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Cycling News Roundup 3 February 2004 - UPDATED
 
By Podofdonny
Date: 2/3/2004
Cycling News Roundup 3 February 2004 - UPDATED
 

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 Feltet.dk.

About the Team

Feltet: What do you expect from your contract with Team CSC?

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 areas.

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 summer?

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 Lucca, Paris-Nice, 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 win?

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 win our 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.

American cycling

Feltet: What are the prospects for American cycling in the future? Earlier 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 Armstrong, 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:
1 PAGLIARINI,Luciano
2 BELLI,Wladimir
3 CARRARA,Matteo
4 PINOTTI,Marco
5 CORTINOVIS,Alessandro
6 BARBERO,Sergio
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 Philippines’ 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 ever 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 professional Asian 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 participation in 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 country.

Other notable names include Merculio Ramos, Villamor Baluyut and Llyod 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 undergone 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 Classic.

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 Iran, Tonton Susanto (Wismilak), Ahad Kazemi (Iran), Tomoya Kano and Makoto Iijima (Japan), Shahrulneeza Razali and Suhardi Hassan (Malaysia), Filipino Victor Espiritu and China’s Wang Guozhang.

The 10-day Tour starts with a 112km race from Bayan Baru to Taiping on Friday.

RIDERS: Victor Espiritu, Alfie Catalan, Ronal Gorrantes, Albert Primero, Elmo Ramos, Lloyd Lucien Reynante, Rhyan Tanguilig, Villamor Baluyut (reserve).

THE COMPLETE CAST (21 TEAMS)

Lampre (Italy); Mr Bookmaker.com-Palmans Collstrop (BEL); Chocolade Jacques - Wincor Nixdorf (BEL); De-Nardi Colpack (ITA); Relax Bodysol (ESP); Panaria 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 Cycling Championships and the 2nd Annual Dodge Tour de Georgia. The team will also be attending multiple National Calendar Races throughout the year.

2004 Roster:
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:
Sharper Image
Mathis Brothers Furniture
Peter A. Erdoes P.C.
David Jones-Wachovia Investments
Johnny Carinos Italian Restaurants

Equipment sponsors:
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 www.sharperimage.com. 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 programs and wholesale customers.

About Mathis Brothers Furniture--Read the interesting history of Mathis Brothers Furniture here.

 
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