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First Edition Cycling News for February 14, 2005

Date published:
February 14, 2005, 0:00 GMT
  • Aerospace Engineering-VMG Cycling launched

    Article published:
    February 14, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner and Jeff Jones

    A new UCI Continental team, Aerospace Engineering Group-VMG Cycling, has announced its roster for...

    A new UCI Continental team, Aerospace Engineering Group-VMG Cycling, has announced its roster for the 2005 season. Mainly sponsored by Aerospace Engineering Group, an aircraft components and accessories company with facilities in Europe and Miami, the team is joined by a new sponsor, VMG, a Bahamian company dedicated to the development and promotion of cycling and athletics.

    With team headquarters located in Serbia and Montenegro, the roster will consist of riders based in both Europe and the United States. The team will compete in UCI events around the world. Racing has already begun with the team’s participation in the Volta do Estado de Sao Paulo de Ciclismo (UCI 2.2), in Brasil, from January 16-23.

    The full team roster: Njegos Blagojevic, Clemente Cavaliere, Chris Deluise, Dor Dviri, Yosvan Falcon, Chris Frederick, Fabio Gilioli, Esad Hasanovic, Alexander Jugovic, Eric Keim, Victor Laza, Eric Murphy, Hugh Moran, Predrag Prokic, Dejan Stefanovic, Ivan Stevic and Ryan Trebon. Team Manager is Radisa Cubric, team director Alexander Nikaecevic with assistant directors Gustavo Carrillo and Vladimir Kovljenic.

    The team is further sponsored by Toshiba, Telekom Srbija, a Serbian telecommunications company and EPS (Electric Power Industry of Serbia), Serbia’s largest supplier of electricity. Downtown Bicycles, M Cycle Gym, Ft. Lauderdale Marina Marriot and J-Town Bikes will offer assistance to the team as well. The team is equipped by Jamis Bicycles, Louis Garneau, Truvativ, Michelin, Shimano and GU.

  • Recycling.co.uk/MG-XPower/Litespeed presented

    The team lines up
    Article published:
    February 14, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner and Jeff Jones

    Three Olympians and a former World Champion drew a healthy press interest from international...

    Three Olympians and a former World Champion drew a healthy press interest from international television and print as the MG Rover factory in Birmingham, UK played host to the 2005 presentation of Britain’s top cycling squad.

    Recycling.co.uk/MG-XPower/Litespeed had a full complement of riders on show, not withstanding the arrival back of four of the squad from the Tour of Langkawi overnight and an impressive line-up of sponsors including representatives of all three major sponsors. Ushered between rows of the new 500bhp MG SV-R sports car and accompanied on bagpipes by Under 23 National Road Race Series Champion, Evan Oliphant, the squad took time to provide the audience with a question and answer session with Eurosport's Tour de France anchor man David Harmon.

    Asked what an Olympic Champion looks for in joining a professional team, double bronze and silver medallist Rob Hayles was quick to point out that quality is everything. "I'm really excited to join recycling.co.uk/MG-XPower/Litespeed. I've got a really strong team of riders around me and the infrastructure is so strong, you don't consider joining a team with anything less," he said.

    Former World Points Champion and fellow silver medallist Chris Newton was equally as enthusiastic, most notably by the ability to step beyond many of the constraints of the past few years. "I've had to concentrate on lots of other things for quite a while now but I'm desperate to win the rainbow jersey of World Champion back again," he said, adding, "With a team like this around me I think I can win the National Road Championships and the Tour of Britain too!"

    Team Director Phil Leigh has worked hard in fostering a secure and stable environment for the team but conceded that 2005 was a quantum leap forward: "We've become the world’s first UCI registered track trade team and with the backing of such great and committed sponsors we are utterly focused on success. The plain fact is you just...

  • German federation to elect president

    Article published:
    February 14, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner and Jeff Jones

    The German cycling federation BDR will elect its new president on March 19. The election will decide...

    The German cycling federation BDR will elect its new president on March 19. The election will decide between two candidates: former Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping and hotel owner Max Benz. Former BDR president Sylvia Schenk retired from her position last year.

    Scharping also had to resign from his ministry post in 2002 after several affairs. While none of them were truly severe, the Social-Democratic party was afraid his reputation would influence public opinion. Today, he ex-minister is still active politically, while his engagement for cycling has been widely perceived as being purely personal.

    Max Benz, the underdog candidate, is a 35 year-old sports hotel owner thought of as someone who can bring a breath of fresh air into the federation. On February 19, both candidates will outline their programs to the state committee's presidents in Hofheim near Frankfurt. An unofficial vote will be cast after the meeting, with the final election taking place one month later, on March 19.

  • Lampre-Caffita sends Simoni

    Article published:
    February 14, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner and Jeff Jones

    Italian team Lampre Caffita has announced its roster for Trofeo Laigueglia, giving Gilberto Simoni...

    Italian team Lampre Caffita has announced its roster for Trofeo Laigueglia, giving Gilberto Simoni the preference over Damiano Cunego. After a 12 day training camp in the region of Laiguelia, often involving rides of more than 200 km, Lampre team managers Saronni and Corti have decided on the team roster for the prestigious one-day race.

    "With regards to the present condition of Cunego and Simoni, I have seen a good Cunego on par with last year," said Lampre's technical director Giuseppe Martinelli. "Simoni is very motivated, his condition is definitely more advanced than last year.

    Lampre-Caffita will be represented by the following riders in Laiguelia: Alessandro Ballan, Daniele Bennati, GianLuca Bortolami, Salvatore Commesso, David Loosli, Michele Scotto D'Abusco, Gilberto Simoni and Sylvester Szmyd.

  • Quick.Step to Laigueglia without Pozzato

    Article published:
    February 14, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner and Jeff Jones

    Two-time winner Filippo Pozzato will not take part in the 42nd Trofeo Laigueglia because of the 'flu...

    Two-time winner Filippo Pozzato will not take part in the 42nd Trofeo Laigueglia because of the 'flu that struck him last Friday evening. Quick.Step announced that the winner of the 2003 and 2004 edition will be replaced by his teammate Addy Engels.

    The 42nd Trofeo Laigueglia, a 1.1 UCI-rated race, will take place on Tuesday, February 15. The riders will have to complete 183 km from the start in Laiguelia, close to San Remo, until the finish line in the same town. The Belgian team will send the following riders to the Italian Riviera: Paolo Bettini, Mads Christensen, Addy Engels, Marc Lotz, Cristian Moreni, Luca Paolini, Michael Rogers and Patrik Sinkewitz.

  • Eddy Merckx on Lance, doping and a healthy life

    Article published:
    February 14, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner and Jeff Jones

    A very lean looking Eddy Merckx was a guest on the Belgian VRT program Sportweekend on Sunday,...

    A very lean looking Eddy Merckx was a guest on the Belgian VRT program Sportweekend on Sunday, February 13. The cycling legend, bronzed by the sun in Qatar, clearly re-energised and definitely looking a lot healthier than a couple of years ago, expressed his hope for Lance Armstrong to ride another Tour de France this year.

    "It's not something we have discussed recently but I'd like to see Lance being present again this year at the start of the Tour de France," said Merckx. "It would be a real pity if the winner of six Tours wouldn't go for a seventh victory. But I understand that his contract with Discovery holds a clause which allows him to skip this year and then contest the Tour again in 2006. If we don't see him this year, we will next season."

    Asked if he would ride were he in Lance's shoes, Merckx added, "Yes, I would. But then, I was a different rider, I would have raced a lot more during the year too."

    Does Merckx have a favourite for the first big Classic of the year, La Primavera/Milan-San Remo? "I hope a Belgian wins. And yes, why not Tom Boonen. He's that year older now, he's up to it."

    Merckx also commented on his disagreement with IOC's Jacques Rogge statement that "a zero-tolerance" concerning doping has to be established. "What I mean by that is that it is not possible at this moment to apply zero-tolerance politics. There are too many riders who have medical certificates for medication which they then are allowed to take while racing. Zero-tolerance means that those riders shouldn't be racing at all; it's not fair to the rest of the peloton. You have to make the rules the same for all. If you apply a zero-tolerance policy, then a rider who isn't 100 percent healthy needs to stay at home. It's not a matter of doping or drugs specifically, it's just a matter of making sure that the athletes are taking care of their health."

    What about riders caught doping? "The rules are there to be applied....

  • Hundreds in Cesenatico for Pantani death anniversary

    Article published:
    February 14, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner and Jeff Jones

    Hundreds of people have gathered in the Italian town of Cesenatico, birthplace of Marco Pantani, in...

    Hundreds of people have gathered in the Italian town of Cesenatico, birthplace of Marco Pantani, in memory of the tragic death of "the pirate" on February 14, 2004. Pantani's body had been found lifeless in a hotel room in Rimini one year ago. In remembrance of the cycling legend, a church service was held on the eve of the anniversary of his death, attended by numerous tifosi but also close friends and members of the general public.

    Pantani's death has stirred up the cycling community in Italy, giving rise to several conspiracy theories. In a recent biography of the Tour de France winner by John Wilcockson, Christina Jonsson, Pantani's girlfriend for several years, claims that Pantani's exclusion of the Giro d'Italia in 1999 [because of a positive doping test involving a hematocrit value of 52 - ed.] had been planned by an Italian betting mafia.

    "Marco Velo, still riding professionally for Fassa Bortolo, stated after Pantani's death that there had been rumours of Marco's exclusion even one day before the blood test. You know that very high bets are placed on the main contenders in Italy," Jonsson is quoted in an interview in the book.