What's Cool In Road Cycling

Monday’s Euro-Trash

What a weekend, what a week ahead! World Cups, World Champions, Tour Champs, The Worlds – you name it, we;’ve got it in today’s trash-bin – ! There’s a lot more to come this week, keep the gaps closed and no snoozing!

The Lion Loses His Bite
The Domina Vacanze Rider, Mario Cipolini, has decided to drop out of the 2003 World Championships in Hamilton Canada this coming Sunday. Cipolini says that “it was a tough decision, but I believe that it is correct because at the end, I respect the National Team. The parcours is too difficult for someone of my characteristics, and further I don’t want to take away the interest in my teammates who have prepared for the Canadian appointment with a great deal of commitment”. Cipolini now age 36 has barely raced since his crashing out of the Giro d’Italia this May. This is not so surprising seeing as this past Vuelta he had taken the line even though he was in no shape to compete in the TTT. Even though the Lion King will not be in the Worlds he has promised that he will not be on the beach either, he promises he will be in front of the Television shouting for his team mates
“Azzurri”

Is That Your Final Answer
It is final – Jan Ullrich has reached agreements with Team Telekom (soon to be called T-Mobile in 2004) after his short argument with TeamsCoast and Bianchi in 2003. The West German has been weighing his decision for some time trying to figure out which team to choose to support his number one goal of taking away Lance Armstrong’s winning streak of the Tour De France in 2004, (This year he was in second, EINES IN 2004 BABY). Ullrich’s manager Wolfgang Strohband came to this decision in Zurich Switzerland on Saturday afternoon with Telekom manager Walter Godefroot and Olaf Ludwig. Ullrich mentioned on his Web Site “For me, it is a change to T-mobile, not a return to Telekom. The team is no longer the same as I left in 2002. Beginning with the sponsor, who contacted us shortly after the Tour, to the riders, the team has an entirely new face today.” However Ullrich says that the money was not the deciding factor – there was an offer that was even higher than the one from T-Mobile. In the end the security decided it in favor of T-Mobile. (Yeah Right it’s always about he security). However the contract Ullrich is for an undisclosed length of time, though Eisenga confirms it is for more than one year.

Pete Is Hungry For Some Wins
Team Lotto-Domo’s Peter Van Petegem has found the spark to lead to the finish of a strong season, particularly at Sunday’s Paris-Tours and the up coming World Championships in Hamilton Canada. Peter had lost his World Cup Champion title to Paolo Bettini whom out did Petegem with an astounding Three World Cup Victories this year so far. Van Petegem knows that he has no chance to achieve overall victory in the World Cup; however this won’t stop him from fighting for first place In Hamilton. Currently he sits in third place behind Rabobank’s Michael Boogerd in overall rankings. Peter says about Bettini “Ok, Bettini’s untouchable now, but when you’ve won two monuments of cycling like I did this year, you deserve to at least finish second in the final classification, So I’ll get going this Sunday )in Paris-Tours) to pass Boogerd, who only leads me by one point.”

And Yet The Doping Stories Continue?
Vincenzo Di Falco of Italy has been sanctioned by the Italian Cycling Federation. He has also been disqualified from the Settimana Ciclistia Lombardia 2003 and suspended for one year until May 10, 2004.

Out And About
There is hope, German Uwe Ampler, which was hit by a car is getting better and better each passing day. The Thirty-Nine year old ex-Professional is out of a coma as of now, and doctors are hoping that there is no serious brain damage after he had suffered such serious head trauma. One main way to determine if he has any serious brain damage, is if he thinks he can take away the Tour De France from Ullrich next year. So let’s just hope that we see him out about in no time.

Coming To America, Si
Even though Sprinter Fred Rodriguez has not yet been named part of the USA’s 12 man team for the World Championships in Hamilton this year, he may be a last minute addition for the race. Rodriguez said about the World’s “I might be doing World’s, I’m not sure yet. At first I wasn’t but they’ve asked me to do it so we’ll see. The team is already set but we have to see if the other guys in the team are really riding well or not. I’ll probably know tomorrow. I think it’s going to be a really hard course, a lot harder than most of the teams think, I’m going there to help George Hincapie so I really don’t have any expectations for myself. George has really been concentrating on doing well in Hamilton so I think he should do well.” Hopefully we will see what George can do this year in Hamilton.

Zabel’s “Petit Miracle”
Great news for the German Erik Zabel, He has beaten this years sprint king Alessandro Petacchi which lead to his winning the 97th edition of The Paris-Tours, Zabel is having an astounding finish to this season, Whipping Petacchi in a close neck to neck sprint in the Vuelta, not to mention his taking the point’s Jersey. Shortly after his win Zabel told French TV “it was a petit miracle, Petacchi started early (at 250m) and he had the wind in his face. I managed to pass him with 50 meters to go to win…” This has been Zabel’s eighth career world cup win, arriving nine years behind his first ever in Paris-Tours in 1994. On the flip side Petacchi was understandably disappointed seeing as he was not only looking for his 25th win of the 2003 season, but also his first ever World Cup victory. However, a cold, and a broken tooth during the race slowed him down most likely. Excuses, Excuses, Excuses. Alessandro told the RAI-TV company that “I wasn’t sure of my condition today. I made my move and went too early…after 250km, I just didn’t have it.?.

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