DOMO AND MERCKX APPROACHING A SPONSOR FOR VIRENQUE
Belgian team Domo Farm-Frites, which has extended for two years the contract with Frenchman Richard Virenque, is in conversations with a sponsor to assist them in paying the salary of the rider. As soon as Virenque signed with Domo, Eddy Merckx started to look for a sponsor who would cover the amount. Merckx is also interested in helping Domo, because the team rides Eddy Merckx bicycles.
PASCUAL EXTENDS CONTRACT
Spaniard Javier Pascual Llorente has reached an agreement with Team Kelme to increase his contract until the year 2003. Pascual Llorente, who has ridden for Kelme for the last four years, will retain the same calendar as last season, which is mostly a Spanish calendar. Javier Pascual has been a pro since 1996, when he rode for Santa Clara and then signed with Kelme in 1998.
The winner of the women's Tour de France and Giro d'Italia, Spaniard Joane Somarriba, has stated that she is very upset and saddened by her situation. She also feels that she has been discriminated because she's a woman. "With all that we sacrifice to achieve success, it doesn't seem normal that at this point I'm still without a team and that nobody in Spain wants to put together a women's team". Somarriba feels that she and Dory Ruano could contribute a lot of experience and help young Spanish riders. She added that when "when one wins, everybody wants to take photos and make promises, but nobody has come through with their promises".
COPPI GETS A MONUMENT
Legenday Italian champion Fausto Coppi, who died in 1959, will have a great monument in his memory, which will be inaugurated on June 18,
2002 in the city of Torino. "Il Campeonissimo", considered the best Italian cyclist of all time, will be honored with a 10 meter bronze statue. Coppi passed away on 1959, when he returned sick from a safari in Africa. He was stung by an insect and didn't get the antidote in time, which cost him his life.
AUSTRALIA AND MALAYSIA THE FIRST RACING IN 2002
The first race of the 2002 season will be in Venezuela from January 12 to 24. There at the Vuelta a Tachira, Team Colombia - Selle Italia, the team of Gianni Savio will be present with their captains Fredy Gonzalez and Andris Nauduzs.
The Tour Down Under will be raced in Australia in the Adelaide region from January 15 to 20. This six-stage race attracts European teams: Credit Agricole (O'Grady, Jenner & Vaughters), CSC-Tiscali (Pijl, Hoffmann & Dean), Mapei-Quick Step (Nardello, Evans & Tafi), Deutsche Telekom (Wesemann, Hondo & Klöden), Lotto, Saeco-Longoni (Sacchi & Astarloa), Française des Jeux (McGee & Cooke), Domo Farm Frites and Ag2R (Kirsipuu & Aus). The start list will be completed from three home teams: United Water and representatives from the University of South Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport.
The Tour of Langkawi will be raced in Malaysia from February 1 to 10 and it is a 2.3 category race. Five Europeans teams will take part in the race: Mapei Quick Step, Acqua & Sapone, Panaria-Fiordo, Mobilvetta and Alexia.
ULLRICH'S SERIOUS WINTER
Jan Ullrich has taken his winter preparation more seriously than ever. Or at least his team has decided to keep a closer eye on him and has prepared a tight calendar to keep hoim active and prevent him from having his eternal problem, gaining weight in the off season. Ullrich already began training on November 10 and already spent from November 21 to 28 in a skiing resort combining Cross Country Skiing and gym work. A day later he entered the team meeting in Tegernse, where he remained until Monday. On Wednesday he left for South Africa, where he usually does his winter preparation, where he will train on his bike, taking advantage of the warm temperatures, until the December 24. His only rest will be Christmas and then on January 7 he will travel to Mallorca to have a team concentration until the start of the Vuelta a Mallorca (February 3 to 7). Although it is possible that he may go back to South Africa before the Vuelta a Mallorca.
+ NEWS CLIPPINGS
Australians take on world
By MICHAEL STEVENS (Herald Sun, Melbourne)
TOUR of Italy stage winner David McKenzie will spearhead Australia's newest professional trade cycling team.
The team, to be known as iteamNOVA.com, will have a budget of $2.5 million and, in a unique concept, its major supporters will be members of the public who buy memberships through its Internet site. The brainchild of McKenzie's wife, Susan Stewart, iteamNOVA.com already has the support of the Australian Sports Commission and Australian Institute of Sport.
Cycling Australia head coach Shayne Bannan also endorsed the team at its official launch at Crown casino yesterday.
Former English champion Sean Yates will be the team's director in Europe.
Cycling legend Phil Anderson, who wore the leader's yellow jersey in the Tour de France 11 times, will be the team's patron and fill Yates' role in Australia.
Another patron will be the doyen of cycling commentators, Phil Liggett.
Apart from McKenzie, other members of the Australian-registered and Belgium-based team are Victorians Jamie Drew, Allan Iacuone and Brett
Lancaster and Trent Wilson, from NSW.
Overseas members include Scott Guyton (New Zealand), Russell Downing (Great Britain) and Dominique Perras (Canada).
Born from the demise of the Linda McCartney team, of which McKenzie, 27, was a member, iteamNOVA.com will initially be a category 3 team.
"Our goal between three and five years is to be at the Tour (de France) and we will always be an Australian-registered team," McKenzie said.
"Every rider and the management and support staff believe in the concept and we're going for it, and we've got the sponsors to get us to the start line.
"I've used my seven years experience to get the team happening, and I've contacted Sean Yates, because I worked with him for two years and he was a great asset at McCartneys."
McKenzie said the team's first outing would be the Bay Cycling Classic in early January, followed by the national championships in Ballarat and the Tour of Malaysia in February.
"We really want to go to Europe with the green and gold jersey on the back of one of our riders," he said.
"People don't realise how big it is to have a national champion in your team in Europe, the Europeans look at it as such a big deal."
Stewart said he came up with the membership concept while waiting for McKenzie in Switzerland.
"David had driven 17 hours to Poland for a race only to find they weren't racing," she said.
"My total concern was that if one major sponsor falls over the whole team infrastructure falls down, so all I was thinking about was building a wider base of support.
"Sean (Yates) brings a lot of credibility to the team on an international level and that's important for us because we have to be perceived as a global team."
Australian Sports Commission chairman Peter Bartels said the team was a significant step for cycling and an outstanding initiative.
This is the team's official website: http://iteamnova.com/
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