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News Roundup December 13th
By Janna Trevisanut
Date: 12/13/2002
News Roundup December 13th

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 Net)

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 Digiatal)

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 interest.

"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)

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