The Week That Was...
Ian comments on the happenings in the world of cycling.
Storming over the 6.9km course around the city of Genova, Australian Brad McGee (FDJeux.com) raced to victory in the first stage of this years Giro d?Italia and the leader?s Maglia Rosa. Finishing a close second was German Olaf Pollack (Gerolsteiner). Pollack provided the first surprise of the race, finishing a close second behind Alessandro Pettachi (Fassa Bartollo) on the first road stage, forcing McGee to surrender the jersey across to the shoulders of the Gerolsteiner rider. Who will be there at the end of the three-week Italian adventure? Stay up to date with Roadcycling.com?s daily updates. Be sure to let us know if you feel like contributing content to the site. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
One rider missing from the Giro start line and stirring up his own countries press was former Belgian golden boy Frank Vandenbroucke (Fassa Bartolo). Following his no-show at his team?s pre-Giro presentation, his director sportif, Giancarlo Ferretti, was forced on to the defensive. ?Frank told me that he has bronchitis and fever. We are wanting to see how it develops. There is nothing further wrong with that.? He later added that ?it makes no sense to take him to the Giro,? before adding that, ?with me, Frank is behaving correctly. If I had any doubts, I would throw him out.? We?ll prepare to catch then Giancarlo!
One group of riders desperate to return to racing after their enforced absence is the Cofidis team. Team sponsor Francois Migraine said in a statement that the team departed ways with team-manager Alain Bondue and Doctor Jean-Jacques Menuet. In addition he also said that the team had initiated their own anti-doping measures to ensure a similar scenario can never happen again within the team. Migraine said that (Alain Bondue and Jean-Jacques Menuet decided that they could no longer exercise their responsibilities in ideal conditions and have asked to be released from their responsibilities. The team will be headed for the moment by director sportif, Francis Van Londersele. When questioned how recent events had affected the team?s riders, Van Londersele said that, ?the interruption only lasted 4 or 5 days. Our coaches encouraged them to stay in shape. Our riders are the heart of the team. They are keen to go racing and re-discover the spirit of the sport.?
Following his one-year suspension from the sport following his positive drugs test at last year?s Giro, Lithuanian rider Raimondas Rumsas now faces the threat of an international warrant for his arrest. The warrant has been issued by Franck Guesden, the Magistrate from Bonneville in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
The man behind the French Chocolade Jacques team, Noel Demeulenaere, has hinted that he is trying to create cycling?s next ?super-team?. Demeulenaere is trying to bring together brothers Jan and Luc De Clerck, part of the Beauvlieu group, and owners of Domo and