Posted by Editoress on 08/29/02
Gossip and Rumours From Kaprun
- Canadian cross-country rider Sandra Walter crashed this morning on one of the downhills, bruising her calf. More seriously, she broke her bike frame when the handlebars swung around and the shifter pod smacked into the top tube. Physically, she should be fine to race on Sunday, but the rush is on to find her a bike to ride.
- As mentioned previously, all bikes have finally arrived (and so has Geoff Kabush's luggage). All riders are here now except Chris Sheppard, who has touched down in Frankfurt, and should be in Kaprun sometime later today.
- it is contract time, and rumours are floating everywhere. T-Mobile is making a huge push, and Roland Green confirmed that they have approached him. "Whoever wins on Sunday, they will make a big effort to sign them." The T-Mobile team this year was primarily German, but through their partners Voicestream in the U.S. there are potential plans to build a new super team. Voicestream is said to be interested in both cross-country and downhill, and with the pull out of Volvo, there might be some a chance at a high calibre rider like Anne-Caroline Chausson. The team is still under discussion, but Voicestream is said to be seriously interested.
A new Dutch team will be launched for next year: Heydens Textiels, with American Eagle as a sub-sponsor. Already signed (so the gossip goes) is Bas Van Dooren and espoir Erwin Bakker. Corinne Dorland is a strong possibility, as is Bernadine Boog. Four other riders will also be signed.
Be-One is said to be downsizing for next year, as is Giant. But Giant will be keeping Bart Brentjens through the next Olympics. Brentjens is not having a good lead-up to the cross-country. While training last Sunday on his local course, he crashed hard, bruising his ribs and face. Apparently, local hikers who object to mountain bikers on the trails dragged a log across the course and he hit it on a downhill.
- Paola Pezzo is due to become a mother in November, we are told.
- Training on the downhill course is going well, and most riders consider it to be an excellent course. Very technical at the top, with lots of roots, and scary fast at the bottom, so it doesn't favour one style of rider over another. Downhill seeding runs are this afternoon.
- Roland Green feels that the cross-country will all come down to climbing. "You can take chances on the downhills, but you won't gain much time and could lose a lot. It will be the climbs that will decide it."
- Miguel Martinez rumours persist, but still no one can reliably admit to having seen him. The French manager says that he will start on Sunday, and his contract with Full Dynamics requires it, but we will see.
- The UCI was out bloodtesting again, and found another rider 'unfit for racing'. They tested 44 riders from Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Netherlands and Mexico. The unfit rider was Laura Turpyn of the Netherlands.
- The weather seems to be falling into a pattern: rain at night, then cloudy in the early morning and the sun coming out around lunchtime. This means slippery for the morning events and dried up for the afternoon.
- Today the only activity is training for the cross-country, and seeding runs for the downhillers. We will bring you results of the seeding runs as they become available.
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