By VeloNews Interactive
Europe seems to be treating the Navigators very well indeed. The teamreports its heading back to the Continent following its recent trip, when the team won two races and several other podium finishes and numerous top-10 finishes. The team reports after a quick trip home, the Navigators willhead back to Europe for five races during a two-week period. Theculmination of the racing junket will be the Four Days of Dunkirk, oneof the top spring races in France. The team will resume its domestic racing schedule on May 19th with the Housatonic Classic in Danbury,Conn.Here are the events added to the Navigators schedule:April 24th – G.P. De L’Escaut
April 25th – G.P. de Denain
April 28th – Tour de Vendee
May 1st – Trophee de Grimpeurs
May 8-12th – 4-Days of DunkerqueCaucchioli wins at Aragon, Piepoli retains overallThe Italian Pietro Caucchioli (Alessio) finished alone in thethird stage of the Vuelta a Aragon in Spain on Friday in a climbing stagebetween Alcorisa and Valdelinares while compatriot Leonardo Piepoli(ibanesto.com) easily retained the overall lead.Caucchioli, who lost time in the opening stage, saved his strength totry to win Friday’s stage. He attacked several times early in the stageand finally broke away from a four-man break to win his first race of theyear.Results stage 3:
1. Pietro CAUCCHIOLI (ITA/Alessio) 4:43:57
2. Leonardo PIEPOLI (ITA/ibanesto.com) at 0:25
3. Alexander SHEFER (KAZ/Alessio) s.t.
4. Bingen FERNANDEZ (ESP/Cofidis) s.t.
5. Aitor OSA (ESP/ibanesto.com) s.t.
6. David MONCOUTIE (FRA/Cofidis) at 0:34
7. Fernando ESCARTIN (ESP/Coast) s.t.
8. Oscar SEVILLA (ESP/Kelme-Costa Blanca) s.t.
9. Juan Carlos DOMINGUEZ (ESP/Phonak) s.t.
10. Cédrid FRAGNIERE (SUI/Phonakoski) s.t.Overall after three stages:
1. Leonardo PIEPOLI (ITA/ibanesto.com) 12:29:58
2. Alexander SHEFER (KAZ/Alessio) at 0:29
3. Aitor OSA (ESP/ibanesto.com) at 0:32
4. Bingen FERNANDEZ (ESP/Cofidis) at 0:44
5. Juan Carlos DOMINGUEZ (ESP/Phonak) at 0:50
6. Oscar SEVILLA (ESP/Kelme-Costa Blanca) at 1:01
7. Fernando ESCARTIN (ESP/Coast) at 1:03
8. Cédric FRAGNIERE (SUI/Phonak) at 1:16
9. David MONCOUTIE (FRA/Cofidis) at 1:22
10. Mikel ZARRABEITIA (ESP/Once-Eroski) at 1:35
Fifth round of women’s World Cup on SundaySpain hosts the fifth round of the women’s World Cup on Sunday in Valladolid.The Dutch rider Mirjam Melchers comes in as the overall leader andJoane Somarriba will be the top Spanish rider. Racers will tacklea 35.2 km loop three times before a final 6 km finish loop around downtownValladolid. The course features three relatively short, but steep climbsevery lap. The finish is a up steep grade of 5 percent. Melchers took theoverall lead in the Fleche Wallone on Wednesday, won by the Italian FabianaLuperini. The sixth of the 9-race World Cup is in June in Montreal,Canada.Overall standings of the women’s World Cup after four events:
1. Mirjam Melchers (Ned) 158 points
2. Petra Rossner (G) 150
3. Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) 100
4. Fabiana Luperini (I) 75
5. Priska Doppmann (Swi) 70.EDS back on the bikeElectronic Data Systems, once the leading underwriter of USA Cycling,is now the main sponsor of Denmark’s Team Fakta.The 40-year-old information-technology company, based in Plano, Texas,got more than 40 percent of its $21.5 billion in revenue from outside theUnited States in 2001. As title sponsor of the Division 2 Danish squad,EDS gets its logo on the riders’ shorts but its name right up front – EDS-TeamFakta.“We have for a long time been searching for a big sponsor that couldbring us the resources necessary for advancement to the first division,”said team manager Peter Sejer Nielsen in a release on the team’s Web site.“Now we will have an economic stability for the rest of the seasonand will be able to strengthen the team by signing new riders forthe next season.”EDS-Team Fakta will have a budget of $2 million to $3 million annuallyand hopes to add a couple of big names to the roster, which currently includesAussie Scott Sunderland; Swedes Marcus Ljungqvist and Magnus Backstedt;Norwegians Kurt-Asle Arvesen and Björnar Vestöl; Belgian ManuL’Hoir; German Roberto Lochowski; and Danes Allan Bo Andresen, Lars YttingBak , René Joergensen, Allan Johansen, Lennie Kristensen, JorgenBo Petersen, Jacob Moe Rasmussen, Michael Skelde and Morten Sonne.Expect to see those brand-new EDS shorts in action later this monthin the Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen, the GP de Denain and the Amstel Gold Race.‘El Chava’ on the mendJose Maria Jimenez, ibanesto.com’s troubled star, seems to beon the mend. The climbing specialist seems to be recovering from the depressionthat has kept him off the bike for months and even had the Spanish starconsidering retirement.“El Chava,” during a recent interview on Spanish radio, said he’s feelingbetter and has a lot of motivation to return even though he admitted, “I’vegone through a bad time, but thanks to Go and all the fans, I can believeI can return to racing.” He even went on his first training ride in weeks,he said.He says his troubles started at the team’s training camp in Esteponain January.“I could tell I was worse than my teammates and when I wanted to trainto be at their level, I couldn’t. The more I forced it, the worse it got.Later, I started to note a physical and mental fatigue and when it wasover I was in bed crying. I spent two months closed up in my house withouteven opening the windows. It was horrible. I have to thank my girlfriend,who was there with me every moment. I called Eusebio (Unzue, Banesto’ssport director) and told him I wanted to give up. I have to thank them,him and the team, because they really respected me and helped me.”Now Jimenez says he’s ready to race and hopes to get back to his winningform at last year’s Vuelta a Espana when he won three stages and the bestclimber’s jersey.“In one month I will be racing again. I have lost two months of my lifeand I have made people suffer, but now it’s time to forget and move forward,”he said. “I received more than 3,000 messages by e-mail from fans. NowI am obliged to give something back to the fans.”
Veenendaal-Veenendaal race, Wednesday, Holland:The Dutch rider Bobbie Traksel (Rabobank) won Wednesday’s 209 km Veenendaal-Veenendaalrace in Holland, finishing ahead of fellow Dutchman Bart Voskamp and theAustralian Robbie McEwen.Results:
1. Bobbie Traksel (Ned), Rabobank, 4 hours, 52 minutes, 21 seconds
2. Bart Voskamp (Ned), Bankgiroloterif, same time
3. Robbie McEwen (Aus), Lotto, s.t.
4. Remco van der Ven (Ned), Bankgiroloterif, s.t.
5. Bjorn Leukemans (B), Palmans, s.t.
6. Max van Heeswijk (Ned), Domo, s.t.
7. Michel Van Haecke (B), Landbouwokrediet, s.t.
8. Ronald Mutsaars (Ned), Rabobank, s.t.
9. Karsten Kroon (Ned), Rabobank, s.t.
10. Bram Schmitz (Ned), Bankgiroloterif , at 4 seconds