The Week That Was...
Ian comments on the happenings in the world of cycling.
Following the news last week of the launch of the first British Pro Team for a few years, news this week has reached us that they will be joined in the Pro ranks by this year?s leading British Amateur team, Recycling.co.uk-MG X-Power. Following an increased budget from the team?s two main sponsors, team Director Sportif Phil Leigh, has been able to apply for a UCI Continental Team licence for 2005. The roster will increase from 5 to 10 riders next year. The team has already been guaranteed a start in next years Tour of Britain in addition to a host of other European races. The teams focus will however remain the British Premiere Calender and Elite Criterium Series. <?xml:namespace prefix = o /?>
In an interview with Sportwereld.be, former King of the Classics, Johan Museeuw, has outlined his future plans now he is firmly established in the role of Assistant Director Sportif at his former team, Quick.Step-Davitamon. Museeuw said that the team's current Director, Patrick Lefevre has said, ?over the next two or three years he will take over my job.? Museeuw added that, ?meanwhile I get the chance to work up to it, but there?s no rush.? Ah, if only it were that easy Johan?
After a 15 year career at the top of the sport, Australian Scott <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 /?>
Confusion reigned last week surrounding the possible future of Former World Champion, Romans Vainsteins. Latvian daily, Diena, announced that the Lampre rider had been unable to find a Pro Tour team willing to take him on/pay his salary demands for the 2005 season and that as a result, Vainsteins had decided to hang up his lycra in exchange for a more secure position in the furniture trade working alongside his brother. The following day, the 31 year old sprinter issued a statement insisting that, "I haven't signed a professional Pro Tour contract for the moment for next year, but I will still race with all my passion and with my heart. I wish to reach the same professional results that I achieved up to now. I have full trust in the Pro Tour teams, and I'd like to find a good agreement with them for the next season."
Adding further speculation to the possibility of him not lining up at the start of the Tour de France next year, defending champion, Lance Armstrong, said in L?Equipe last week that he was still undecided as to whether or not he would compete for a seventh successive victory. "Honestly, I don't know if I'll be at the start," he said. "There are many other victories I would like to achieve in cycling before retirement. I've won six