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Tuesday news briefs: Marsal joins RONA; FIAC starts national series

Former world champion Catherine “Cathy” Marsal has signed with Geneviève Jeanson’s Rona squad for the 2003 season. The 31-year-old Marsal, who raced with Saturn in 2002, has made the world’s podium 10 times in her career beginning with the world junior road title she earned at 16 and the world junior pursuit champion at 17. Marsal became the world elite road race champion at 19 and was part of the world championship team time trial squad in 1991. Four times a member of the French Olympic team, she also won several of the most prestigious stage races in the world -- two Tours de l’Aude, one

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By VeloNews Interactive

Former world champion Catherine “Cathy” Marsal has signed with Geneviève Jeanson’s Rona squad for the 2003 season.

The 31-year-old Marsal, who raced with Saturn in 2002, has made the world’s podium 10 times in her career beginning with the world junior road title she earned at 16 and the world junior pursuit champion at 17. Marsal became the world elite road race champion at 19 and was part of the world championship team time trial squad in 1991. Four times a member of the French Olympic team, she also won several of the most prestigious stage races in the world — two Tours de l’Aude, one Giro d’Italia, one Grand Prix de la Mutualité, one Étoile Vosgienne, two Tours of Texas, one Tour of Norway, one Tour of the European Community. Marsal also held the world hour record in 1995, covering 47.112 kilometers in 60 minutes.

“Leaving Saturn was not an easy decision for me,” said Marsal. “Saturn is a great team. But RONA gives me an environment to fulfil myself as a competitive cyclist. André (Aubut, Team RONA’s manager) and I agreed that I can contribute to the team and still pursue personal goals. I’m very excited to have the opportunity to race with Geneviève. She’s an outstanding competitor; I think we’ll have a ball in the peloton!”

“Cathy is a fantastic addition to our team,” said Aubut. “She’s not only a strong rider and a versatile racer, but she brings racing experience that our young team still lacks. She’s been at the forefront for a dozen years; she knows both the European and the North American environments. It’s barely an overstatement to say that she’s more experienced than all the other RONA women added together! She’ll be a solid and reliable road captain, and her presence will benefit all the girls on the team.”

Beside Marsal and Jeanson, the 2003 Rona squad includes Karen Bockel (GER), Andrea Hannos (CAN), Melissa Holt (NZL), Geneviève Jeanson (CAN), Kristen LaSasso (USA) and Carrie Tuck (CAN).

FIAC establishes points system for ‘03
The Federation of Independent Associations for Cycling (FIAC) has announced the establishment of a National Points Series competition for the 2003 season, offering riders a shot at overall national titles in several categories.

Based on accumulated points, the NPS series will offer national titles to Elite Women, Elite Men, Senior 3 Men, Junior Men, and Master Men 35+. Race organizers who would like to have their events considered for inclusion are invited to read the NPS description at the organization’s web site. The deadline for submitting 2003 events is November 30, 2002.

So-Cal group joins FIAC
The Southern California-based California Bicycle Racing has joined the Federation of Independent Associations, the coalition of U.S. cycling associations that have broken away from USA Cycling.

There are now five such associations with a total of about 9000 individual members, each of whom has access to the events of all member associations. Other current associations are American Bicycle Racing (ABR, based in the Chicago area), American Cycling Association (ACA, based in Denver), Northern California-Nevada Cycling Association (NCNCA) and Oregon Bicycle Racing Association (OBRA).