Week in cycling: Davis Phinney diagnosed with Parkinsons disease

Marty Jemison has made dissapointment of his Tour de France snub public  Credit: Pascal Rondeu/Allsport
Davis Phinney, Americas winningest road racer, has been preliminarily diagnosed with Parkinsons disease, according to a report by Velonews.

Phinney had complained of muscular rigidity and tremoring symptoms. Phinney said that he experienced numbness in his foot while running and minor trembling, which he described as "the caffeine shakes."

Although the root cause of Parkinson's is still unknown, the disease is highly treatable in its early stages.

Phinney, who raced for 18 years with powerhouse U.S. teams such as 7-Eleven and Coors Light, won more than 100 races as a professional. A sprinter, Phinney won two stages of the Tour de France, the USPRO Championship title in 1991; the 1983 USPRO Criterium Championship and an Olympic bronze medal in the team time trial at the 1984 Olympics.

Now working as a race commentator for Outdoor Life Network, Phinney bowed out of the coverage team for this years Giro dItalia. His place was filled by a former teammate, Ron Kiefal. Television and Hollywood actor Michael J. Fox also recently announced that he has Parkinsons disease.

"I guess it's a guy thing," Phinney told Velonews. "You don't always go to the doctor to check things out when you should."

Two down, two to go

Gord Fraser (Mercury) and Nicole Reinhart (Saturn) loped to easy sprint victories in the second round of the BMC Software Grand Prix, and the grand prize of $250,000 each — if they win the next two races in the series.

On the 1.8-mile course, which started in front of BMC Software headquarters outside of Houston and finished with five short loops through downtown, the Mercury (mens) and Saturn (womens) teams knew what they had to do keep things firmly in control to deliver their sprinters to the line.

In the 90-mile mens race, an early two-man break which included Mexican rider Jose Garcia (Tecos) and Will Frischkorn (Mercury) stayed away long enough to gain 1:50 on the pack, but ultimately didnt have a chance on the flat course.

When the peloton eventually scooped up the breakaway, no less than seven Mercury riders were there to usher Fraser to the line ahead of a strong Shaklee squad, who placed the next two riders on the podium. Fraser will join the European Mercury team for the tours of Luxembourg and Switzerland in June.

The Saturn womens team used three riders to lead out the 24-year-old Reinhart to the line, ahead of a challenge from the AutoTrader.com and Elita sprinters, giving the young sprinter just enough time to raise her arms in a victory salute.

Round three of the BMC Software tour is June 24 in San Jose, Calif.

BMC Software Tour of Houston


1. Gord Fraser (Can), Mercury
2. Graeme Miller (NZ), Shaklee
3. Dave McCook, Shaklee
4. Antonio Cruz, Saturn
5. Vasily Davidenko (Rus), Navigators


1. Nicole Reinhart, Saturn
2. Tina Mayolo, AutoTrader.com
3. Sarah Ulmer (NZ), Elita
4. Shannon Hutchison, AutoTrader.com
5. Laura Van Gilder, Charles Schwab

Marty Jemison still smarting from Tour snub

USPRO champion Marty Jemison (U.S. Postal Service) still wonders why he wasnt selected for the winning Tour de France team last year.

After winning the USPRO championship in June, faithfully backing up Lance Armstrong the year before in his return to racing success, and finishing 48th at the 1998 Tour de France, Jemison thought he was a lock for the nine-man squad.

But new team manager Johan Bruyneel didnt pick him — a huge disappointment, especially considering Armstrong would go on to win the race. Riding as a domestique for Armstrong would have been an honor, one that 34-year-old veteran Jemison not only expected, but also wanted to fulfill.

In recent interviews with Velonews and Cycle Sport, Jemison made public his disappointment that he wasnt selected for the team.

Excuse the expression, but shit happens, I believe there was a communication problem, and Johan, as a new director, had a lot to do in those first five months, and I dont believe he really knew me, Jemison told Cycle Sport. I dont believe he truly knew my capabilities, my history, my results.

After a late start as a pro in 1994, Jemison has steadily improved, and believes his best races are still ahead of him. But despite his stars-and-stripes jersey as the top American in 1999, Jemison thinks his real strength lies in helping others win.

To have Lance as a leader, to be able to work for someone like that, is fine by me," he said. "Im a strong all-rounder and I absolutely love working as a domestique. I find it immensely satisfying.

As Armstrong and the U.S. Postal Service team roared to victory in France last July, Jemison was left to ride in Oregons Cascade Classic, a minor race in the world of professional racing. His prestigious stars-and-stripes national championship jersey stuck out like a sore thumb, and the bandages from a nasty crash made him look even more out of place.

This year, Jemison has ridden well for U.S. Postal; his four-hour breakaway at Paris-Roubaix in support of George Hincapie was a shining example of his willingness and ability to ride strong for another rider. If he again wins the U.S. title in Philadelphia on June 3, it will be hard for Bruyneel to deny Jemison a spot on the U.S. Postal Tour team.

Holden, Sbeih win U.S. TT titles, Olympic trials road race next

Mari Holden and Adham Sbeih claimed national championships in the time trial at Jackson, Miss., May 18.

A five-time national champion in the time trial, Holden claimed her third consecutive title on a hot and windy course. Holden is on the Olympic Cycling long team, and stands a good chance of winning a berth for Sydney given that only three riders qualify, and two of them must be strong in the time trial. The U.S. womens team will be announced in July.

"I think I showed the selection group I can be a good time trialist, Holden said, after beating second-place Karen Kurreck by over one minute. I feel I have helped my chances to make the Olympic team, but there are still several races to go until they determine the team.

Sbeihs (Navigators) win over the 40-kilometer course was his first national title.

"I've worked so hard for this," he said. "It's been my focus for the entire season and it really is a thrill to be standing on the top-step of the podium as national champion."

"I ran a fixed-gear, which was nerve-wrecking, but also helped me to win this race. The wind made it more interesting. After deciding to concentrate on the individual time trial (road) and individual pursuit (track), I feel more confident about my abilities.

The U.S. Olympic road cycling trials for men (137 miles) and women (64 miles) take place May 20. For the men, an automatic Olympic berth goes to the winner. The womens winner isnt guaranteed a spot, but will garner a lot of attention from the coaches. (The U.S. road race national championships will be decided June 3 at the USPRO Championships race in Philadelphia.)

The mostly flat, eight-mile Jackson course loops through residential neighborhoods, with a short rise just before the finish. Without a demanding course, the hot and humid weather will likely be a deciding factor. U.S. Postal Service, Mercury and Saturn trade teams will all be represented at the race.



1. Mari Holden, Colorado Springs, Colo., Timex, 54 minutes, 24.66 seconds
2. Karen Kurreck, Los Altos Hills, Calif., Alto Velo, 55:55.61
3. Pam Schuster, Northridge, Calif., autotrader.com, 56:28.79
4. Dede Demet-Barry, Boulder, Colo., Saturn, 56:49.26 5. Elizabeth Emery, Albuquerque, N.M., Charles Schwab, 57:39.56
6. Tina Mayolo, Buford, Ga., autotrader.com, 57:59.43
7. Kimberley Bruckner, Boulder, Colo., autotrader.com, 58:01.96
8. Heather Albert, Pleasant Grove, Utah, Charles Schwab, 58:03.15
9. Julie Hanson, Superior, Colo., Saturn, 58:56.80
10. Susan Laoretti, Florida Outdoors, 59:00.82


1. Adham Sbeih, Granite Bay, Calif., Navigators, 49:56.54
2. John Lieswyn, Asheville, N.C., Shaklee, 50:06.37
3. Steve Hegg, Del Mar, Calif., Jelly Belly, 50:11.18
4. Cameron Williams, Tucson, Ariz., Nutra-Fig, 50:46.72
5. John Kelly, Martinez, Calif., Kissena, 51:37.14
6. Eddy Gragus, Fort Collins, Colo., Jelly Belly, 51:55.35
7. Scottie Weiss, Radford, Va., Zaxby's, 51:58.96
8. Chris Pic, Dahlonega, Ga., Mercury, 51:59.34
9. Will Frischkorn, Colorado Springs, Colo., Mercury, 52:12.04
10. Trent Klasna, Pine Valley, Calif., Saturn, 52:15.69

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