Interview with Bobby Julich, McEwen versus Boonen, Kelmes “Exhibition”, Tour de Langkawi News, Sharper Image/Mathis Brothers Team
Interview with Bobby Julich
Julich courtesy CSC
This interview with CSC's Bobby Julich, courtesy of
About the Team
Feltet: What do you expect from your contract with Team
Julich: I am really looking forward to working with the team. I
feel that it
is the team that I have been looking for my whole career. I think
that I can
learn alot and have some great results with CSC.
Feltet: Riis shall help you with your training schedule; what
do you think
that Riis can help you improve?
Julich: He can help me improve everything! I have been a pro
for a long time,
but never had the support that I feel with Bjarne and CSC. I am
open to all
suggestions and very excited to see how much I can improve in all
Feltet: Riis was 32 when he won the Tour de France in '96. In
'98 you said
that you also could win the Tour de France - how about this
Julich: Of course, since 98 things have not gone according to
plan, but I
will do my best this summer in the Tour and hope for the best. It
would be great
to have another great Tour together with Bjarne and CSC.
Schedule for 2004
Feltet: How is your calendar for the next few months?
Julich: I start with Mallorca, Tour Med, training camp in
Criterium International, Pays Basque, Tour of Georgia.
Feltet: Tour de France?
Julich: The Tour is a big part of my ambitions this season, but
the team will
be selected by taking the 9 best riders at that moment.
Feltet: It has been 6 years since you won a race, don't you
think that it is
time to do something about that? Where should we expect you to
Julich: It is absolutely time to win a race! I would like to
try to win a
stage in Paris-Nice and the Tour of Georgia. I would also like to
national championship in Philadelphia because I have had a house
there for 7
years and it will be sort of a hometown race for me.
Feltet: What are the prospects for American cycling in the
you said that America misses having a big national Tour.
Julich: I am not sure what to expect from cycling in the
States. Riders of my generation have gotten much bigger results than those from the past, but there seems to be less support for the sport and races. I don't know what we are doing wrong, but something has to change or cycling will never make it into mainstream sports in the States.
Feltet: The team (CSC) will start at Tour of Georgia this year.
What are the prospects for that race, and will you participate?
Julich: I am very excited about racing in the Tour of Georgia.
I have not raced once in the States since May of 1996. It will nice to be racing back home and of course I want to do well. I have not really looked at the profiles of the stages, but I would like to try my best to win at least a stage and go for the overall classification as well.
Feltet: Is there anybody who can take over when riders like
Hamilton and yourself in a few years stop your careers? Who?
Julich: I have heard a lot over the last few years, but haven't really seen the young guys coming up and being successful over here in Europe.Of course there are some talented guys, but we will have to wait and see. I am interested in seeing the development of Tom Danielson, David Zabriskie and Mike Creed.
Thanks to Rune Schjerbeck at Feltet.dk
and Jakob Duma.
McEwen versus Boonen
On a day that saw Tom Boonen beat him in the sprint finish in the Tour of Qatar (to read race report and results click here) Robbie McEwen discussed the abilities of the young Belgian on www dhnet.be.
The “petit kangourou,” as McEwen is affectionately nicknamed by the Belgium fans, is a very popular rider, partly due to his sense of humour, but also because of his fluency in Flemish, which he speaks perfectly.
However it was more a boxing Kangaroo who spoke to the press this morning, as McEwen did not hold back on any punches in his assessment of young Boonen:
"Boonen is fast, but I wouldn’t say he was a true sprinter. I reckon he could get in the top three of a major sprint, when the circumstances are favourable, but to win? Well that’s another story.”
When it was pointed out that the Quick Step-Davitamon had specifically engaged Zanini to be used as a “poisson-pilote” (lead out man) for Boonen, the Australian remained unimpressed - "Even with Zanini..." he concluded. To read about the new Quickstep Team set up click here.
As for McEwen himself, his early season plans are well mapped out –
"The season started well, with two victories in the Tour Down Under, which make me hopeful that I can revive my great form of 2002. I am hoping to get a stage win at Qatar. Maybe more if things go well. In Australia, I was on top form. I was always well classified in the stages, except once. Let us hope that this good sequence continues here and, in Spain, since my next stage race, after Qatar, will be the Ruta del Sol."
McEwen also commented on his ambitions for 2004, and emphasized that the Green jersey in the Tour de France was not his only ambition.
“I tend to try and get a period of good form rather than to single out a particular. From now, until mid-April I will be going full pelt. Milan-San Remo is a race which I should be able to win. Last year, I was at the top of Poggio with the best, and I even attacked on the descent, only to be caught with three kilometres to go. One day, Lady Luck will smile me on Via Roma..."
Aussies Robbie McEwen and Matthew White by Pete Geyer
13th "Challenge Illes Balears" #3 - Trofeo Cala Millor (Feb. 03)
Read Fabio’s great race report here.
Team CSC are happy with todays stage, not least because of Jens Voigt’s battling performance which saw him at the front of the race for 60 kilometres –
"Unfortunately the two riders who tried to go after Jens, were not able to follow him," says sports director Kim Andersen. "This made it extremely difficult, especially in the more or less flat 40 kilometres between the second and third climb.".
Young Fränk Schleck was also in the thick of the action: "Schleck did a good race, and was almost able to follow the best riders on the final climb," says Andersen.
The other good news for CSC is that Jakob Piil and Kurt-Asle Arvesen, who both crashed during Monday's Trofeo Alcudia, are not too badly injured and are expected to participate on Wednesday in the Trofeo Manacor.
However, without doubt, team of the day were the much troubled, but now much less so Com. Valenciana-Kelme team, who finished with all top three places in what the Spanish Press is describing as an “exhibition race”.
Alejandro Valverde described the significance of the win and his future plans-
"It is a victory that can open the doors to us in the bigger, more important races after we have been relegated to the second division.
"I have had many offers from other teams, but I am backing my team mates who have supported me from the start. I am happy where I am".
Wladimir Belli in action courtesy Lampre
Lampre in the Far East
After a flight of some 13 hours, our riders arrived in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpar, they then transferred to Penang where they will remain until the evening of Friday the 6th, the opening day of the Tour of Langkawi.
"The boys have been continuing with their good training programme, with an outing of 3 hours," Maurizio Piovani, the Lampre sporting director, told us during the first days in Malaysia, on the eve of our team’s seasonal debut.
"Pinotti and Barbero seem to me to be the most adapted to the time difference and climate change, it is 32° with 80% humidity, the sky is cloudy but for now it’s not raining."
As for the race, Piovani said "The hope is to do well, the first stages are brief and flat, I think that Pagliarini could be among the first, we hope that he can repeat his exploits of last year when he was able to win 3 consecutive stages.
"For us at Lampre, it is important to get off to a good start, there’s equal faith, concludes the technician, in Carrara and Belli, the first could well be a participant at the final of some stages, while Wladimir will take care of the classification and could be among the first on Sunday the 15th, the concluding day in Kuala Lumpar."
The General Manager, Giuseppe Saronni, in agreement with the Lampre technicians communicates the names of the selected riders for the Tour of Langkawi stage race, from the 6th to the 15th of February, classified UCI 2.2.
Our riders start off, thanks to the choice of the organizers, with the first 7 numbers, therefore the order with the established bibs are as follows:
7 D'ABUSCO,Michele Scotto
Telekom Malaysia Le Tour de Langkawi 2004
Philippines TTIII Team Pagcor-Casino Joins the Fray
An exciting battle is on the cards as
first professional cycling team, Pagcor-Casino Filipino Pro
Cycling Team, joins
the chase for Asian honours in the Telekom Malaysia Le Tour
de Langkawi which starts on Friday.
In an effort to boost Asian cycling and expose more Asian
riders to top-level
competition, Tour organisers have invited the team which
will parade a team of four strong climbers, two sprinters
and an all-round rider.
The team, managed by Rick Rodriguez, are Philippines’ first
professional team categorized under Trade Team 3 by the
Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).
“We made an invitation to the team as they were really keen
to ride in the
Tour. The team may be new but the riders are all seasoned
campaigners, so they
should be a threat to other rivals and a strong contender
for the Asian title,” said Tour executive chairman Datuk Wan
Lokman Dato’ Paduka Wan Ibrahim today.
Apart from Pagcor-Casino Filipino, the only other
outfit invited for the Tour is Indonesia’s Wismilak Cycling
Team. Top climber Tonton Susanto leads the Surabaya-based
team, which is also regarded among the favourites.
Following Pagcor-Casino’s inclusion, the peloton will now be
made up of 21
teams with a total of 147 riders.
Armed with several experienced riders, Pagcor-Casino's
the Tour is sure to add spice in Asian field. Leading the
team is climber Victor
Espiritu, no stranger to the Tour and cycling races in the
Other notable names include Merculio Ramos, Villamor Baluyut
Reynante. Ronald Gorantes, Ryan Tanguilig, Albert Primero
and Alfie Catalan made up the team.
The team is based in Tarlac and its riders are said to have
rigorous training since the start of the year, including
doing the hard climbs in
Baguio. The team have big ambitions to make it big in the
pro circuit and their programs include riding insome of
America’s big races such as Redlands Classic and Sea Otter
Apart from Pagcor Casino and Wismilak, the other contenders
in the Asian
category are Iran, Japan, China and Malaysia. Iran are the
top favourites following their domination last year but the
Asian individual title is likely to be an open affair.
The leading individual contenders include Ghader Mizbani of
Susanto (Wismilak), Ahad Kazemi (Iran), Tomoya Kano and
Makoto Iijima (Japan),
Shahrulneeza Razali and Suhardi Hassan (Malaysia), Filipino
Espiritu and China’s Wang Guozhang.
The 10-day Tour starts with a 112km race from Bayan Baru to
RIDERS: Victor Espiritu, Alfie Catalan, Ronal Gorrantes,
Elmo Ramos, Lloyd Lucien Reynante, Rhyan Tanguilig, Villamor
THE COMPLETE CAST (21 TEAMS)
Lampre (Italy); Mr Bookmaker.com-Palmans Collstrop (BEL);
Chocolade Jacques -
Wincor Nixdorf (BEL); De-Nardi Colpack (ITA); Relax Bodysol
Margres(ITA); Colombia Selle Italia (COL); Formaggi Pinzolo
Fiavè (ITA); Team
Barloworld (RSA); Atlas Hoop-Polsat (POL); Health Net
Presented by MAXXIS (USA);
Wismilak Cycling Team (INA); Bert Story-Piels (NET); South
Africa; Canada; Ireland; Iran; Japan; China; Malaysia,
Pagcor-Casino Filipino Cycling Team (PHI).
Sharper Image/Mathis Brothers Team
Specialty Sports, LLC is pleased to announce the
formation of the Sharper
Image/Mathis Brothers Furniture Professional Cycling Team
for 2004. The UCI
Division III team is an extension of the highly successful
Mathis Brothers Elite
team and looks forward to 2004 and the professional ranks.
The Mathis Brothers Elite team was one of the premier
amateur programs in the
U.S. last season with one National Racing Calendar (NRC) win
and nine podium
appearances. In all the team won over 30 races and had the
second and third
ranked amateur on the National Racing Calendar.
“I want to congratulate the Mathis Brothers Elite Cycling
Team on a fantastic
2003 season. This year we are excited to welcome The Sharper
Image as a
co-sponsor to our cycling family. We look forward to
participating at the
professional level and becoming an even more visible force
in USA Cycling,” said
Bill Mathis, owner of Mathis Brothers Furniture.
“The Sharper Image is thrilled about the opportunity to
be a title sponsor of
this cycling team” said Roger Bensinger, Senior Vice
President of Marketing for
The Sharper Image. “This sport exemplifies the qualities
that Sharper Image has
always been associated with: team effort, competitive drive,
and a focus to
succeed. As cycling continues to gain in popularity here in
our country as an
activity that promotes healthy living and fitness, our
company wants to
participate as a sponsor.”
The Team will focus solely on the domestic calendar for
the 2004 season with
specific emphasis on the San Francisco Grand Prix, New York
Championships and the 2nd Annual Dodge Tour de Georgia. The
team will also be
attending multiple National Calendar Races throughout the
Steven Cate (Mathis Brothers Elite)
Mike House (West Virginia Elite)
Nick Kiernan (Mathis Brothers Elite)
Michael Lange (Back Yard Burgers Elite)
Adam Hodges Myerson (Sportsbook.com)
Larry Perera (Sportsbook.com)
Aaron Smathers (Mathis Brothers Elite)
Dale Suttle (Back Yard Burgers Elite)
Matt Svatek (Sportsbook.com)
Jason Waddell (Mathis Brothers Elite)
David Wenger (West Virginia Pro-Cycling)
Team sponsors for the 2004 season are:
Mathis Brothers Furniture
Peter A. Erdoes P.C.
David Jones-Wachovia Investments
Johnny Carinos Italian Restaurants
Cannondale - bikes
Profile - bars, stems, tape, seat posts, aero equipment
Ritchey - wheels
Vittoria - tires
Stelvio - clothing
Catlike - helmets, eyewear
Arundel Bike - carbon bottle cages
About The Sharper Image--Sharper Image is a specialty
retailer that is
nationally and internationally renowned as a leading source
of new, innovative,
high-quality products that make life better and more
enjoyable. A significant
and growing proportion of sales are of proprietary products
created by the
Company’s product development group, Sharper Image Design.
The Company operates over 149 stores throughout the
United State , mails
millions of its award-winning catalogues each month and
advertises through other
direct response media including television. The Company’s
products may also be
purchased on the Internet via its e-commerce website at
The Company also has an online auction site where consumers
can place bids to
win Sharper Image products at lower prices; the auction site
is accessed from
the home page of the Company’s Web site. The Company also
markets its products
through business-to-business sales for corporate marketing
About Mathis Brothers Furniture--Read the interesting
history of Mathis
Brothers Furniture here.