By Andrew Hood
There was good news coming from Australia as Navigators reported that Henk Vogels took his first ride since his near-fatal crash June 29. Vogels was seriously injured in a high-speed crash in the third stage of the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic.
The team was relieved to report that the 30-year-old Australian was able to ride for 30km in a very light gear, with the objective of increasing range of motion and circulation. Vogels told team director Ed Beamon, “it really hurt and it’s good to be back on the bike.”
No word yet on if or when Vogels will be able to race again, but the team reported: “We’re all happy to hear that he is back on his bike, and expect that his progress will continue until he is back to his winning ways.”
Bartoli, Hoj and Gusev sign with CSC
Classics man Michele Bartoli has a new home for two years after signing on to join Bjarne Riis’s Team CSC. The team also penned deals with Danish classics specialist Frank Hoj and Russian Vladimir Gusev.
Bartoli, a two-time winner of the World Cup, rode for the past two seasons with Fassa Bortolo, but was once again left off the Italian road world championship team.
Despite his reputation as being a sometimes-mercurial rider, Riis was enthusiastic about the Bartoli’s arrival.
“Bartoli is at the absolute top of the sport. He is perhaps the best classics rider of his generation and one of the greatest one-day riders of all time,” Riis said on the team’s web page.
Bartoli’s lengthy résumé includes six World Cup victories, including two in Liége-Bastogne-Liége as well as wins at the Tour of Flanders, Amstel Gold Race, Giro di Lombardia and Meisterschaft von Zürich. He’s also won such races as Het Volk, Giro d’Emilia, Rund um Den Henninger Turm and Fléche Wallonne as well as stages in the Giro d’Italia.
Joining Bartoli will be Hoj, a Dane who also shines in the one-day classics.
“Frank will be an interesting addition to the team and I’m looking forward to seeing his potential in the cobblestone races. He’s a good rider and he still has a lot of potential,” Riis said.
Riis has also hand-picked the 22-year-old Gusev, who will make his professional debut with Team CSC.
“It’s always very interesting to take some of the young riders in. Gusev has a natural talent for cycling and he can go far in this sport,” Riis said. “Obviously, he is also here to learn and we will provide him with the proper conditions to do so.”
Banesto confirms it’s over
Spanish cycling team iBanesto.com, one of the most successful over the past two decades, will disappear next season because they cannot find a sponsor, a team spokesman told Reuters on Friday.
Spanish bank Banesto, who have funded the team since 1990, has decided to end its involvement next season and team chief Jose-Miguel Echavarri was forced to call it quits after more than 20 years in the sport.
Echavarri’s outfit, sponsored by Reynolds before Banesto stepped in, won the Tour de France six times, once with Pedro Delgado in 1987 and five times with Miguel Indurain between 1991 and 1995.
Hopes were raised last month when the Balearic Islands expressed interest in taking over the team to promote tourism on the condition that Echavarri recruited German Jan Ullrich, but the 1997 Tour de France winner returned to German team Telekom.
As a result, most of the riders announced they were moving to other teams. Spaniards Unai and Aitor Osa joined Euskaltel, Juan-Miguel Mercado was transferred to Belgium’s Quick Step, while Russian Evgeni Petrov signed for Italian team Saeco.
Jeanson should know results later this week
Test results from urine samples taken from Canadian cyclist Genevieve Jeanson should be back later this week, the Canadian AP reported.
Jeanson, 22, was not allowed to start the women’s road race world championships Saturday in front of the hometown crowd after blood tests revealed high red blood cell count and the UCI declared her unfit to race.
Jeanson held an emotional press conference to deny any wrong-doing and suggested her use of a hypoxic tent to increase her stamina was responsible for the high red-cell count.
Urine samples were delivered to a lab in Lausanne, Switzerland to determine whether there’s evidence of performance enhancing substances in her body. Test results are usually known within four days of arriving at the lab.
The UCI does not publicly announce findings of such lab tests and instead informs the rider and the association in the rider’s country. If the test is positive, the home association has one month to decide what sanction should be imposed on its rider. It informs the UCI, and the UCI then has one month to agree or disagree with the extent of the sanction. If the UCI is in disagreement, the case goes to the Court of Arbitration of Sport in Lausanne to be resolved.
The typical suspension for a positive result indicating a banned substance is two years, so an athlete testing positive now would effectively be ineligible for the 2004 Athens Olympics.
“It is very important to stress that this is not a positive doping test but rather a situation where a rider has been declared unfit to ride,” said Bill Kinash, president of the Canadian Cycling Association.
Jeanson rose to prominence on the international cycling scene in 1999 when she won the world junior road race and time trial titles. She was 11th in the women’s road race at the 2000 Olympics. She races professionally for the Rona team. She won a World Cup race in Montreal in May and she won the Canadian championship on this same course in June.