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By VeloNews Interactive
Dutch sprint specialist and four-time Tour de France stage winner Jeroen Blijlevens signed a one-year contract with the Belgian Domo-Farm Frites squad on Friday. The 29-year-old, whose name means ‘good life’, has had two dreadful seasons and failed to add to his 73 career wins at all this past season, riding for Lotto. Blijlevens, who also has four career stage wins in the Tour of Spain, barely did better than that in the 2000 campaign chalking up two victories with Italian Polti team.
Blijlevens has also fallen foul of the sport’s authorities on more than one occasion. He was a member of the TVM team that withdrew from the drug-tainted 1998 Tour de France after they objected to a dawn raid by police on their hotel and being taken away to undergo tests.
The fiery Dutchman was also banned for a month earlier this year for striking American rider Bobby Julich upon the completion of the final stage of the 2000 Tour de France, from which he was disqualified.
Tyler’s bike on E-BayThe U.S. Postal Service Cycling team has placed two very collectable items on E-Bay on E-Bay in effort to raise funds for the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks.
The team is auctioning off a 2001 team jersey signed by Lance Armstrong, Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Christian Vande Velde, Dylan Casey and Frankie Andreu. As of Friday at noon Eastern time, the jersey had attracted 39 bids, driving the price up to $1250.
Bargain hunters may find Tyler Hamilton’s 54 centimeter OCLV Carbon road bike a better deal. Currently priced at $3150 the Dura-Ace and Mavic-equipped carbon steed is much closer to retail that its Lycra counterpart in the auction.
Both auctions finish up on Monday and all proceeds will go to the American Red Cross, the Twin Towers Fund, the September 11 Fund and the New York City World Trade Center.
USCF National calendar grows in 2002
The U.S. Cycling Federation (USCF) released 2002 National Racing Calendar on Friday, adding four new venues to the country’s schedule of top road events. Entering its sixth year, the NRC includes a selection of top road events across the U.S. and serves as a national ranking system.
The schedule kicks off on the first weekend in March with the McLane Pacific Bicycle Classic in Merced, Calif. The 2002 schedule retains popular mainstays such as the Redlands (Calif.) Bicycle Classic, Mercury Sea Otter Classic (Monterey, Calif.), Tour of the Gila (N.M.) and the First Union Series (Pa.). First- year races in 2001, the hugely successful San Francisco Grand Prix, which attracted more than 350,000 spectators, and the 100-mile Housatonic Valley Classic, will be back on board next season and will be upgraded to a UCI event as well.
Pennsylvania’s classic stage race, the Tour de ‘Toona, has grown into a nine day event in 2002. Colorado’s grueling Saturn Cycling Classic and Idaho’s remarkable HP Women’s Challenge return next season, as well as the calendar’s espoir-only event, the Four Bridges of Elgin (Ill.). The NRC runs from early spring and ends with the season finale Michelin Classic October 12-13 in Greenville, SC.
Four new races highlight the calendar — Orlando’s Festival of Speed, theNYC Invitational, Atlanta’s U.S. 10K Classic and the Wine Country Classic inNapa, Calif. The Wine Country Classic has been on the NRC in the past and is reappearing in 2002.
2002 National Racing Calendar
March 2: McLane Pacific Downtown Grand Prix, Merced, CA
March 3: McLane Pacific Foothills Road Race, Merced, CA
March 9-10: Sequoia Cycling Classic, Sequoia, CA
March 12-17: Redlands Bicycle Classic, Redlands, CA
March 21-23: Mercury Sea Otter Classic, Monterey, CA
March 28-31: Solano Bicycle Classic, Solano Beach, CA
April 9-14: Tour of Willamette, Lane County, OR
April 13-14: Festival of Speed, Orlando, FL
April 20: First Charter Criterium, Shelby, N.C.
April 27: Xcelerate Twilight, Athens, GA
May 1-5: Tim Schoeny Tour of the Gila, Silver City, N.M.
May 19: Housatonic Valley Classic, Danbury, CN
May 27: Tour of Somerville, Somerville, NJ
June 1: Capital Cup, Arlington, VA
June 2: US Postal Service Clarendon Cup, Arlington, VA
June 4: First Union Invitational, Lancaster, PA
June 6: First Union Classic, Trenton, NJ
June 7: First Union Hill Climb, Manayunk, PA
June 8: NYC Women’s Sports Challenge, New York, NY
June 9: First Union USPRO Championships, Philadelphia, PA
June 9: First Union Liberty Classic Women’s World Cup, Philadelphia, PA
June 15-23: HP Laser Jet Women’s Challenge, Boise, Idaho
June 15-16: Nature Valley Grand Prix, Minneapolis, MN
June 27-30: Fitchburg Longsjo Classic, Boston, MS
June 27: Elite National Road Race, Redding, CA
June 29: Elite National Time Trial, Redding, CA
July 2-7: Wendy’s International Cycling Classic, Hilliard, OH
July 7: Four Bridges of Elgin, Elgin, IL
July 10-14: Cascade Cycling Classic, Bend, OR
July 27-Aug. 4: Tour de ‘Toona, Altoona, PA
Aug. 1: Espoir National Time Trial Championship, Clemson, SC
Aug. 2: Espoir National Road Race Championship, Clemson, SC
Aug. 4: NYC Invitational, New York, NY
Aug. 10: Saturn Cycling Classic, Breckenridge, CO
Aug. 11: Chevron Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, Manhattan Beach, CA
Aug. 18: USPRO Criterium Championships, Downers Grove, IL
Aug. 18: USCF Criterium Championships, Downers Grove, IL
Aug. 23-25: Hotter Than Hell Hundred, Wichita Falls, TX
Aug. 25: Chris Thater Memorial Criterium, Binghamton, NY
Aug. 31-Sept. 2: US 10K Classic, Atlanta, GA
Sept. 8: Mercury Cycling Classic of Irvine, Irvine, CA
Sept. 14: Univest Grand Prix, Souderton, PA
Sept. 14: San Rafael Cycling Classic, San Rafael, CA
Sept. 15: San Francisco Grand Prix, San Francisco, CA
Sept. 15: Bear Mountain Road Race, Harriman State Park, NY
Sept. 21-22: Wine Country Classic, Napa, CA
Sept. 28: International Cycling Invitational, Miami, FL
Sept. 29: The Great Coconut Grove Bicycle Race, Miami, FL
Oct. 4-6: CycleFest 2001, West Palm Beach, FL
Oct. 5: Mercy Celebrity Classic Criterium, Fort Smith, AR
Oct. 12-13: Michelin Classic, Greenville, SC.
Evans jumps to pavementAustralian cycling star Cadel Evans signed for the elite Mapei team on Friday.
The 24-year-old two-time mountain bike World Cup champion (1998 and ’99) has decided to concentrate solely on road racing.