The Week That Was...

News & Results

10/12/2004| 0 comments
by Ian Melvin

The Week That Was...

Ian comments on the happenings in the world of cycling.

As if this guy hasn?t taken up enough of my column inches in recent weeks, Spaniard Alejandro Valverde still seems unable to find himself a new home for 2005.  Recent reports suggested that he was due to sign for Saunier Duval however this now appears unlikely, primarily due to the 2 million Euro buy-out clause in his Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme contract.  Illes Balears now lead the chase for Valverde where he will replace Denis Menchov who will line up next year for the Rabobank team after they themselves were unable to find the financial resources to secure the services of the Spaniard. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>


Another Spaniard on the move appears to be Fassa Bortolo?s Aitor Gonzalez according to the Spanish sports daily AS.  Gonzalez is expected to sign for Euskaltel-Euskadi who are resigned to losing the services of Gorka Arrizabalaga and David Etxebarria, the later moving to join his former ONCE Director, Manolo Saiz, at Liberty Seguros.


It doesn?t just appear to be the Spanish riders on the move either... Having guided Oscar Freire to his third World Championships victory in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
, national coach Paco Antequera is considering moving into management of a professional team.  Under his guidance,
has won four gold medals at the World Championships, three for Freire and one for Igor Astorloa.  Antequera commented on that, ?I don?t know what I?m going to do yet.  First I?ll enjoy this gold medal, and then in the next few days I will decide on my future.  There are a lot of possibilities.?


After another successful season riding for the US Postal Service team, Canadian Michael Barry has signed a two-year extension to ride for the new Discovery Channel team as from next year.


Following the recent Davide Rebellin-Argentina debacle, Italian Gilberto Simoni has threatened to take out an Austrian passport after being over looked by Franco Ballerini for the Squadra Azzurra at the recent World Championships.  Simoni, who was convincingly beaten in this years Giro by his younger Saeco team-mate Damiano Cunego, has already met with the Austrian Federation?s President, Otto Flum, in
, the day before the Men?s road race.  Austrian newspaper Der Standard quoted Flum as saying that, ?Simoni has a lot to give Austrian cycling.  But we not only want him to start for our country at the next World Championships; he should also become an active member of our cycling scene.?


After surviving the early season ?Gaumont affair?, only to be rocked again in July with the news that team leader David Millar, had admitted EPO use, it has come as some surprise to hear Cofidis director, Francois Migraine, telling the news agency AFP that they will be staying in cycling throughout 2005 and beyond.  The source of their renewed enthusiasm is equally as surprising as the news itself ­ the new UCI Pro Tour.  Migraine said that, ?If we?re going to take part in the Pro Tour, it?s not just to be in it for a year.  The only thing that will force us out would be revelations from the


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