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Cycling News Roundup 24 January 2004 UPDATED!
By Podofdonny
Date: 1/24/2004
Cycling News Roundup 24 January 2004 UPDATED!

Why Lance is Not Tour Favorite, Saunier Duval-Prodir Presentation, Alessio-Bianchi Presentation, Classics, Giro and Tour- Yates on CSC, Challenge Illes Balears, Ben Day Interview, Hunting in Langkawi, Dotsie Cowden, MANX Cycling news, 2004 Ofoto Cycling Team, Introduce your Coworkers to Cycling...

Why Lance is Not the Tour Favorite....

We offer you an exclusive film clip from yesterday's Lance Armstrong press conference at the US Postal-Berry Floor team camp. The clip is very short, but is about 5 megabytes. Wait for it to download, and you will be able to view it using one of these media players: Windows Media, Winamp, Real One or Quicktime Player.

Clip: Lance explains why he is not the Tour favorite this year.

Saunier Duval-Prodir 2004

“It is the realisation of a dream,” manager Mauro Gianetti and his two patrons Félix Iglesias, and his son, Roberto, were clearly delighted that their hard work had finally paid off when Saunier Duval-Prodir staged their team presentaton at Puente Viesgo (Cantabria) . The eighth Spanish professional team will start the season with 20 riders and now 21, with the announcement of Tino Zaballa being signed today. 

The Saunier Duval Team is the culmination of over twenty years dedication and team sponsorship by Félix Iglesias, in those years he has been involved in cycling at all levels, juniors, elites, women and now the fifth first division team in Spain.

Saunier Duval are essentially a team without a leader (although Joaquin Rodriguez will take that role in the Vuelta), and will function more like a co-operative of specialists with sprinters (Loddo, Strazzer, Ventoso), time trialists (Domínguez, Cañada, Cobo), climbers (Piepoli, "Chepin", Joaquín Rodríguez, Jeker), and “todoterrenos” – so-called "all terrain vehicles" (Perdiguero, Bertogliati).

The team, who have a budget of 3,5 millon euros, are born from ambition but have a great degree of common sense. They have no ambition to ride the Tour this year , instead they will establish themselves in the Giro and the Vuelta "We will try to get Joaquin Rodriguez on the podium in the Vuelta and will also try to win 10 races. It is a difficult challenge, because we need time to develop as a team ", said Matxin. The team will also concentrate on the Classics and in particular the World Cup Races..

The 2004 Roster

Francisco Jose Ventoso , Rafael Casero, Ángel Gómez Gómez, Leonardo Piepoli, Rubens Bertogliati,  Juan Jose Cobo, Fabian Jeker, Ruben Lobato, David De la Fuente, Juan Carlos Dominguez, Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver, Javier "Chepin" Gonzalez, Juan Gomis, Alberto Loddo, Oliver Zaugg, David Cañada, Miguel Angel Martín Perdiguero, Massimo Strazzer, Tim Johnson, Tino Zaballa.

Accent on Tino Zaballa:
The 25 year old comes from Kelme, where he rode from 2001 - 2003. The lad looks like an up and comer, judging from his high finishing placements in two of the grand tours last year (see below).

Zaballa 2003 Racing Highlights

3rd GP Getxo
6th Clasica Primavera
15th  Vuelta Pais Vasco
27th Giro d'Italia
30th Vuelta a España

Tino Zaballa in his red bird kit. Courtesy Saunier Duval.

Alessio-Bianchi 2004

Tafi and Baldato in the North, Caucchioli and Noè at the Giro, Pellizotti looking toward the Tour.

Manager Bruno Cenghialta has gathered together a team which intends to attack on all fronts , the World Cup and the major Tours are their targets. Alessio, now with new co-sponsor Bianchi, look towards their most succesful season so far.

"The signing of Tafi and former members of the Norwegian team Fakta has eliminated our weak points for the pavè Clasics and the Tour," explained the team manager Bruno Cenghialta. Tafi, after a miserable 2003 in which he suffered illness throughout the season, is happy to be home after his unfortunate stay in Denmark: "...You will see again to me with the same determination that I had when I won the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix in the same year." In addition Tafi has another major target this year the “Hell of the South”. Tafi said he doesn't want to just add another trophy to the case, he thinks of beating Moser's record at the Giro del Lazio: "He has won three, I would like to win four."

With Tafi, whose first target of the season will be “the hard man's stage race,” the Giro della in February are other hard men of the pavès the Swede Magnus Backstedt and one of the great road captains of his generation, Fabio Baldato, still winning at 36 years.

The Giro sees the 4 million euro budget team back Andrea Noè and Pietro Caucchioli: "We are just the team to throw a spanner i the works of the Simoni and Garzelli duel” says Caucchioli, 29 years old and having had two wasted seasons behind him “ Noè and I intend to attack on the medium hard stages in the Giro - I cannot beat Simoni on the Mortirolo.”

Franco Pellizotti will be the man for the Tour de France - “ I want to do a strong Paris Nice and I also want to ride Liege Bastogne Liege, one of the few Classics that suits the major Tour specialists , I would trade a good place in the Giro for my first stage win in the Tour” says the Italian whose mind is clearly on the French highways.

Alessio Team for 2004

Baldato, Bertolini, Caucchioli, Ferrara, Furlan, R. Ivanov (Mol), Lunghi, Moreni, Miholjevic (Cro), Noè, Pelizotti.

New: Tafi, Rastelli, Backstedt (Sve), Skelda (Dan), Sunderland (Aus), Moller (Dan), Liunqvist (Sve), Andresen (Dan), Jorgensen (Dan).

Team manager: Bruno Cenghialta.

D.S: Dario Mariuzzo.

Overheard at contract negotiations - "...only if she rides with us." (Just joking.)
The Bianchi-Alessio team. Courtesy Bianchi-Alessio.

CSC News - Yates satisfied with first training camp

Team CSC

Team CSC sports director Sean Yates sums up this year's first training camp, which ended on Friday in Lucca, Italy. "

All riders have worked very hard, even though it's been almost too cold these last couple of days,” says Yates. “Now they have to rest for the upcoming races, which as a starting point will be used as training for the big races such as Paris – Nice and Tirreno – Adriatico.”

Yates' first assignment will be the Challenge de Mallorca, starting on February 1st.

"Even though the results are not our first priority, it will be interesting to see how a young rider like Frank Schleck will do in the hills of Mallorca. Obviously it would be nice with a win this early, but it's probably more realistic to look for good results later on in the spring,” according to Yates.

Perhaps Team CSC will get a chance to celebrate after the Tour Méditerranéen, starting on February 11th and ending four days later in a team time trial with a mountain top finish at the Mont Faron.

”For this race we bring in riders like Basso, Bartoli, Jaksche, Voigt and Blaudzun, who have all shown excellent form at the training camp here in Lucca. We hope to keep up in the first stages and then make a good team time trial, which could decide the overall win,” Yates explains.

Apart from what is to be expected, when you put 25 bike riders together in one place, Team CSC has been lucky when it comes to injuries and accidents at the training camp in Lucca..

”Guidi had a cold, Vandborg and Gusev crashed last week but got away with bruises, while Nicki Sørensen and Michael Sandstød have had some trouble with their knees. But they seem all right for the upcoming race,” says Yates, who like everybody else at the training camp is impressed with the great atmosphere among the riders.

”We have 25 riders, who get along really well, and they all seem extremely motivated to get the season started.”

Challenge Illes Balears (Trofeo Mallorca)

The teams and stages for the official start of the Spanish racing season - the 1.3 Mallorca Challenge - have been announced by race organizers. The official race website is here.

The Teams:

Bankgiroloterij (Hol)
CSC (Den)
Euskaltel Euskadi (Esp)
Geroslteiner (Ger)
Illes Balears-Banesto (Esp)
Comunidad Valenciana - Kelme (Esp)
La Barca 2 Café Baqué (Esp)
Liberty Seguros (Esp)
Lokomotiv (Rus)
Paternina (Esp)
Phonak (Sui)
Quickstep (Bel)
Rabobank (Hol)
Relax Body Sol (Esp)
Saunier Duval (Esp)
Spanish National Team (Esp)
Great Britain National Team (Ing)
T-Mobile (Ale)
Wiesenhof (Ale)

The Stages:

1. Palma - Palma (82,5 km)
2. Alcudia - Port d'Alcudia (159 km)
3. Soller - Port de Soller (150,6 km)
5. Calabona - Manacor (159,8 km)
5. Magaluf - Palmanova (149,3 km)

Ben Day Interview

Ben Day, the 2003 Australian time trial champion, won the Jacob's Creek Tour down Under stage today, finishing four seconds ahead of Robbie McEwen. Our friends at Syklingensverden have a great interview (in English) they did with him last week that is worth a read. The interview is here.

Read today's race report here.

Ben Day receives congrats after his win. Photo courtesy TDU and Mark Gunter.

Hunt in the Hunt

British favourite latest to sign for Malaysia's Langkawi tour

Britain's popular Jeremy Hunt is among the latest big stars to announce their participation in the Telekom Malaysia Le Tour de Langkawi first of the season's big national cycling tours and now the fourth richest race on the global calendar.

Now riding for the strong Belgian-based Palmans-Collstrop team, under the management of Luc Landuyt, Hunt had a quiet 2003 but his past record speaks for itself. Gifted with a strong sprint, Hunt was British national champion in 2002 but has long based himself on the Continent and has a string of major placings to his credit, including outstanding rides in the famed Tour of Spain.

A product of the renowned Mid Devon Road Club, Hunt has ridden for several of the sport's top teams since moving to the Continent and Palmans-Collstrop will be looking to him to add more stage victories to his record in Le Tour de Langkawi, especially on the early fast and flat stages. They may not be top league stars but joining Hunt in the Palmans-Collstrop line-up are some of the sport's toughest riders four Belgians, a Frenchman and an Australian. Kurt Van de Wouwer, for instance, has ridden the Tour de France five times and finished four, with a best placing of 11th in 1999. Erwin Thijs is starting his 11th season in the cash ranks and last year won the Cras-Avernas. He is a previous winner of the Ronde van Limburg Belgian classic.

Gert Vanderaerden is the youngest brother of Eric, a former champion and now one of the sport's most respected team directors. A pro since 1996, Gert has been with Collstrop since 2002. The team's fourth Belgian, Michel Van Haecke is another solid team rider. Frenchman Frederic Gabriel is a specialist at stage racing and has won stages in a number of minor tours since turning pro six years ago. Completing the team is Ben Day, last year's Australian time trial champion.

Also announced for Langkawi is the six-strong all Spanish Relax-Fuenlabrada Bergasol Brustor squad, managed by Jesus Suarez Cuevas. They will be doing anything but relaxing in Malaysia where their Xavier Florenco Cabre is expected to be a challenger for the top honours. Formerly a member of the formidable Once team, which sadly folded at the end of 2003 after one of its best years, Cabre comes from Tarragona, home town of five times Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain.

Santiago Blanco Gil is a specialist of both early season races and the mountains which factors should bode well for Le Tour de Langkawi. Among Gill's big successes was the King of the Mountains title in last year's Ruta del Sol. Moises Duenos Nevado, Jose-Miguel Elias Galindo, Hector Guerra, Nacor Burgos Rojo and Oscar Laguna complete the Relax Fuenlabrada line-up.

Dotsie Cowden News

Dotsie Cowden

January 21, 2004 You knew your girl wouldn't be down long, right? Of course not! After taking a couple days off after breaking her right collarbone on January 4th, Dotsie climbed onto her trainer and resumed training. She's been riding daily and is making swift progress in her recovery. The Team T-Mobile training camp began yesterday in Buellton, California and Dotsie sent us an update after finishing a trainer workout outside by the pool. Read Journal Entry.

Timely Boost for Island Cycling
Courtesy Isle of Man online

MANX cycling received a boost this week when it was announced that its plans to promote a series of two or three-day cycling festivals would receive support from the Government.

Starting with two events this year and developing into four separate events from 2005 onwards, the concept is intended to continue and rejuvenate the running of international cycle races on the Island, following the demise of Cycling Week.

The events, to be run by the newly formed Manx Cycling Promotions, will commence in May with the promotion of the Isle of Man Youth Tour, a three-day stage race for male and female riders under the age of 16. Following this, in September, the established and highly successful End-to-End mountain bike challenge will be the focus of additional resources so that it is able to attract and retain a larger number of off-Island competitors. From 2005 onwards, the programme will grow to four events with the introduction of a stage race for senior riders in April and a veterans' and women's two-day festival of racing later in the summer.

Former Island and Commonwealth Games cyclist Richard Fletcher, a spokesman for the group behind the venture, explained how the project came about.

'When the end of Manx International Cycling Week was announced last year, there was a great deal of concern amongst the Island's cycle racing fraternity that the sport would be adversely affected in terms of the standards achieved by Manx competitors and in the continued take-up of the sport by aspiring locals.

'A former organiser of Cycling Week, Mike O'Hare, suggested that we call together a "Think-Tank" to come up with ways of addressing these issues and as a result Manx Cycling Promotions was formed.

'We looked at the challenges that had been faced by Cycling Week in recent years and came up with an organisation and events programme which we believe will overcome these issues. In essence we are mirroring the way mainstream Manx tourism has been developing, that is from week-long holidays to more affordable short breaks. 'In addition, we saw the need for future cycling events to be organised in a different way. Des Clague worked tremendously hard to promote Cycling Week and although there was an organising committee helping, that still left him with a very heavy workload.

Under the new format, the individual events will be run by a race director in control of a team of people who will each have responsibility and autonomy for managing specific areas. This is much the same concept as the way in which many organising committees of charities have transformed into 'Not-for-Profit' businesses. 'Once we had designed the events format and organisational structure, we presented the proposition to the Department of Tourism & Leisure. It was recognised that the stated objectives of the DTL were very similar to our own: Our intention to maintain and develop the promotion of international cycle racing in the Isle of Man and encourage participation by local people had a very close fit with their aims to increase tourism and develop leisure and sports activities for residents.

'We now look forward to working with the Department and growing the project over the next few years.' Minister for Tourism and Leisure, David Cretney MHK, is delighted that a new series of cycling events is to take place:

'Cycling has a huge following on the Isle of Man and it was very disappointing that, despite the efforts of the organisers, Cycling Week became unviable. 'This fresh approach meets both the needs and aspirations of the Department and the organisers. I believe this new format of weekend events will be very successful and I look forward to working with the organisers for many years to come.'

2004 Ofoto Cycling Team

The Ofoto Cycling Team is pleased to announce the riders and sponsors for the 2004 Ofoto Cycling Team.

New to the Team for the 2004 racing season will be: Scott Swizanski (ex- Snow Valley), Jason Bausch (ex-Schroeder Iron), Nieko Biskner (ex-Sierra Nevada-Clif Bar) and Zach Walker. The strength of the Team returns for 2004, led by America’s National Madison Champions Erik Saunders and Jackson Stewart and 2003 breakout rider Andy Bajadali, as well as Tim Larkin. Young talents Peter Lopinto, and National U-23 Road Champion Jon Erdeyli return as well. The team looks to add two or three riders in the near future.

Following a successful 2003 season which included over 50 wins including 4 National Titles, the Ofoto Cycling Team continues into 2004 again as a UCI Tier III professional team. The Team's focus will again be on the US road racing scene, with specific emphasis on the US Pro Cycling Tour, the National Racing Calendar events, and UCI-Sanctioned Tour de Georgia.

Additionally the Ofoto Cycling Team is pleased to announce it will again race exclusively on Litespeed titanium bicycles for the coming racing season. The following cycling-specific sponsors will be an integral part of the Team's 2004 season: Litespeed - bicycles, Rolf Prima - wheels, Profile – cages,, handlebars, seat posts, aero bars, and stems, Time – shoes and pedals, SRAM-Chains and cassettes, Fizik -saddles, Michelin - tires, Louis Garneau – clothing, Rudy Project – helmets and eyewear Craft USA-Baselayer products . Polar-Heart Rate monitors and cyclometers.

The Team is sponsored in part by Ofoto Inc. and Lombardi Sports and Hansen's Beverage Inc.

Ofoto, Inc. (, a wholly owned subsidiary of Eastman Kodak Company, is the leading online digital photo developing service with more than 11 million members. The site provides consumers with a secure and easy way to store and share their photos with friends and family and get real Kodak prints of their pictures. More information is available at

Lombardi Sports is the San Francisco Bay Area's Premier Sporting Goods Retailer. More information is available at

Hansen’s Beverage Co. Providing quality juices, natural soda as well as energy drinks. More information available at

2004 Team Roster:

Andy Bajadali (USA)
Jason Bausch (USA)
Nieko Biskner (USA)
Jon Erdeyli (USA)
Tim Larkin (USA)
Peter Lopinto (USA)
Erik Saunders (USA)
Scott Swizanski (USA)
Jackson Stewart (USA)
Zac Walker (USA)

Introduce your Coworkers to Cycling with Lance!

Ever walk around your company wondering why you are the only cycling fan? Thinking that your coworkers could benefit from a few lessons in teamwork - such as what you see when you watch a Grand Tour?

Well, the Enterprise Media company produces motivational videos, including a set that feature none other than Lance Armstrong and the US Postal Service-Berry Floor team (some of their other titles include, uh, Kermit the Frog...) and these videos might be just the right tool when your company is looking for a special motivational aid. If not, there are still four great video clips of Lance that you can view - surf to their Lance page here.

Related Articles
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Cycling News Roundup 22 January 2004
Cycling News Roundup 23 January 2004

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