The Week That Was...
Ian comments on the happenings in the world of cycling.
Having finished 5th in this year?s Giro d?Italia, Ukrainian Yaroslav Popovych appears unlikely to return to mount a challenge in next year?s race. The new Discovery Channel rider will only ride one major tour in 2005, the Tour de France, according to Italian website tuttobiciweb.com.
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Although a decision will not be made on his inclusion in the Tour de France until May next year, Discovery Channel leader Lance Armstrong last week proposed a possible attempt at the Vuelta in September. "If Armstrong comes, he had better be well prepared because he will find strong opposition," Illes Balears directeur sportif Eusebio Unzue told AS. Liberty Seguros? Director, Manolo Saiz, added that, "It would be stupendous if [Armstrong] rode the Tour as well as the Vuelta. It would be just what cycling needs." Current team leader of Liberty Seguros and former Lieutenant to Armstrong at US Postal, Roberto Heras, doubts it will happen. "Professionally. I really don't know what happens in his head. But I don't think we will see him at the Vuelta. I think he will ride the Tour.?
Damiano Cunego, winner of this year?s Giro, has launched his own official website. www.damianocunego.it features all the usual elements normally found on a fan site - biography, photos, etc. At this stage, the site is only published in Italian and we are not aware of any plans to include an English element at this stage.
Evergreen Frenchman, Jacky Durand, last week announced his retirement from the sport at the age of 37. He rode his final season with the Belgian Landbouwkrediet team. Durand will forever be remembered as the undisputed king of the long, solo breakaway. During his career, he won three stages of the Tour de France, 2 World Cup races and 2 French National Championships. "There is a time for everyone and this is the time for me to stop," Durand told l'Equipe. "I had hoped to do ten years and win a race from time to time. I did 15 and won some beautiful races."
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May I also take this opportunity to wish every one of you a very merry Christmas from everybody involved with Roadcycling.com. We look forward to your continued support in 2005.
Until next week,