The Week That Was...

News & Results

03/7/2006| 0 comments
by Ian Melvin
José Rujano takes a stage win in the Tour of Italy. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.
José Rujano takes a stage win in the Tour of Italy. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.

The Week That Was...

Ian comments on the happenings in the world of cycling.

As reported last week, Venezuelan rider Jos? Rujano is still causing problems for his Selle Italia-Serramenti Diquigiovanni team.  The diminutive climber has still to return to Europe.  Last weekend he missed both the GP Chiasso and the GP Lugano, despite being named on the team?s start list by his team management.

Rujano had agreed to compete for the Colombian team until 1st June this year after which he was free to join the Belgium based Quick.Step squad in return for an agreed compensation payment.  Selle Italia asked Rujano, in a statement, to honour their agreement otherwise they would consider blocking his transfer following this year?s Giro d?Italia.

Winner of this year?s Australian Open Championships, William Walker, has reached an agreement with his Rabobank Continental team to turn professional with the Rabobank ProTour team mid-way through 2006.  After convincingly beating several of Australia?s leading professional riders in the race, Walker was told that he would not be awarded the national champions jersey and that he would have to settle for the jersey awarded to the winner of the U23 title.

The 20 year old reached an agreement with Rabobank's general director, Theo de Rooij, and has been offered a professional contract to 31st December 2008.

ASO, organisers of the Tour de France last week announced the two wild card entries for the 2006 Tour de France.  French team Agritubel and Spanish outfit Comunidad Valenciana have been given the nod ahead of other Continental teams.  198 riders will start the greatest bike race on earth in Strasbourg on Saturday, July 1, 2006.

Also in France later this year, a replacement race for the GP des Nations time trial has been launched.  The former race is being merged with the Chrono des Herbiers to become what is to be called the Chrono des Nations.  Race organisers have so far confirmed that current World Hour Record holder, Ondrej Sosenka, and triple World Time Trial Champion, Michael Rogers, will start the event.

"The GP des Nations had been the Queen event of time trial kings," said Tour de France director Jean-Marie Leblanc at the announcement last week. "We are very glad that the word 'Nations' can continue to exist," added Christian Prudhomme.

Organisers of the Giro d?Italia last week confirmed their wild card entries into their race, later this year.  Italian team, Panaria-Navigare, and Colombian team, Selle Italia-Serramenti Diquigiovanni, will line up against the twenty ProTour teams for the start of the 89th running of the event.  The 2006 edition will start in Seraing, Belgium, where a prologue and the first proper road stage are being held.

The full team listing is:

Ag2R Prevoyance (Fra)
Bouygues Telecom (Fra)
Caisse D?Epargne-Illes Balears (Spa)
Ceramica Panaria-Navigare (Irl)
Cofidis (Fra)
Credit Agricole (Fra)
Davitamon-Lotto (Bel)
Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team (USA)
Euskaltel-Euskadi (Spa)
Francaise Des Jeux (Fra)
Gerolsteiner (Ger)
Lampre Fondital (Ita)
Liberty Seguros-W?rth Team (Spa)
Liquigas (Ita)
Phonak Hearing Systems (Sui)
Quick Step Innergetic (Bel)
Rabobank (Ned)
Saunier Duval - Prodir (Spa)
Selle Italia-Serramenti Diquigiovanni (Col)
Team CSC (Den)
Team Milram (Ita)
T-Mobile Team (Ger)

Finally this week, in a bid to be competitive in the leading stage races throughout the year, Spanish outfit Saunier Duval ? Prodir were last week busy wind tunnel testing.  Team riders, Simoni, Millar, Marchante and Gil, spent time testing the new Scott Plasma bike.  Further testing was done on their Ritchey time-trial handlebars, Santini latex outfits, and different Met helmets.

As always, I?ll see you back here next week with the latest news from the pro peloton. Until then, be sure to order a cap while supplies last and discuss the Paris-Nice ProTour race in our forums.


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