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News Roundup 18 October 2003
By Podofdonny
Date: 10/18/2003
News Roundup 18 October 2003

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 click here), 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 2003 season.

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 article click 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 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 annum".

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 Ireland.

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)

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