By VeloNews Interactive
After nearly two decades and seven world titles astride those venerable Ritchey steel frames, the Ritchey-Yahoo! Squad will not be riding Tom’s bikes in 2001. Thomas Frischknecht — 1996 world cross-country champion — and Martino Fruet will not only be riding bikes from other builders, it looks like they’ll be riding — GASP! — aluminum frames. Frishi for one, however, will have to wait a bit before racing on the scandium Scott that he is having built. Doctors have told him that he’ll be unable to race for at least a month after a February 7 training ride accident resulted in a dislocated joint in his left hand.
In an e-mail sent on February 10, Frischknecht reported that he will have to skip his planned season opener at the Sea Otter Classic next month as well as the UCI World Cup opener in Napa, California on April 7. His injuries required surgical repair to the joint and a ligament in his hand. Frischknecht also cut open his chin in the crash, requiring stitches.
“I hope to be back on my road bike next week,” Frischknecht wrote. “The doctor said he will fix me a cast that allows me to ride a bike.”
Frischknecht said he will be aiming to begin his racing season at the second round of the World Cup in Sarntal, Italy on May 13.
When he does hit the trails this year, Frishi will be riding a new scandium hardtail manufactured by Scott USA. It will be the first time since 1990 that Frischknecht has anything but a Ritchey steel frame on the cross-country circuit. That’s not the only change, Frishi reports.
“For the first time I will also have a full-suspension bike available,” Frischknecht wrote. “The rest of the bike will remain the same. Ritchey components, SRAM drivetrain and RockShox suspension fork. I like to be clear that even with this new Ritchey-SCOTT relationship I’m still a member of Team Ritchey-Yahoo!”
Meanwhile, his Ritchey teammate Martino Fruet will be riding a custom Wilier frame equipped with Ritchey, SRAM and RockShox. Martino will be racing national events, marathons and setting his sites on securing a podium position on the World Cup circuit.
Frischknecht also reports that long time friend Henrik Djernis did not get a contract for this season. Djernis told VeloNews in a recent interview in Tabor, Czech Republic, that he may consider retiring if he can’t secure funding for the upcoming season. Djernis finished sixth at the cyclo-cross world championship in Tabor, capping a career that has included four world titles.