The Week That Was...

News & Results

01/10/2006| 0 comments
by Ian Melvin
Davide Rebellin (left). Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Davide Rebellin (left). Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.

The Week That Was...

Ian comments on the happenings in the world of cycling.

Despite making much noise for the past 18 months, Italian-come-Argentinean, Davide Rebellin, has decided to return to fight for his place in the Italian national team for the 2006 World Championship.  The event is taking place in Salzburg, Austria, on a course favouring his racing style and abilities.

Rebellin fell out with national selector, Franco Ballerini, over his emission from the Squadra Azzura to compete in the 2004 World Championships.  He sought to gain Argentinean citizenship, through family ties, as a way of lining up for the event held in Verona, a town not far from his home.

"I've ditched the paperwork for Argentinean citizenship," Rebellin told Italian website "I'm open to take up the dialogue with Ballerini again because the Austrian course suits my capacities. I really want to participate."

Having eclipsed the peloton with victories in the 2004 Amstel Gold Race, Liege-Bastonge-Liege and Fl?che Wallonne, he again is hoping to have some early season form for his German Gerolsteiner team.  "In mid-February, I'll start at the Volta ao Algarve - from there, I hope to find good form to come up with something in Milan - San Remo to prevent a sprint finish.?

Having faced the proposition of the organisers of the three major Grand Tours, ASO, RCS and Unipublic, causing a major disruption to the 2006 season, the UCI scored a major victory last week following a meeting in Brussels.  The ProTour teams have rejected the proposal from the event organisers to run a second major race series, the ?Trophy of the Grand Tours?, alongside the ProTour series.  This initiative was released in early December.

The letter, signed by all members of the AIGCP (International Association Of Professional Cycling Teams) last week stated that, "Following the meeting of the UCI ProTour teams under the aegis of the AIGCP, held on Wednesday January 4, 2006 in Brussels, the teams have completely rejected the proposals made by ASO, RCS and Unipublic on December 9, 2005."

"The UCI Pro Teams, who have accepted all the regulations, confirm their unreserved support for the UCI ProTour as it was set up for the period 2005-2008, in particular regarding the number of races and the number of teams, etc. They reaffirm their support for the UCI Pro Tour Council to organise this competition."

The letter went on to add that, ?the UCI ProTour teams recognize the UCI ProTour Council's competence in organizing international cycling and, for this reason, ask the UCI to stick by the regulations drawn up during the awarding of ProTour licences as regards to the a number of races, the number of teams and the conditions of participation."

Following nine successful seasons with the Saeco and Lampre professional teams in Europe, bike supplier Cannondale has confirmed it will again be in the European peloton after agreeing to sponsor the UK registered, South-African based, Team Barloworld.  The team is led in 2006 by former World Champion Igor Astarloa.

New team manager, Italian Claudio Corti, said, "Cannondale always delivers more than a great bike and race clothing, they bring a unique personality to a team that creates excitement and generates enthusiasm for the sport."

Cannondale too are extremely excited about their new partnership. CEO, Matt Mannelly, said "we have no intention of just supplying product. With Barloworld we'll be re-writing the rules on traditional sponsorships. We want to control our own destiny and will have part ownership of the squad."

Do you have any exciting gossip from the world of professional bike racing?  If so, let us know so we can share it with all of our other readers, or why not drop it into our reader forums?

Until next week,


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