PCN French Bureau chief Eric Van Bockern signs in with the latest news from the French press, including more bergs for Flanders, big climbs for Route de Sud, and Cipo vs Tour of Med…
FLANDERS GETS 3 NEW BERGS
The 2003 edition of the Tour of Flanders will favor Johan Museeuw, according to double Ronde winner Edwig Van Hooydonck. On April 6th, its difficulty will be heightened by the addition of three new bergs for a total of 19. These are notable for being remarkably narrow and steepening by the summit.
ROUTE DE SUD ADDS BIG CLIMBS
Speaking of summit, this year’s Route Du Sud will snake through the High-Pyrennees at Port De Bales for the first time. The event’s organizers found the Plateau De Beille (since borrowed twice by the Tour De France). Now check this one out! The Port De Bales climbs for 19 km averaging 6.3%. The first eight kilometers feel like a false flat at 3%. The second part vindicates with few plateaus to recover from with a 9% incline average. The last 300 meters exceed 16% and this, after 200km. OUCH!
Source: velo club du net
CIPO BAILS – LUCIEN AIMAR FUMES
1966 Tour De France champion and Mediterranean Tour organizer Lucien Aimar doesn’t like to be taken for an imbecile. Operated on for a cyst last November, Mario Cipollini didn’t feel like his physical condition was optimal for a stage race such as the Med Tour. Cipollini holds a record of 13 stage wins in the event that will start today in Italy. Mario’s return is postponed to the 23rd at the Trophee Luis Puig. After much controversy, Domina Vacanze-Elitron was reinstated for the start.