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Cycling News Roundup 3 December 2003
By Janna Trevisanut
Date: 12/3/2003
Cycling News Roundup 3 December 2003

Heras moves to Liberty Seguros

The US Postal Service-Berry Floor website reports today that 2003 Vuelta winner Roberto Heras has signed with Manolo Saiz's new Liberty Seguros team.

Roberto Heras joined US Postal (since this season with co-sponsor Berry Floor) in 2001 from Kelme. He is best known for supporting Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France. In his first year with Postal, Heras finished 15th in the Tour de France and 4th in the Vuelta Espana.

In 2002, Heras rode for Armstrong in the Tour and won two mountain stages during the Vuelta later that summer. He also wore the Vuelta leader’s jersey and took second behind Aitor Gonzalez. In his career Heras has won the Vuelta Espana twice (2000 and 2003), has won seven stages in the Vuelta and one stage of the Giro d' Italia.

According to, Heras was receiving 1.2 million euros from Postal, and it is supposed that this would have been improved by Liberty. Heras' rescission clause is around 1.5 million euros and Heras had a year left on his contract. Johan Bruyneel is reported as saying that while no one is irreplaceable, the situation did not make him happy.

Saiz said in recent days that he planned to recruit a big rider for team captain, and Todociclismo reports today that Saiz may take on Herminio Díaz Zabala as the team's second director sportif. Diaz Zabala was DS for the Saunier Duval amateur outfit this year, is involved in the Cantabrian Cycling Federation and rode for Reynolds and ONCE in the 1990's. (USPS Berry Floor, Todociclismo, AS)

Spotlight on Thor Hushovd

Thor at the 2003 Dauphine Libere (Stage 2 winner). Courtesy Thor Hushovd.

This 24 year old from Norway, who began cycling at the age of nine and is a Tour de France stage winner, will be chatting with us on Thursday 4 December, starting at 12 noon Pacific, 3pm Eastern, 20.00 GMT, 21.00 CET. Mail your questions for Thor to!

Today we look at his career!

Courtesy Syklingensverden

Thor (pronounced “tour” like the race) the Thunder God has ridden with Credit Agricole since 2000, after an impressive junior and amateur career - he was Norwegian junior national champion in 1995 (Time Trial), 1996 (TT and road) and 1998 (Time Trial).  The big man was also twice on the Worlds podium - in 1996 for the time trial and in 1998 for the same. (In 2002 he saw the Norwegian Championships podium again, winning the the time trial yet again.)

In 1998 he won the Espoirs Paris-Roubaix and Paris-Tours and in 1999 he had nine first places riding for the Ringerike Cycling Club. He says he could have turned pro around that time, and had some offers, but decided to finish his studies and military service instead. Credit Agricole signed him in 2000.

Hushovd is a big motor and a serious all-rounder - obviously skilled as a rolleur, in sprints and time trial, he can also hold his own in the mountains, as his performance at Pyrenean U23 Ronde de l’Isard (7th) and at Cluses in the 2002 Tour show (5th). We look forward to chatting with him and hope you will join us!

Friends Kurt Asle-Arvesen (Fakta) and Thor Hushovd. Courtesy Syklingensverden.


Date of birth : January 18, 1978, in Grimstad, Norway
Height: 6-0  (1.83 m)
Weight: 179 (81 kg)
Lives in Grimstad, Norway, and Perpignan, France.

Selected Palmares


Gp Jef Scherens Leuven (1.3) - 183 Km - 7 September
Sprints Competition Tour Du Poitou Charentes (2.3) - 660 Km - 26-29 August
Points Competition Tour Mediterraneen (2.3) - 540 Km - 12-16 February
Stage 2 Dauphine Libere (2.Hc) - 195 Km - 10 June
Stage 1 Vuelta a Castilla y Leon (2.3) - 165.6 Km - 20 May
2nd: The Centenaire Competition Tour de France (GT) - 3430 km - 5-27 July


Norwegian Championship - Individual Time Trial - 45 Km - 8 August
3rd Norwegian Championship - Road Race 198.8 km - 29 June
Combativity Competition in Tour de France (GT) - 3275 km - 6-28 July
Stage 18 Tour De France (Gt) - 176.5 Km - 26 July
Points Competition in Tour Du Poitou Charentes Et De La Vienne (2.3) - 665 Km - 27-30 August
Stage 2 Tour De L'ain (2.3) - 156.2 km - 14 August
Stage 3 Tour du Poitou Charentes et de la Vienne (2.3) - 173 km - 29 August
Stage 4 Tour du Poitou Charentes et de la Vienne (2.3) - 23.9 km (ITT) - 30 August
Stage 2 Tour Mediterraneen (2.3) - 168 km. - 14 February
Stage 1 Route du Sud (2.3) - 180.8 km - 22 June
Stage 4 Etoile de Besseges (2.3) - 146 km. - 9 February


Winner Team Time Trial Tour de France
Tour of Normandy (plus prologue and a stage)
Tour of Sweden (plus prologue and a stage)
4th in a stage of the Tour de France
4th: Paris-Tours (World Cup);
5th in a stage of Paris-Nice
11th in Ghent-Wevelgem


Norwegian Championships - Time Trial
3rd Norwegian Championships - Road Race
Three stages and 2nd overall GP Ringerike
Time Trial Tour of Normandy
Stage winner Tour de France
Stage Winner Tour de l’Ain
2nd GP Denain
2nd in stage of Bayern Rundfahrt
2nd, two stages Tour des Regions Wallones
5th in a stage of the Tour de France
5th Hew Cyclassics (World Cup)
7th: Norwegian Championships
7th: Time Trial - Olympic Games, Sydney
18th Het Volk

Thor at Zolder 2002. Courtesy

Thor at the Deutschland Tour 2002, Stage 7. Courtesy

Tour of United Emirates

The 4th Tour of United Emirates, which was scheduled to start yesterday and run through 8 December, has been suspended.

Mercatone Rider dismissed

Fabio Testi, who this week was suspended for two years due to a positive doping control, has been dismissed by the Mercatone Uno-Scanavino team.

Pantani on eBay

Starting today, 3 December, and running for one week, you can bid on items from Marco Pantani at eBay Italy to benefit charity - a custom pair of women's "Il Pirata" shoes and a photo plaque of Pantani in the maglia rosa. The auction benefits Komen Italia (, to help raise funds for breast cancer research. Worth a look, ladies, if pirates are your thing...You can view the items here.

Buy The Shirt Off Levi’s Back On eBay

Leipheimer's Vuelta, Worlds Jerseys Up For Auction; Proceeds Go To Charity

Looking for a Christmas gift for that hard-to-buy-for cycling enthusiast in your life? Interested in owning a piece of American cycling history? Either way, you’re in luck, as Rabobank star Levi Leipheimer has two of his 2003 jerseys up for auction on eBay, with proceeds to go to a pair of charities, Forgotten Felines Of Sonoma County and the USA Cycling Foundation. Says Leipheimer of the motivation behind the auctions: "These auctions are important for my wife Odessa and I. Since we have had our share of success, this is a way for all of us to give back. Thank you."

Item number 2769990898 is a Levi Leipheimer 2003 Vuelta Jersey, signed by the entire Vuelta Rabobank contingent, including Michael Rasmussen, a top-ten finisher overall, and team director Joop Zoetemelk, winner of the 1980 Tour de France. The jersey still has Leipheimer’s Vuelta numbers attached; it is Euro size 1 (Small), with short sleeves and a 3/4 zip. Proceeds from auction of this item benefit Forgotten Felines of Sonoma County. The link for this item is here.

Item number 2769991845 is a Levi Leipheimer 2003 USA World Championships Jersey, signed by Leipheimer. The numbers, which are signed on the backs, are still attached; it is size Small, with short sleeves and a 3/4 zip. Proceeds from auction of this item benefit the USA Cycling Foundation. The link for this item is here.

Please note that the winners of both auctions will receive a personally signed card from Leipheimer. So what are you waiting for?

Tyler Hamilton Bash

You are cordially invited to The Prologue - The Tyler Hamilton Foundation Kick-Off Gala with Food, Music, Live & Silent Auction, and Tyler!

Join World Class Cyclist and Tour de France hero, Tyler Hamilton as he kicks off his foundation dedicated to providing opportunity and access to individuals with multiple sclerosis and aspiring young cyclists.

When: Thursday, January 8, 2004
5:00 PM - 11:30 PM (Entry time depends on ticket level)
Where: Cyclorama, 539 Tremont Street, Boston, Massachusetts

--Peloton Tickets $50 7 PM
--Green Jersey $100 7 PM - 1 Complimentary drink ticket and Tyler Hamilton Foundation Lapel Pin
--Polka Dot Jersey $250 6 PM Limited to 100 - Above benefits plus VIP reception, Tyler Hamilton Baseball Hat, Program Listing, Entry to Podium Raffle, 2 complimentary drink tickets
--Yellow Jersey $500 6 PM Limited to 50 - Above benefits plus Wall Recognition Poster, 3 complimentary drink tickets
--Podium Tickets $1,000 5 PM Limited to 20  - Above benefits plus exclusive Champagne Reception, Entrance Banner, Photo with Tyler, signed jersey and 4 complimentary drink tickets

To purchase tickets or make a donation go to:

USA Cycling Establishes U23 National Mtn Bike Program

Project to Focus on World-Class Competition in the Espoir Ranks

Colorado Springs, Colo. (December 3, 2003)--USA Cycling announced today the debut of a U23 National Mountain Bike Team. This program will prepare the best American espoir mountain bike athletes for top domestic and international competition, with the ultimate goal of producing gold medal performances at World Championship, Pan American and Olympic Games competition.

This team was a vision that has now become a reality thanks to an extensive project by USA Cycling and the USA Cycling Development Foundation to help develop the best mountain bike athletes in the United States.

“After two years of working to secure the resources, I am very pleased that we are launching the USA Cycling Men’s U23 Mountain Bike Program in 2004”, said Steve Johnson, USA Cycling’s COO and Director of Athletics. “This program is really the off-road analog of the very successful USA Cycling U23 Road Program, and I am expecting similar results.”

This multidiscipline program will identify athletes with world class potential, develop their mental and physiological capabilities, and provide them with the coaching resources and support required to excel at the highest levels of domestic and international competition.

The 2004 season will kick off with a testing and training camp in Colorado Springs, Colo. January 5-11. The goals of this camp are to establish baseline physiological data to be applied to training throughout the year. Subsequent testing will follow to determine the progress made through training. Two months later the racing season will start with the NORBA National in Waco, Texas and the Nova Desert Classic in Arizona, followed by a week of road racing at the Redlands Bicycle Classic in Redlands, Calif.

A significant training activity for the U23 National Team will also include several weeks of racing on the road in Belgium in conjunction with the USA Cycling U23 Road Program. The athletes will be based in Izegem, Belgium and will compete in single and multi-day events with some of the best U23 road riders in the world.

The remainder of the year will find the athletes competing in the vast majority of the eight events that make up the 2004 NORBA National Mountain Bike Series, World Cups #2, 5, and 6, World Championships, and the inaugural US Mountain Bike National Championships.

The program currently has a complete line-up of sponsors that will provide all necessary competition gear. Look for an official announcement of program sponsors in the coming weeks. One of the largest contributors to the success of this program is the USA Cycling Development Foundation. The Development Foundation has contributed over $2,000,000 to USA Cycling athlete development programs for junior, under-23 and women’s programs since it’s inception in 2000.

About USA Cycling--Recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling promotes American cycling through its 45,000 members and 2,000 annual events. USA Cycling associations include the National Bicycle League (BMX), National Off-Road Bicycle Association (mountain bike), U.S. Cycling Federation (road/track) and the U.S. Professional Racing Organization (professional men's road). For more information, visit

Related Articles
Cycling News Roundup 30 November 2003
Cycling News Roundup 1 December 2003
Cycling News Roundup 2 December 2003

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