans (BEL), Panaria Fiordo (ITA), Colombia Selle-Italia (COL), DeNardi-Colpack (SLO), Saturn (USA), Flanders-Iteamnova (BEL), Marlux-Nixdorf (BEL), Iran, South Africa, Japan, Canada, Philippines, Malaysia, Telekom Malaysia.

MainStory on the Tour de Langkawi can be found HERE

Look handlebar stem recall

Press Release: (BRAIN)--Veltec Sports, the U.S. distributor of Look Cycling products, is voluntarily recalling Look's Carbostem handlebar stems. Although no accidents or injuries have been reported, Veltec received reports from the French manufacturer that the stems are subject to fatigue failure, which may cause the handlebars to come lose and result in a rider losing control or falling. The recall is being conducted to prevent the possibility of injuries from this mechanism, Veltec officials said.

About 59 Carbostems--a high-end road bike stem made with carbon fiber and aluminum--are affected by the recall. They were shipped to the United States between July and November 2001 in sizes ranging from 90 to 130 mm. No other Look stems or products are involved in the recall. Consumers should stop using the Carbostems immediately and make arrangements to return them for a purchase price refund or a replacement. Veltec is asking its authorized Look dealers to take the recalled stems from consumers and return them to the distributor. For information call Veltec at (800) 991-0070.

Wheel deal for bike shop employees!

Press Release (BRAIN)--New wheel maker Topolino is offering bike shop employees a set of its carbon fiber and Kevlar wheels complete with Hutchinson Carbon Comp Gold Elite tires for a fraction of the $950 retail value.

"Our mission is to give bike shop employees the chance to try out these two new products, while minimizing the impact to their wallets," said Steve Cuomo, Topolino Technology.

[The press release does not offer details on this program, so this editor guesses one would ask one's bike shop owner to contact Topolino.]

Related Articles
News Roundup 21 December
News Roundup December 22nd
Tour de Langkawi - 2003

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