The Week That Was...
Ian comments on the happenings in the world of cycling.
While the tabloids and rumour mills normally wait until at least the Tour de France, the wheels have already begun turning on the ?whose moving where at the end of the season? merry-go-round.
Belgian sources report that Italian Paolo Bettini is reported to have been offered a contract worth ?2 million to join the German T-Mobile squad. Il Grillo?s contract is due to expire at the end of 2006 and he is reported to be interested in again leading a spring campaign having, for the past two years, been pushed into second place behind Tom Boonen at his current team, Quick.Step. Team Director, Patrick Lef?v?re, is not thought to be able to match such an offer although the Germans are denying any truth in the story.
Disqualified Paris-Roubaix finishers Leif Hoste, Vladimir Gusev (both Discovery Channel) and Peter Van Petegem (Davitamon-Lotto) may yet have their finishing positions re-instated following a complaint lodged by the riders? respective team managers.
With just 15 km?s to go in the race, the three chose not to stop at a railway crossing as they chased eventual winner Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC). As a result of the commissaries decision on the day, Tom Boonen (Quick.Step), Alessandro Ballan (Lampre) and Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank) were promoted to 2 nd, 3 rd and 4 th place.
The UCI are apparently to hear the complaint from the team managers and the overall placing may yet change again.
In what many consider to be a fruitless task, the Discovery Channel team has launched a bid to discover the next Lance Armstrong, through a program launched last week, known as ?Race to Replace?
Lance Armstrong will be "the centrepiece of the campaign,? said a media release by the Discovery Channel. It went on to add that the program will ?include a major cycling event, exclusive online content and an extensive marketing and advertising campaign, lending his support to the team from the sidelines. Armstrong will also lend his vibrant image and brand to the campaign as it follows the journey to find the next team leader who will replace Armstrong and on to victory."
Billy Campbell, Chairman of the Discovery Channel added that, "Lance is entrenched in the success of the team and continues to be an inspiration and iconic hero both in the
Following last week?s crash in the Giro, Alessandro Petacchi has already undergone surgery on his broken knee cap, at the San Rossore Clinic in
The successful two hour operation was undertaken using just local anesthetic.
"The operation was more complicated than usual, but it seems all went very well," said Petacchi. "Being awake while operated on did have a certain effect on me - they talked to