Le Baroudeur Durand! Jörg Jaksche, The “Rutkiewicz Affair”, US Postal News, Quickstep News, TDU News, Colavita News, Eastside Cycles/Marin Team, Masi and Team DARE, Chris Horner
Le Baroudeur Durand!
Having spent two seasons of his long career with the Lotto team, Jacky Durand returns to Belgium and stays in the first division with, Landbouwkrediet, having signed a year contract for 2004.
Talking to Eurosport.fr, “DuDu” explained his reasons for joining the team –
"After leaving FDJeux.com last season, I had some contacts with French teams but the most concrete offer came from Gerard Bulens, the general manager of Landbouwkrediet. Moreover, of all the teams that had contacted me, it is Landbouwkrediet which offers the most chances to take part in the next Tour of France", said Durand, a triple stage winner in the race. "With sprinter Tom Steels, the “le baroudeur” (fighter) Ludo Dierckxsens and the rider third in the Giro-2003, Ukrainian Yaroslav Popovych – who has a great Tour future ahead of him - this team deserves a place in the Tour 2004.
Hell of the North
While the Tour remains one obsession for one of the most popular riders in France, Jacky Durand also targets Paris-Roubaix as one of his season’s goals.
"It's a big disappointment to me that I have never really done well in this race. My best performance remains a 15th place. But I know that it is a Classic that suits my style and strengths. This season, I want to impress there. Perhaps I cannot win it but I hope to be with the best riders until the end."
“This winter, I was very serious. I have worked hard throughout the winter around Grenoble and I will start the season just one kilo from my best racing weight and in excellent condition". The transfer of Durand also delights Landbouwkrediet. Although the French rider hardly brings a UCI point with him he is, one of the most popular and charismatic figures in French cycling with a huge fan base.
"That a rider like Jacky has decided to join us shows the team is developing well", says manager Gerard Bulens. With attackers such Durand and Dierckxsens, it is true that the team should be highly visible in races and that will delight the sponsor. "But my role will also be to develop our young riders, with the presence of Sergueï Lagutin and Yaroslav Popovych, Landbouwkrediet hopes to be a successful blend of the old and the young.”
Rider since: 1982
Date of birth: 10/02/1967
Pro since: 1990
Team last year: FDJeux
After three years FDJeux, Jacky Durand chose for Landbouwkrediet-Colnago. The team is honoured such a rider has chosen the team. He can give his experience to younger riders.
Jacky Durand. Photo by Karen Lambrecht.
Landbouwkrediet-Colnago Team Presentation
Interview: Neo-pro Sergey Lagutin of Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
Belgium – War of the Words!
Jaksche in Great Shape
CSC Official Site
One of the Team CSC-riders who has shown he's in great shape from the beginning of the season is Jörg Jaksche.
"I've received a very specific training schedule from Bjarne and I've been training very hard, so that's probably the reason, why I'm in such good shape right now," says Jaksche.
He was only beaten by the teams other German rider Jens Voigt, when the Team CSC riders climbed the Monte Serra during a training session in Lucca, where the team currently is at training camp. Still Jaksche thinks it's great to have Voigt as a team mate at CSC.
"It's perfect for me that Jens is on the team. First of all because it's sometimes nice to speak German, but also because he's a very smart and sympathetic guy, who likes to talk about other stuff than cycling all the time," Jaksche explains.
In the past three seasons, Jaksche has been riding for the Spanish ONCE-team, where he helped the biggest stars in the Grand Tours. However, at Team CSC Jaksche hopes to get his own chance during the season, even though he is set to help team captain Ivan Basso in the Tour de France.
"I've previously worked with Bjarne, as he was my personal trainer, when I was at Telekom, and I have total faith in him both as a trainer and as sports director," says Jaksche.
The “Rutkiewicz Affair”
Cédric Vasseur and Philippe Gaumont were being questioned tonight, having been stopped by police as they arrived from Alicante after training with the Cofidis team in Calpe for the last ten days.
The riders will be questioned at the Quai des Orfèvres in Paris. Judge Henri Pallain of Nanterre (Hauts-de-Seine), who has taken the first steps in formally charging Robert Sassone, had asked for the men to be interviewed.
The affair started when Polish rider Marek Rutkiewicz, a former Cofidis rider, was arrested with Cofidis physio Bogdan Madejak. Madejak is accused of being part of a smuggling ring and has now been suspended by Cofidis.
US Postal presented by Berry Floor News
U.S. Postal team camp gets together at Santa Barbara (California) and Phoenix (Arizona), where it will remain until the beginning of February. Santa Barbara will see the team training and then the team will move to Phoenix to participate in promotion work for the sponsors. Manuel Beltrán, who must move up in the teams rankings with the departure of Roberto Heras, and will ride both the Tour and the Vuelta is keen to get the season started –
“The idea is to get to know new team mates and sharpen up for the hard season ahead. In addition, the stay in the United States will serve get all the team together since, in many cases, we will not see each other since we are all working on different schedules and races," commented Beltrán.
Last night there was a great party in the QUICK.STEP-Davitamon hotel for the birthday of Luca Paolini. Luca has celebrated with the teamates his 27 years, offering a glass of wine and a special cake. "I hope this is the year that it will allow me to effect an important breakthrough - said Luca - The next three years will be the most important of my career."
Also today the rain has conditioned the training of our boys, forced to reenter in the hotel after only two hours by bike. "We pedaled toward north, toward Rosignano to avoid the rain, but there has been nothing to do. Today we have also taken the hail" - explains Johan Musseuw.
Re-entered in the hotel, some riders among which Juan Miguel Mercado and Michael Rogers have pedaled on the spintrainer for around an half hour.
“We hope tomorrow will be a better day for the weather," said Knaven. "Today was a terrible day like a classical race!!”
Johan Museeuw during a "Tour" in the Sassicaia wine cellar in Bolgheri (Italy) during the QUICK.STEP-Davitamon training camp in Cecina.
From left to right (Frans De Cock, owner Unilin Decor, Johan Museeuw, the Sassicaia owner, and Luc Maes, owner Latexco). Museeuw is a well known for his appreciation of wine – but does not drink from Jan 1st to the end of the season. Picture courtesy Quickstep Davitamon
Tour Down Under News
Robbie McEwen took his first victory of 2004 by winning the first stage of the 6th Jacob’s Creek Tour Down Under. He beat Rudi Kemna and Mark Renshaw in the final sprint. Due to injury, last year McEwen was forced to abandon the stage race, but now hopes that this could be the start of a season that remembers 2002, when he collected 30 victories and won the green jersey in the Tour de France.
McEwen’s sprint was as impressive as it was a remarkable one. Robbie was part of a successful break of twelve riders that in the last lap caught the peloton, that mixed up with the front riders. Finally, the whole bunch disputed the sprint.
However fourth placed rider Brown was far from happy talking to the Australian newspaper the Advertiser he alleged McEwen's Lotto-Domo team-mates had blocked him in the confusion. "That was an absolute joke, unbelievable,I can't believe that happened in a UCI-category race. We were racing inside the bunch and we lapped them – they should be out.
"I'm very disappointed to think it wasn't a professionally run race for once. The TDU is normally unbelievably professional..... but congratulations to Robbie."
Tour director Mike Turtur said "maybe" the main bunch should have been called off the track with three laps remaining last night.
However under UCI rules lapped riders must withdraw with two laps remaining but the bunch was caught only on the last lap, leaving chief commissaire David Lappartient powerless to act.
He said the pace of the two groups in the last two laps also made it dangerous to pull the peloton out of the race.
Meanwhile McEwen was naturally more upbeat -
“I don’t think of the final victory yet," McEwen said afterwards. “I look at it day by day. The second stage is much more difficult that the street race we had in Adelaide today. But I’m hopeful. The last couple of months, the form was always there. I continued working, and that proves to be fruitful already.’’
Colavita Olive Oil Pro Cycling Team presented by Bolla Wines
Linden, New Jersey--After a successful 2003 road campaign, the
management of Team Colavita Sports is proud to announce the 2004
Colavita Olive Oil Pro Cycling Team presented by Bolla Wines.
This year sees the return of Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil as
official title sponsor and Bolla Wines as the official presenter.
Late in 2003 Team Colavita Sports decided to develop the
professional cycling team into one of world-class stature. The
stellar signing of Mark McCormack as team captain began the
process of developing the “new-look” squad.
Following in the footsteps of Mark McCormack was the signing of
ex-Saturn stars Ivan Dominguez, Nathan O’Neil and Will
Frischkorn. Directeur Sportif Chad Davis was quoted as saying,
“The signing of Mark McCormack was the leap needed to develop the
squad and acquire a solid road captain. Having Mark on the team
was more than director could ask. The additions of experience,
youth, speed and extraordinary talent in Ivan Dominguez, Nathan
O’Neill, Will Frischkorn, Todd Herriott (ex-Health Net), and Aaron
Olson (ex-Schroeder Iron) has bolstered our roster to make us one
of the top teams in 2004.”
Riders Tyler Wren, Thad Dulin, Guatavo Artacho, Sebastian
Alexandre and Juan Jose Haedo, returning from last year, round up
the 11 man professional team.
The team is focused to defend McCormack’s USPRO Championship title
in Philadelphia this year and with the recent Australian National
Championship win by Nathan O’Neill (ITT), the team is well on its
Chief Mechanic Randy Villanueva and Team Physician Dr. Michael
Ross will meet the team in Tucson, Arizona this February to begin
the 2004 NRC campaign. The 2004 US racing season will officially
begin at the Valley of the Sun Race in Phoenix, Arizona.
Colavita Pro Cycling is especially excited about this year’s
equipment, clothing and nutritional sponsors and would like to
thank each of them for their assistance. Felt SC1 bicycles
outfitted with Mavic wheels and brakes, Maxxis tires, Speedplay
Pedals, FSA (bar, stems and seat post), Velo saddles, Shimano
drive trains and Tacx water cages will carry the team to victories
this year. Giordana clothing, Diadora shoes, Rudy Project Helmets
and Eyewear will outfit the team.
The team is proud to announce two new sponsors to the cycling
industry in Amino Vital, official sports supplement drink supplier
and Olbas. Clifbar will supply Clifbars and Clifshots, while
Pedro’s (lubes and tools), Paceline Products (chamois butt’r) and
Powercranks ensure the riders are ready to race.
Alitalia, the official airline sponsor, will fly the team to Italy
this summer to race in some European pelotons, while Olive Garden
Restaurants will continue to feed the team while on the road.
The official website for the team is www.teamcolavita.com.
Eastside Cycles/Marin Team
Announcing major changes from 2003, the upgraded Eastside Cycles/Marin
team presented a much younger roster for 2004. "Northern California has excellent junior programs and a solid Pro/Elite scene, but no intermediate step," says team manager Sabrina Heydorn.
"Thanks to the continuing support of Eastside Cycles and the return of Marin to road sponsorship, we have been able to provide a place for younger riders to mature and learn." The team will focus on Northern California races with U23 riders Skye Craft, Mike De Tar, Brian O'Grady, Mike Rochlin and Dain Zaffke, Sea Otter Circuit race champ Max Baumhefner, and John Staroba, led by expereinced sprinters Jason Cardillo and Duane Habkirk and climber Tim Hensel. (Thanks to Jason Cardillo)
Eastside Cycles (www.eastsidecycles.com)
Serfas Racing (www.serfas.com)
Masi and Team DARE join forces - Meza Team Leader
Masi Bikes is proud to announce partnership with the DARE
elite cycling team for 2004. Team DARE / Pacific Sunset Velo
also puts on the biggest criterium series in Southern
California. The regional team will blanket the local racing
schedule with forays into the west coast NRC events as well
as selected east coast and South American stage races. The
team hopes to move into division III for 2005.
The Masi frame features time tested Italian racing geometry,
Custom Superlight alloy tubing and the carbon stays. Masi’s
rich racing heritage dates from 1949 and includes victories
in the Giro D’Italia, Tour De France, Olympics and World
Star Rider: Miguel Meza, 3rd place stage 4, Redlands 2002
and veteran of the Giro D' Italia.
Team owner Ray Moreno says, "The bikes are works of art.
We're really excited to be using a bike with such a strong
racing heritage. Maybe we can add a little to that."
Miguel Meza: Pro/Team Captain
Rigo Meza: Pro
Keith Miller: Cat 1
Soren Molina: Cat 1
Edgar Yepez: Cat 1
Juan Bravo: Cat 2
Erik Burgan: Cat 2
Ruben Meza: Cat 2
Michael Stroud: Cat 2
Emilio Cervantes: Cat 2
Paul Cusick: Cat 3
Chris Horner News
Professional cyclist Chris Horner has chosen to ride DMT cycling shoes exclusively for the 2004 racing season. Horner will be wearing the new 2004 Ultimax RSX Road Shoe featuring an integrated, one-piece heel cup and full carbon sole for increased stability and maximum power transfer.
Horner is well known as one of the top American professional cyclists in the world and is currently ranked #1 by USA Cycling. In 2003, Horner dominated the Men's National Racing Calendar with wins in several prestigious events including the Solano Bicycle Classic, Redland's Bicycle Classic, Tour de Georgia, and the T-Mobile International. For 2004, Horner will be riding for the Webcor Professional Cycling Team assuming the role of team leader. Originally from San Diego, California, Chris now makes his home in Bend, Oregon.
"We are extremely excited to have a rider of Chris' caliber and professionalism representing DMT and Upland Sports Group for the upcoming season," said Rob Carbone, VP Marketing for Upland Sports Group.
"I am excited to be wearing DMT shoes in 2004. The Ultimax RSX has a great reputation and they have lived up to it. Their stiffness and comfort is the best I've experienced. I can't wait until the first big race of the season," said Horner.
Upland Sports Group is a US based distributor established in March of 2002. In addition to DMT, Upland Sports Group currently represents other manufacturers of high-end cycling products. More information about Upland Sports Group and DMT can be found at www.uplandsg.com or by contacting them at (510) 903-0130.