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News Roundup: 13 February 2003 (Updated)
By Janna Trevisanut
Date: 2/13/2003
News Roundup: 13 February 2003 (Updated)

Ullrich training going smoothly

Jan Ullrich is now in Tuscany for a second round of training, after completing a January training camp in Spain. His knee is not giving him any problems and performed well under recent performance testing. Ullrich is not pushing, but is training five hours per day.

Ullrich is riding short courses rather than the long ones it is said he prefers, and is approximating 100 pedal revolutions per minute. According to Radsport, the Spanish press immediately commented that this was reminiscent of Lance Armstrong's "spinning style," but that is not true, says Coast chief trainer Wolfram Lindner. Lindner says that the short courses and high revolutions are simply part of a typical endurance training phase.

Ullrich will finish this training phase at the end of February and will undergo performance testing again at that time. (Radsport)

Erik Dekker knee troubles

Rabobank's Erik Dekker banged his right knee on a door casing on New Year's Eve, and though examination has shown no injury, the knee is bothering him to the point that he will need to rest it, and not start the Ruta del Sol on February 16th. Team doctor Geert Leinders says that since the classics season approaches, Dekker must ensure that he is in ready condition. Remmert Wielinga will take his place at the Spanish race this weekend. (Rabobank)

Aitor plans debut with his "almost" team

Although which team gets Aitor Gonzalez this year has not yet been decided, the 2002 Vuelta winner is confident he will be able ride in Fassa colors on February 23rd at the Trofeo Luis Puig - last week in the Six Hours of Euskadi, Gonzalez rode in the Fassa team outfit). It is thought that the UCI will make a decision next week - since last fall, the Domina Vacanze (then Acqua e Sapone) team has claimed that a contract between Aitor and that team supercedes the contract he signed with Fassa Bortolo.

A UCI decision will only allow for the formal registration of Gonzalez, who still is not officially registered with a team, but the contract dispute itself has already arrived in the courts. (

Paternina-Costa Almeria team presentation

The Spanish Division II Paternina-Costa Almeria team has been presented with 16 riders, and its Spanish champion star, Juan Carlos Guillamón. Paternina replaces the sponsor Jazztell for this team. The team's objectives for the season will be primarily the Vuelta a Espana, and the team debuts this weekend and the Ruta del Sol.

The riders:
Juan Carlos Guillamón, Rafael Casero, José Antonio Garrido, Carlos Torrent, Ricardo Valdés, José Antonio Pecharromán, José Luis Martínez, Pedro Díaz Lobato, Carlos Golbano, Darío Gadeo, Joaquín López, Domingo Segado, Gustavo Toledo, Jorge Ferrio, Javier Tondo, Dermot Nally. (

Manolo Saiz Interview: Fishing Plans

ONCE-Eroski's head honcho, Manolo Saiz, prepares the program that his well-drilled squad will follow during the 2003 season at the Hotel Las Truchas, just as he does every winter. Speaking to Jesus Benitez from Marca, Saiz explains what he calls "fishing plans."

Jesus Benitez: Will this be the year that you will definitely "fish" for the victory at the Champs Elysees in Paris?

Manolo Saiz: Because of the trajectory of the team, it will be fair that we would win it this year. There are moments that to top it all is something exceptional, and I think that with the ONCE's palmares it would be exceptional to top it all. The team deserves it and has for a very long time. I hope and wish that this year will be ours.

J.B: You have directed ONCE-Eroski since 1989 and have gotten a second place as the best result. What have you learned in these years and what makes you think that now you have the ideal team to win the Tour?

M.S: I think I learned everything, but it's never enough, like everything in life. The important thing is that we have a good team, a good block that stays together and that at the end, is a family. I remember when I arrived at ONCE, there was a popular slogan, called the enchanted house. Just like a team should be, an enchanted house for all the riders, staff and all of us who are here, to feel sufficiently comfortable to give that little bit more that allows you to win what's up for grabs.

J.B: And do you think, with the difference of Indurain and Armstrong, that the best team or the best rider in the world wins the Tour?

M.S: Armstrong and Indurain demonstrated that the best rider in the world wins it. But I also believe that besides those two exceptional cases, there are years in which the Tour de France is won by circumstances, and the riders from ONCE-Eroski have the sufficient capacity to, if the the cirmcumstances arise, win the Tour.

J.B: Neil Armstrong, compatriot of Lance Armstrong, was the first man to go to the moon. Do you think the cyclist is capable to break the record of victories at the Tour?

M.S: He is capable. What happens and I wish, is that for the good of cycling, the norm will be broken and other riders win. New expectations should be created and the sensation of competitiveness. Furthermore, I notice that during Armstrong's four year run, in the street the feeling is that there's no competitiveness. If in 2003 there's an open battle for the Tour, it will be fantastic even though if at the end Armstrong ends up winning. It would attract new sponsors.

J.B: Do you think that an end will be reached with this caricaturesque enviroment as far as the doping controversy?

M.S: In 30 years people will laugh about what we are doing. I'm sure that it will arrive at a final point, because life turns and it takes on another complexion.

Barcelona lobbies for 2004 TdF stage

Today a delegation from Barcelona, Spain, has met with Jean Marie LeBlanc, head of the Tour de France organization, to formally request that Barcelona be allowed to host a stage of the 2004 Tour.

Barcelona will host the International Forum of Cultures in 2004, and wishes to bring the great race to the city to correspond with that event. The Barcelona director of sport, Albert Batlle, has proposed a route through to the Catalan capital from the mountains of the Tibidabo (one of two mountains bordering Barcelona, the other being Montjuic, site of a fall cycling competition), and perhaps arriving at the Forum of Cultures event facility.

The honorary International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch wrote a letter to LeBlanc on behalf of Barcelona proposing the city for a stage. LeBlanc will make a trip to Barcelona in May to make an on-site review of the city. For more on the 2004 Forum of Cultures, click here or here. (

Papal visit - TV needs date change for Castilla y Leon

The Pope will be visiting Spain between May 1st and 4th, causing a logistics problem for Vuelta a Castilla y Leon organizer Caldasa - the television provider does not have sufficient mobile units to cover the visit and the race. The race is scheduled for 30 April through 4 May. So the organizer has requested of the UCI that the date be changed to the 21st through 25th of May.

Caldasa official Jose Luis Lopez told the Tribuna de Salamanca that "we have asked for the UCI to change the dates between the 21 and 25 of May, since there are races no anticipated in the calendar," the organizer knowing that there must be television coverage for the teams' and the race's patrons. (Tribuna de Salamanca)

New South Wales: Trek Bikes Summer Series Round  6

Steve Fitzpatrick leads Graeme Moffett and Jose Rodriguez
Heffron Park, 11 February, 2003: It was a sprint battle between 2 NSW track stars which decided the outcome of Round 6 of the Trek Bikes Summer Criterium series at Heffron Park, with US based Jittery Joe's rider, Jeff Hopkins outclassing St. George rider Steve Fitzpatrick. Filling in the minor placings was, '30 something' and recently engaged Nathan Russell, followed in by local King, Anthony Spurgeon who grabbed a valuable 2 points to go clear in the Series and Stewart 'Computer' Campbell.

Another large turnout of riders in all grades on a hot and as usual, windy evening in an almost identical replay of last weeks race which saw C grade hanging onto till the bell lap before being swamped by the fast finishing A grade train. Once again, B grade got off to another disorganised start and now seem quite happy to wait for A grade to decide their fate when they get caught as early as the 8th of the 15 lap race.

Not so in C grade which seem to be spurred on by a mixture of young riders, wily veterans and elite women riders. This week, they almost made it (maybe next week Frank), but were reigned in at the bell by some big turns from Stewart Campbell and Stuart Dangerfield. After clawing their way through the C grade bunch, the sprinters hit the front and lined up for a good old fashioned, length of the straight gallop, with Jeff Hopkins who looked comfortable all night, winning in convincing style. Although out of a podium finish, King Spurge continued his consistent  performance of placing every week in the Series to go 2 points clear from co leader Mark Renshaw who is out of town this week.

Robbie Cater and Chris Jenkins continued to battle for the A/B grade sprint points by going even further ahead in the Sprint King competition. Robbie Cater backed up another good ride by finishing with A grade and winning the 1st B grade prize. Craig Dempsey continued his domination of the C grade competition and picked up his 5th win in 6 rounds to put daylight between him and the rest of the C grade field.

At the halfway point of the series, the race for the Trek 5500 US Postal team frame is still open, although if King Spurge continues to place consistently over the coming weeks, he may have already ordered his wheels and groupset...

Racing continues at Heffron on Saturday afternoon's with the Randwick Botany club races which get underway at 2.30pm. Details at

1. Jeff Hopkins (Jittery Joes/Bankstown)
2. Steve Fitzpatrick (St George)
3. Nathan Russell (Giant/Norths)
4. Anthony Spurgeon (Caravello)
5. Stewart Campbell (Easts)

1st B Grade
Robbie Cater (Randwick Botany)

1st C Grade
Craig Dempsey (Easts)

Trek Bikes Points Score
1 Anthony Spurgeon A 16
2 Mark Renshaw A 14
3 Stewart Campbell A 13
4 Steve Fitzpatrick A 11
5 Jeff Hopkins A 9
6 Stuart Dangerfield A 7
6 Robert Cater B 7
6 Liam Kelly A 7
7 Matt White A 4
7 Steve Wooldridge A 4
7 Dave Stewart A 4
8 Nathan Russell A 3
9 Graeme Moffet A 2
10 Jose Rodriguez A 1

A/B Grade Sprint King
1 Robert Cater B 61
2 Chris Jenkins B 45
3 Patrick Jones B 18
4 Anthony Spurgeon A 15
5 Stuart Dangerfield A 11
5 Stewart Campbell A 11
6 Mark Renshaw A 10
7 Steve Fitzpatrick A 7
8 Jeff Hopkins A 6
9 Liam Kelly A 5
9 Troy Glennan A 5
10 John Kenny B 4
11 Paul Rowney A 3
11 Matt White A 3
11 Steve Wooldridge A 3
11 Dave Watkinson B 3
12 Will Gray B 2
13 Steve Williams A 1
13 Dave Stewart A 1
13 Nathan Russell A 1

C Grade Poinstcore
1 Craig Dempsey 25
2 Dave Jackson 10
3 Roger Shackleton 6
4 Chris Young 5
5 Frank Fortuna 4
6 Stefan Borunivic 1
6 Tim Rice 1
6 Katie Brown 1
6 Luke Picton 1

Katie Brown, sister of Panaria sprinter Graeme riding C grade

(Thanks to our friend Nathan Russell)
Related articles: A view of the peloton in Perth here, Jeff Hopkins/Jittery Joe's diary here.

I.F. Wheelworks 2003 Women's Team

Press Release:  The Independent Fabrication/Wheelworks Women's Cycling Team is pleased to announce its roster of riders and sponsors for the 2003 season. The team is composed of returnees Brenda Bahnson, Katheryn Curi, Lisa Maxwell, Julia Oh, Heather Peck, Michele Smith, and Aimee Vasse, a great mix of all-around riders, climbers, and sprinters.

The team started as Merlin/Smartfuel in 1997 and in 2000 picked up title sponsorship from Wheelworks, a leading New England bicycle retailer, and Independent Fabrication, known for its stunning road, mountain bike, and cyclocross frames. IF /Wheelworks is based in New England and races a full schedule of regional and National Racing Calendar events.

These elite amateur riders have amassed impressive results since coming together as a team. Bahnson was first in her age group in 2000 in the Mt. Washington Hill Climb; Curi won the 2002 Housatonic Road Race; Maxwell repeated as winner at the 2002 Yarmouth Clam Festival; Oh finished 4th at the inaugural New York City Championships in 2002; Peck finished 15th in the 2000 Olympic Trials road race; Smith was the 2000 Division 2 collegiate national champion in the criterium; and Vasse finished 2nd at the 2001 Mt. Washington Hill Climb.

Brenda Bahnson (Cat. 2)
Katheryn Curi (Cat. 1)
Lisa Maxwell (Cat. 2)
Julia Oh (Cat. 2)
Heather Peck (Cat. 1)*
Michele Smith (Cat. 2)
Aimee Vasse (Cat. 2)
* limited appearances during the 2003 season

Director sportif:
Matt Bracken

Title sponsors:
Independent Fabrication (bicycle frame builder)
Wheelworks (leading New England bicycle retailer) 

Associate sponsors:
Brave Soldier (athletic skincare)
Chris King (headsets)
Clif Bar (nutrition)
Giro (helmets)
Hutchinson (tires)
Mavic (wheelsets)
Pedro's (bicycle care)
Security Bicycle Accessories (components)
Smith (eyewear)
SMRT Inc. (architecture, engineering, planning)
Time (pedals and shoes)
Matty B.

Tom Steels to race Tirreno-Adriatico. According to Belgian TV teletext, the Belgian sprinter, who graced his fans with a winning comeback a few days ago in a stage of "Etoile de Besseges", has made his choice: he'll skip Paris-Nice and head for Italy, where the man will be taking part in Tirreno-Adriatico, the hors categorie stage race to run in the Central and Southern part of the country from March 13-19.

Actually it wasn't just his own choice, but rather a collegiate one, as riders of the belgian team considered Paris-Nice a bit too difficult for them, and rejected offer by ASO to join the race startlist. "Even though we are a division 1 team, our ranks mainly consist of young riders in need to grow and gain experience, and making them race Paris-Nice would be a mistake", Team Manager Gerard Buelens told "Gazet Van Antwerpen" newspaper (Velo-Club du net).

Kevin De Weert and Maarten den Bakker training in Croatia: The two Rabobank riders are actually continuing their build up for the new season in the former Yugoslav country. Twenty-year-old de Weert briefly talked to Belgian TV VRT about his next goals and races "After the Tour of Qatar, I needed to ride long distances in order to find a good condition. In this period I'm preparing for my next races, GP de Haut-Var and Classic Haribo. This competitions will be the real start of the cycling season for me".(Velo-Club du net).

Cycling to help hamlets hit by Volcano in Sicily - Tour of Etna route confirmed: According to race organizers, the Giro della Provincia di Catania - Trofeo Etna, set to take place on Tuesday, March the 11th, will run over the roads of the towns affected by the Etna Volcano eruption and earthquake in the past months. The former Giro dell'Etna reacts to the volcano's violence, dispels all doubts that came out after landslides affected the area, and brings all its solidarity to the towns hit by the earthquake.

The fact this race will actually take place there gave local authorities further motivation to rebuild the roads in the area, also with a help from the Catania province "This is a case of cycling helping tourism and environment recovery" said Stefano Fisichella, a member of the Catania Provincial Council in charge of sports "the same towns affected by problems linked to Etna's eruptions asked us to bring the competition to their streets, in order to give them more exposure, and let people know that the worst is over".

In a further initiative linked to the event, two days before the race cycling fans will be given the chance to take a ride with former World Champion, Giro winner and hour record holder Francesco Moser in downtown Catania.(Velo-Club du net).

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