Elitron DS Pino Petito to retire
Elitron's directeur sportif Giuseppe "Pino" Petito will retire in February
after 14 years in the pro cycling world. Petito became a professional in 1982
and rode for numerous teams including Alfa Lum, Ariostea, GIS, Gelati, Mercatone
Uno and Cantina Tollo until 1997, when he turned to coaching. During his career
he won the Giro di Campagna, Trophy Laigueglia and one stage of the Vuelta a
Espana, and as an amateur the Italian national championship. He joined Acqua e
Sapone as a sporting director in 2001.
Team and Transfer News
Tomas Konecny, who rode for Domo for two seasons, will most likely join the
Marlux-Nixdorf-Atlas team for next season. (Cycling4all)
Velo Club du Net reports that persistent rumors and a confidential source
have Eric Zabel riding his final season this next year.
The Lotto-Domo Tour Down Under team has been announced by manager Christophe
Sercu: Robbie McEwen will lead the team, riding with teammates Nick Gates, Glenn
D' Hollander, Hans De Clercq, Wim Vansevant, Kevin Van Impe, Thierry Marichal
and Gert Steegmans. Rik Verbrugghe has been chosen to ride in the Tour of
Qatar but his teammates in the race has not yet been announced. (Velo Club du
Former Mapei sport director Eric Vanderaerden has announced that he intends
to form a Div II team for 2004. He will begin this spring, stating that he would
like to form a team for his son Michael, who will become a junior rider in 2004.
(Velo Club du Net)
Manu Lhoir has become a father. He welcomed baby girl Elysa on Wednesday and
the Daily Peloton sends its congratulations. (Velo Club du Net)
Jose Javier "Pipi" Gomez (former Kelme) and Francisco Javier Cerezo, 32, from
CSC, have joined Labarca 2-Cafe Baque for next season. Gomez, 28, rode for
seven seasons with Kelme, but was not renewed. He takes a pay cut in joining
Labarca, but stated that salary is not everything. Most of all he is very happy
to continue to ride. (Contra Reloj)
Advice from Pieri: Saeco Training Camp
Press Release: The first training camp of the Saeco-Longoni Sport team has
concluded. Team manager Claudio Corti and directeur sportifs Giuseppe Martinelli,
Guido Bontempi, Flavio Miozzo and Bruno Vicino have told the riders that the
next training camp will be in Terracina (near Rome) from the 13th throught the
25th of January.
The team worked hard at Riccione. New riders Quaranta, Zanini, Fornaciari,
Pieri, Shefer, Bonomi and neo-pro Bucciero got to meet the other riders
including team leaders Simoni, Di Luca who quickly recovered from an attack of
flu, Italian champion Commesso and Astarloa of Spain.
During the team's stay in the Romagna region, the team meet 350 children from
local schools. They were asked lots of questions and gave interesting answers.
The most popular rider was new signing Dario Pieri. "What do you do when you
crash?" a boy asked him. Pieri replied: "You get back up and get back on your
bike. That's how you get ready for the important races and how you face the
difficulties in life."
Francisco Gutierrez decision soon
Silver medalist in the 2003 Worlds U23 Road Race, Francisco "Guti" Gutierrez,
who tested positive for corticosteroids, will have the Spanish Cycling
Federation's decision soon. The Cafe Baque rider was treated under medical
supervision for a clavicle fracture before the Worlds competition but failed to
submit the necessary paperwork. Sabino Angoitia of Labarca 2-Cafe Baque is
hoping for an economic sanction for negligence, but believes that all the
medical documentation that has been submitted to the Federation will clearly
demonstrate that "Guti" is innocent of any wrongdoing. The decision is expected
in the next ten days.
Euskaltel: We must open the door to the Tour
Beginning next week the Euskaltel Euskadi team will begin its training
efforts to place itself in the running for one of the Tour wild card spots. For
the third year the team will have to prove itself with solid road results rather
than an automatic spot. Julian Gorospe stated, "It is necessary to begin the
season strongly and to try to do well in the Vuelta a Valencia, País Vasco,
Paris-Nice and other French races. We have to open up the doors of the Tour. I
don't know if it will be enough to enter, but our intention is to shine in the
first months of our campaign, and to make ourselves a spot in the Tour."
The team is testing until next week in Derio, where the Fundacion Euskadi is
located, though some of the riders are in Alicante. After that, the team will
train "at a greater level" in Benidorm in January for eight to ten days.
For spring training, Alberto Martínez, Samuel Sánchez and David Etxebarria
will lead. "In addition, I want the young people, like Lander Euba, Julen
Fernandez, Joseba Zubeldia in the forefront. They did not ride much in their
first season and now is the time to see what they will give of themselves."
The team makes its debut in February at the Challenge de Mallorca. (El Correo
Telekom leads brand awareness as sports sponsor
Telekom reports that a recent brand awareness study places it first in the
public's mind as a sports sponsor. Seventy three percent of those surveyed were
aware of Telekom - the runners up were Marlboro with 53%, the candy brand Milka
with 48%, Mercedes Benz (35%) and Opel (32%). The study was conducted by the
opinion research institute INRA.
Costa Rica excludes Colombia from Vuelta a Costa Rica
Trouble brewing between the Costa Rican and Colombian cycling federations:
Several days ago Mario Barrantes, president of the Federation of Costa Rican
Cycling denounced the group of Colombian cyclists planning to compete in the
Vuelta a Costa Rica which starts on 17 December, withdrawing the Colombians'
invitation. Barrantes claims that two unnamed Colombian cyclists wanted to
be paid to compete in the race. Barrantes even said that the Colombian team was
"a group of cyclists who do not even constitute a team." Colombia has traditionally
competed in this race and its cyclists have won numerous times.
President of the Colombian Federation, Ettore Sangiovanni, responded that his
cyclists are held in very high esteem and that they ride for teams in various
countries had no bearing. Fueling the fire further, Sangiovanni stated that
without great protagonists (apparently referring to his Colombian cyclists)
present at the Vuelta a Costa Rica, the race would fall apart due to lack of
"I hope that Mr. Barrantes retracts what he said, because
he is gambling with the prestige of Colombian cycling, and if he if he doesn't
this will be brought before the corresponding courts or the UCI," stated
Sangiovanni. Sangiovanni further issue a letter demanding retraction of
Barrantes' statements, and lodging a complaint with the UCI and the COPACI.
Sangiovanni also pointed out the Colombian Gregorio Ladino, who rides for a
Mexican team, is the standing champion of the Vuelta a Costa Rica. (Contra Reloj,
La Nacion, Amigos Del Ciclismo)