What's Cool In Road Cycling

Euro Trash – Monday

News from Europe: Millar extends at Cofidis: New UCI rankings: Armstrong to Austria: Two more leave Delatour: Mayo and Zubeldia may miss Vuelta: Konecny to T-Mobile: Virenque post Tour: Wrap up stories from the Tour: Early news of Tour of Denmark.

Millar Extends With Cofidis
In a surprise move on Monday, David Millar has extended his contract with the Cofidis team until the end of 2005. Millar had seemed unhappy with the French squad earlier this season and seemed to have a running dispute with team manager Alain Bondue. However Bondue has taken a back seat when it comes to team matters and given more responsibility to Francis Vanlondersele and this may have reconciled Millar to re-signing for the team. Millar who finished 55th in the Tour de France and won the penultimate time trial stage said, “I had thought about changing but never really negotiated with another team. The way we worked in Le Tour suited me.”

New UCI Rankings
The new post Tour UCI rankings were released today (Monday). Iban Mayo, Alexandre Vinokourov and Tyler Hamilton have all burst into the top ten as a result of their Tour de France exploits. Jan Ullrich’s second place has seen the German leap up over one hundred places in the rankings from 159 to 26, another big climber is Hamiar Zubeldia who goes from position no. 102 to 32. The new rankings are:

1. Paolo Bettini (Italy) Quick Step, 2191 pts
2. Gilberto Simoni (Italy) Saeco, 2082 pts
3. Erik Zabel (Germany) Telekom, 1941 pts
4. Davide Rebellin (Italy) Gerolsteiner, 1887 pts
5. Iban Mayo (Spain) Euskaltel, 1724 pts
6. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kazhakstan) Telekom, 1701 pts
7. Alessandro Petacchi (Italy) Fassa Bortolo, 1682 pts
8. Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal, 1679 pts
9. Dario Frigo (Italy) Fassa Bortolo, 1541 pts
10. Tyler Hamilton (USA) CSC, 1474 Pts

In the rankings for 2003 Gilberto Simoni holds onto his lead

2003 Rankings
1. Gilberto Simoni (Italy) Saeco 1715 pts
2. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kazhakstan) Telekom 1613 pts
3. Lance Armstrong (U.S.A.) US Postal Service 1507 pts
4. Iban Mayo (Spain) Euskatel – Euskadi 1414 pts
5. Tyler Hamilton (U.S.A.) CSC 1358 pts
6. Alessandro Petacchi (Italy) Fassa Bortolo 1235 pts
7. Paolo Bettini (Italy) (Quick Step – Davitamon) 1084 pts
8. Erik Zabel (Germany) Telekom 1048 pts
9. Stefano Garzelli (Italy) Vini Caldirola – Sidermec 957 pts
10. Jan Ullrich (Germany) Bianchi 940 pts

Armstrong Flies To Austria On Tuesday
Lance Armstrong flies to Graz in Austria tomorrow (Tuesday) by private jet from his home in Gerona, northern Spain to take part in the Altstadt-Kriteriums. The race starts at 6.00 pm local time and is being sponsored by local newspaper Kleine Zeitung

Dumoulin And Krivtsov To AG2R
The disintegration of the Jean Delatour team continues with the news on Monday of Frenchman Samuel Dumoulin and Ukrainian Yuri Krivtsov both signing for the AG2R team for next season. Dumoulin has won the Tro Bro Leon and a stage in the Tour of Normandie this year, while Krivtsov, a promising second year pro has taken stages in the Circuit de la Sarthe and the Tour of Romandie. At the end of last week Patrice Halgand and Sebastien Joly both left Jean Delatour and signed for the Credit Agricole team for 2004.

No Mayo Or Zubeldia In Vuelta ?
The Euskaltel team management have decided that Iban Mayo and Haimar Zubeldia, 5th and 6th in the Tour de France, will not participate in the Vuelta a Espana which begins in Gijon on September 6th. Team director sportif Julian Gorospe said that he prefers to go into the Vuelta with fresh riders and would prefer it if Mayo and Zubeldia did not ride, however the final decision will probably rest with the riders. If they do not ride, Euskaltel will rely on Alberto Martinez for the GC, while Samuel Sanchez, Roberto Laiseka, Unai and David Etxebarria, Iker Flores and Gorka Gonzбlez will also ride, leaving two places in the final line up to be decided.

Konecny Returns To Top Division
It has been confirmed that Czech rider Tomas Konecny (eD’system – ZVVZ) will ride for Team T-Mobile (new name for the Telekom team) in 2004. Konecny joins Sergui Ivanov (Fassa Bortolo) and Bram Schmitz (Bankgiroloterij), who both signed in the first week of the Tour, as new faces at the German team. Konecny formerly rode for the Domo-Farm Frites team in 2001 and 2002 but found himself out in the cold when Domo merged with Lotto for 2003. The Marlux team tried to pick him up for this year but he had already signed a deal with the Czech team eD’system – ZVVZ. This year Konecny has had a good season with a stage and third overall in the Peace Race and a stage at the Niedersachsen Rundfahrt.

Virenque Busy At Post Tour Crits
Richard Virenque (Quick Step), winner of a record equalling sixth polka dot jersey during the Tour de France is busy this week at the post Tour criteriums. He is riding the Critйrium de Lisieux on Tuesday followed by the events at Camors and Dijon on Thursday and Friday respectively. Virenque’s August racing schedule consists of the Clasica San Sebastian on the 9th and the Championship of Zurich on the 17th. He will ride the Tour de l’Ain (August 12th to 15th) between the two World Cup events.

Five Tour Teams Finish Complete
Congratulations to US Postal, Brioches-La Boulangerie, CSC, iBanesto.com and Quick Step-Davitamon for finishing the Tour de France with all nine riders complete in their team. Taking into account the high temperatures that have been common on this year’s race, this is a fine performance. Worst finishers were Fassa Bortolo and Gerolsteiner who both completed the race with just three riders standing. Any team that finished with seven or more riders qualified for a 1500 Euro bonus for each rider. 12 teams qualified for this financial pick up.

Tour Rider Tests For EPO
It was announced Sunday morning that one rider has tested positive for EPO during the Tour de France. The rider who is not a stage winner or one of the “big” riders has asked for the B sample to be tested, the result of the B sample test will be known in a few days.

Indurain Backs Armstrong For Six
Miguel Indurain thinks that Lance Armstrong is capable of winning a sixth Tour de France and creating a new record next year. Armstrong equalled Indurain’s record this year of winning five consecutive Tours.

20 Champions In Parade
Twenty former champions of the Tour de France took part in yesterday parade to mark the centenary of the race. Of the 22 living champions only Greg Lemond and Marco Pantani were not involved.

Botero Returns To Training
Santiago Botero returned to training over the weekend after abandoning the TDF on Friday, the Telekom team have been puzzled by the Colombia’s poor form and tests have shown that Botero has been suffering from a virus.

Armstrong Will Not Ride Worlds
Lance Armstrong announced at the Tour on Saturday night that he will not be competing at the World road race championships in Hamilton, Canada in early October. Armstrong said that it was out of the question to compete in Hamilton.

Fastest Tour Ever
This years edition of the Tour de France has been the fastest on record, at 40.94 kms per hour Lance has beaten his own record set in 1999.
Fastest Tours
40,940 km/hr: Lance Armstrong (2003)
40,276 km/hr: Lance Armstrong (1999)
40,070 km/hr: Lance Armstrong (2001)
39,983 km/hr: Marco Pantani (1998)
39,920 km/hr: Lance Armstrong (2002)
39,572 km/hr: Lance Armstrong (2000)
39,504 km/hr: Miguel Indurain (1992)

Peschel Operation
Heartbreak for Gerolsteiner’s Uwe Peschel as he was forced to pull out of the Tour de France on the penultimate stage on Saturday. Peschel fell twice during the 49 kms time trial between Pornic and Nantes which was plagued by heavy rain, he suffered two broken ribs which were threatening to damage his lung and doctors in Nantes hospital decided an immediate operation was needed.

Beltran To Continue At Postal
Spaniard Manuel Beltran will continue to ride for the US Postal team next year. The 32 year old signed for Postal in May from Team Coast and has performed admirably in support of the team leader finishing 11th at the Dauphine Libere and 14th at the Tour de France. Lance Armstrong wants to keep the current roster of riders together at the team for the 2004 Tour.

Tour of Denmark Early News
The Tour of Denmark (UCI 2.2) takes place between August 12th and 16th, the provisional start list has been released and some of the riders expected to take part are: Johan Museeuw and Tom Boonen (Quick.Step): Rolf Aldag and Danilo Hondo (Telekom): Jann Kirsipuu and Mark Scanlon (Ag2r): Olaf Pollack, Daniele Contrini, Rene Hassebacher and Michael Rich (Gerolsteiner): Damien Nazon (Brioches-La Boulangиre): Tom Steels and Ludo Dierckxsens (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago): Robert Hunter and Robert Bartko (Rabobank)

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