Road

Thursday’s EuroFile: Wesse’ of Wild West; Lance plans for Portugal; Astarloa aims higher

This year, German classics man Steffen Wesemann turned from Australia to Arizona for his winter training home base and he's glad he did.“I never had such good training conditions before,” Wesemann said on the T-Mobile web page. “The climb to Mount Lemon is hard and the view from the top is amazing.”Wesemann has hit the roads of Australia for the past three years, but chose Arizona to “try something new,” for his lead-in to team camp on the Spanish island of Mallorca. The 2002 Paris-Roubaix runner-up put in 4000 kilometers and usually joined up with American pros “so we were never less than

By Andrew Hood

This year, German classics man Steffen Wesemann turned from Australia to Arizona for his winter training home base and he’s glad he did.“I never had such good training conditions before,” Wesemann said on the T-Mobile web page. “The climb to Mount Lemon is hard and the view from the top is amazing.”Wesemann has hit the roads of Australia for the past three years, but chose Arizona to “try something new,” for his lead-in to team camp on the Spanish island of Mallorca. The 2002 Paris-Roubaix runner-up put in 4000 kilometers and usually joined up with American pros “so we were never less than three people. This made it extremely effective and not just fun.”Wesemann has his eyes set on winning one of the spring classics. Meanwhile, Jan Ullrich and the other T-Mobiles are heading to Mallorca for more training. A team presentation is set for Jan. 19 and several riders will then head to the Tour of Qatar (February 2-6) while the remainder will stay on Mallorca and then race in the Mallorca Trophy series (Feb. 1-5).The 1997 Tour de France champion is expected to make his season debutreturn to Spain for the Tour of Murcia in early March.Armstrong set to start season in Portugal
Five-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong was scheduled to kickoff his 2004 season by racing in the Algarve Tour from February 18-22,it was reported Thursday.The Texan’s U.S. Postal team has yet to announce its 2004 schedule butthe sports daily Record said organizers would confirm his entrynext week after agreeing to include a 20km time trial in the race.Raising the Bannière rouge
Brioches La Boulangere was showing off its new team colors in a teampresentation this week in Herbiers near the company’s headquarters andwill ride with all-red jerseys. The French team has big ambitions and boastthe presence of 2002 Tour de France runner-up Joseba Beloki and two otherSpanish compatriots.“Our ambition is to be among the top 10 best teams in the world,” team manager Philippe Raimbaud told L’Equipe.With Beloki’s arrival, the Tour will be the team’s top goal and planstraining camps in late May in the Alps and early June in the Pyrenees toreconnoiter the key mountain stages.“Contrary to appearances, Beloki’s arrival isn’t a big change. We are always striving to be better and Beloki’s arrival is just an acceleration of that,” said team manager Jean-René Bernaudeau.Astarloa aims for … well, everything
Newly crowned world champion Igor Astarloa admits he’s not like AlessandroPetacchi “who can win 30 races a year” nor “as fast as” compatriot OscarFreire, but that isn’t stopping the Cofidis rider from thinking big forthe 2004 season.“It’s an Olympic year and the Games, along with the world championships, are a dream for all,” Astarloa told the Spanish daily MARCA. “And the same thing for some of the classics.”Astarloa will join his Cofidis teammates in a training camp later this month and begin preparations for an assault on the spring classics and defending his title at Fleche Wallone.Mas leaves Kelme, UCI decides fate today
Kelme manager Joan Mas resigned from the Spanish team this week afterdisagreement over who would control the long-running squad. Mas joinedKelme in 1992, but had a falling out with team boss Jose Quiles and othersponsors who wanted to impose an outside administrator to help manage theteam’s finances.The team is on the UCI’s “pending list” for unresolved issues before cycling’s governing body would bestow Division I status. Kelme’s fate could be resolved as soon as Thursday as a UCI deadline expires.Kelme was among five first division teams (Fassa Bortolo, Alessio, DominaVacanze, Milaneza and U.S. Postal Service) on the UCI’s “pending list”when the first division teams were announced last month. Fassa Bortolohas since been given the green light and the remaining teams had untiltoday to resolve issues or face Division II status for the upcoming season.The 26 teams with D1 status include: Euskaltel-Euskadi, Islas Baleares,Seguros Liberty, Saunier Duval (Spanish); Gerolsteiner, T Mobile (German);Landbouwkredit, Lotto, Chocolade Jacques, Quick Step (Belgian); CSC (Danish);Ag2r, La Boulangere, Cofidis, Credit Agricole, Fdjeux.com, RAGT (French);Rabobank, Bankgiroloterij (Dutch); Phonak (Swiss); Fassa Bortolo, Lampre,De Nardi, Saeco and Vini Caldirola (Italian).Quick Step confirms Ruta team
Quick Step-Davitamon has confirmed that Johan Museeuw will use theRuta del Sol (Feb. 15-19) as a warm-up for what will be the “Lion of Flanders”last run at the spring classics.Museeuw said he’ll retire after this season and wants raise his numberof wins from 97 to 100 before hanging up the cleats. Joining Museeuw forthe Spanish race are José Antonio Pecharromán, JoséAntonio Garrido, Pedro Horrillo, Juan Miguel Mercado, Tom Boonen, WilfriedCretskens and Jurgen Van Goolen.TGH test clean from Salt Lake
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) revealed Wednesday that re-testingof the samples collected during the XIX Olympic Winter Games in Salt LakeCity showed no trace of the anabolic steroid tetrahydrogestrinone (THG),the new designer drug revealed in October last year.The decision to re-test the samples was made by the IOC Executive Boardon Dec. 4 based on advice from experts, who confirmed that it was legallyand scientifically possible to do so.These findings back up the results obtained by the International Associationof Athletics Federations (IAAF), the International Swimming Federation(FINA), the International Rowing Federation (FISA) and the InternationalTennis Federation (ITF) following the re-testing of samples from previouscompetitions.”These scientific findings are reassuring and confirm my initial gutfeeling that THG was used on a limited scale”, said the IOC President JacquesRogge. “Nevertheless, the IOC will remain vigilant and will continue todeploy all means and resources to fight against doping.”
(copyright AFP2004)