The Warrior's Revenge
Speaking on his website after the World Championships, “The Warrior” Michelle
Bartoli had these prophetic words to say:
"...about the World Championships, I would like to tell you my impressions.
"The stronger rider has won! I was really been struck by the spurt of
Astarloa with Bettini racing hot on his heels. Then Valverde has a very good
rescue taking second in the final sprint. The team of the strongest riders has
won: Astarloa, Valverde and Freire took in the first ten positions. That's why I
think that Rebellin and I could have helped the Italian team. Petacchi could
have been useful too since the peloton almost played a final bunch sprint.
"People who said the route was tough mistook, but in any case the last part
of the track made a selection and only the stronger riders succeeded, also
thanks to Van Petegem, the first-rate rider that had a great day yesterday. As
for Italians, Paolini has been very good entering the front of the peloton after
having helped Bettini for the whole day. Also my friend Ivan Basso, as the other
riders, worked very well giving a proof of his professionalism. Bettini raced
very fast and had a perfect technique, as usual, but he could do nothing else.
He met a faster rider yesterday. After so many observations, contrary to the
Zolder's ones, this year's World's have leaved me a little of bitterness and the
consciousness I had suffered a great injustice. It has been a fine World
Championship, where I could have done my part without hindering anyone.
"But now let's stop this parenthesis and think about the two last races I
have to partake: the Milano-Torino and the Giro di Lombardia. I would like to
sweeten this very bitter season then spend a serene winter waiting for my next
challenge I tell you about yesterday: my passage to the CSC.
"Let me know what you think of it.
"See you soon.
As we all know, thanks to Fabio’s excellent live ticker of the 97th “Giro di
Lombardia” (to see article
Bartoli did indeed “sweeten his bitter season.” His great victory was also good
news in Denmark where the CSC site could hardly hold its delight in not only
having a good race themselves but also looking forward to the arrival of a the
“Warrior” for next season.
Offensive Riding by Team CSC in the Finale
18.10.2003 (Sat) 17:30
Bartoli Won the Giro di Lombardia
Team CSC was one of the dominant teams in the finale of this year’s last
World Cup race – the Giro di Lombardia. The race was also the final event of the
The classic race in the North of Italy saw plenty of initiatives from Team
CSC when the demanding climbs around the lake Como were reached. Andrea Peron
was on good form and his constant accelerations decimated the peloton where
Frank Schleck, Carlos Sastre, and Peter Luttenberger also were able to hang on
all the way.
However, the final kilometres of the race were dominated by Michele Bartoli (Fassa
Bortolo) who will be joining Team CSC and given a role as one of the main
contenders for the classics. The strong Tuscan rider was in a league of his own
on the final kilometres and he had no trouble beating Angelo Lopeboselli (Cofidis)
who came along as a passenger in Bartoli’s decisive offensive.
“We did a great race. Peron had a great day and he was one of the main forces
in today’s race. Frank was once again able to impress when he was able to sit
with the favourites far into the finale. Carlos was caught between Peron and the
peloton for a while. Unfortunately, he was unable to make contact with Peron’s
group. Luttenberger was our best-placed rider and he finished in 11th place.
Today’s race gave us a good end to the season”, said Johnny Weltz after the
249-kilometre race between Como and Bergamo.
At the end of the race, Paolo Bettini (Quickstep) was celebrated as the
overall winner of the World Cup series.
“I am very happy with the way we ended the season. It takes will and
determination to ride the way we have done in these final races and our riders
have clearly demonstrated that they possess both of those qualities. Bartoli’s
victory demonstrates that we have found the right man for our classics squad.
When we could not win today, it was okay with me that Bartoli took the victory”,
said Bjarne Riis after the final race of the season.
Oscar Sevilla responds to “treason” claim
Following Kelme team owner Pepe Quiles’s out burst against Sevilla (to see
here) the young Spanish rider has responded to the Spanish Daily Marca -
Sevilla spoke on his return from Toronto, Canada, coming back from the World
Championships, where he retired from the race: "I'm surprised, although I guess
I understand him a bit, I guess it's normal. I just want him to understand and
that's why I want to talk to him personally, because I hold him in esteem and he
has to know, even if he doesn't know, that it has been painful for me to leave
too. We hadn't closed the deal and I wasn't very convinced. Bear in mind that
I've had a bad 1-1/2 years, where everything has gone through my head, from
leaving cycling altogether to just change my surroundings. Maybe I'm wrong, but
I've had such bad luck that I needed to leave Kelme. I need a change".
Since he had to retire from last year's Tour due to a stomach problem,
nothing has gone well. The conflict with Aitor Gonzalez, the cyst that he had to
get removed, which had him at a standstill until August and finally his crash at
the Vuelta in September… an accumulation of bad things and problems that have
affected my morale. At Kelme I leave many friends, amongst them Pepe (Quiles),
who in addition to being a boss has been a friend and had always been very good
to me sometimes", explains Sevilla.
About Quiles' statement that the team was built around Sevilla: "There are
about 40 available riders right now (defunct ONCE and iBanesto.com) and they
have never listened to my ideas to sign riders. I asked for two riders and they
didn't pay attention".
Racing - Days in the Saddle
Daily Peloton’s great friend Tintxu has produced this list of days racing by
selected riders in the peloton. No surprise that up at the top of the list is
hard working “Ete” Zabel; whom Telekom put a clause in his contract to STOP him
riding in too many 6 day events during the winter, who has raced on 106 days. He
has averaged a gain of around 18 UCI points per day raced.
As a straw poll, this survey suggests that the average rider in the pro
peloton races around 67 days per year.
At the other end of the scale, equally no surprise to see Lance Armstrong at
the bottom of the list with just 43 days racing. Critics will say his Tour de
France specialisation is detracting from other races and the sport in general -
fans will point to the highest number of UCI points gained per days racing (35
UCI points gained per day racing).
Zabel -106 days; Sandy Casar-98; Virenque-84; Boonen-83; Chavanel-83;
Rogers-83; Millar-79; Freire-78; Frigo-78; Nozal-77; McGee-74; Petacchi-74;
Nardello-73; Boogerd-72; Flecha-70; Simoni-68; Valverde-67; Moreau-66; Heras-65;
Vino-65; Aitor Gonzalez-64; Bettini-63; Astarloa-62; Rebellin-60; Popovych-56;
Di Luca-54; Ullrich-54; Hamilton-51; Mayo-48; Camenzind-47; Horrillo-46;
Zubeldia-45; Van Petegem-44; Armstrong-43.
RAGT Semences-MG Rover
Jean Delatour will cease at the end of the year but the team will be replaced
by a new sponsor, RAGT Semences-MG Rover. RAGT (Rouergue-Auvergne-Gévaudan-Tarnais)
Semences, a firm with a turn over of 300 million Euros, were having a seminar on
July 21st last year and it became apparent to Director Alain Fabre that the
employees were not concentrating on work - but were more interested in the
battle taking place on Luz-Ardiden.
"I then decided to allow everyone to take a break and watch the finish of the
race,” remembers Alain Fabre. "We then learned that Jean Delatour sought a
co-sponsor and since then this idea has developed into our new team with our
partner MG Rover.”
We have kept 18 riders and DS, and the manager of the team confirmed the team
was committed to three years with a budget of "about 2,5 million euros per
Jean-Pierre Frety the former owner of the team continues to support this new
venture by lending the team the former Jean Delatour headquarters in Vénissieux
and team bus and mobile workshop.
The new team are currently negotiating with equipment suppliers. Seventeen of
the eighteen riders have been named and the last rider to be wearing the grey
and white team colours next year is reserved for a Polish rider “who is capable
of the podium in le Dauphiné Libéré or the Tour du Languedoc.”
RAGT Semences-MG Rover: Team 2004
Guillaume Auger (FRA, BigMat-Auber 93)
Jérôme Bernard (FRA)
Eric Berthou (FRA, Team Barloworld) Pierre Bourquenoud (SUI)
Gilles Bouvard (FRA)
Mickaël Buffaz (FRA)
Nicolas Dulac (FRA, Elite 2)
Frédéric Finot (FRA)
Christophe Laurent (FRA)
Yoann Le Boulanger (FRA, MBK-Oktos-Saint-Quentin)
David Lefèvre (FRA)
Ludovic Martin (FRA)
Klaus Mutschler (ALL, Elite 2)
Christophe Rinero (FRA, MBK-Oktos-Saint-Quentin)
Marek Rutkiewicz (POL, Cofidis)
Eddy Seigneur (FRA)
Bruno Thibout (FRA) (???) (POL)
David McCann’s Record Confirmed
David McCann’s record breaking ride in the 25 mile Time Trial event back in
August has been officially ratified by the sports governing body Cycling
The Irish professional who rides for Team Endurasport recorded a time of
49-54, becoming the first Irish cyclist to break the 50 minute barrier on Irish
roads. The only other cyclist to achieve this feat was the former World and
Olympic champion Chris Boardman from Great Britain.
Cycling Ulster officials Wallace McNaul and Bob Hill remeasured the Moira-
Aldergrove course a few weeks ago and submitted their findings to the Dublin
headquarters who have now ratified the record. McCann improved the existing
record set in 1995 by Dublin rider Phil Collins (Amev IRC) by almost 2 minutes.
Also ratified was the Veteran’s 25 record set by Jim McConnell on the same
night. The 40-year-old East Antrim rider recorded a time of 54-39 which broke
the standard set by Cycling Ireland by just 6 seconds.(Courtesy Cycling Ulster)