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News Roundup: 12 January 2003
By Janna Trevisanut
Date: 1/12/2003
News Roundup: 12 January 2003

Denis Zanette

Longtime friend Davide Rebellin reflects today on Denis Zanette - "Denis was extremely sensitive in dealing with his colleagues and friends. He simply had a fine feel for the needs and feelings of his fellow men. He was an altruist; generous in the race and out, he had a smile for everybody and a desire to live that devoured him. He often brought laughter to us with his friendly nature."

"After his daughter Anna was born, around the time of the Giro, he rode with a pink ribbon tied to his handlebars. We frequently went out to supper together with our families. I will miss him, because he was like a brother to me, on whom I could fully rely in races and otherwise. I could trust him blindly in races. We reasoned with the same head - we were on the same wavelength. Some weeks ago he asked for my training charts; 'I want to start the year out big,' he said. Now I would ask for one of his smiles instead."

Rebellin and Zanette rode together at Polti in 1999, and in 2000 and 2001 at Liquigas-Pata. (Gazetta and Team Telekom)

As one might expect in the case of one so young, an autopsy and toxicological testing will be performed Tuesday to determine what factors, if any, contributed to Zanette's sudden death. Zanette died Friday at the age of 32 after leaving a dentist's office where he had received teeth cleaning.

His team doctor, Roberto Corsetti, has stated that Zanette's heart was in perfect condition in recent testing and that he had passed all physical suitability tests. Of note is that Zanette's father died of a heart attack in the early 1980's. His age at that time is not known as of this writing. (

Related stories: Here and here.

Michele Bartoli update

Fassa Bortolo's Michele Bartoli will spend the next fifteen days in bed, after examinations in Italy confirmed what Spanish doctors found in their examinations, that Bartoli's pelvis is fractured. Bartoli said that bed rest is the only way to push the healing process forward. (Team Telekom)

Aitor Gonzalez - I will only ride for Fassa

The dispute over which team Aitor Gonzalez belongs to - Fassa Bortolo or Domina Vacanza-Elitron - continues, but in the meantime Gonzalez posed in the Fassa uniform yesterday in Alicante, Spain, stating that he will only ride for Fassa.

"I am only going to with Fassa Bortolo. The UCI cannot force to me to ride with anybody. I have requested that the Association of Spanish Cyclists send my license to the UCI. If something is clear, it is that they cannot deny me my right to work. If Santoni wants me in to go to his team, he will have to go to the courts."

The status of the situation, in which the former Acqua e Sapone team, Domina Vacanza-Elitron, claims a pre-existing contract with Gonzalez, has not changed. The UCI has requested a handwriting analysis of the signed agreement Domina Vacanza has which that team says supercedes the contract Gonzalez signed with Fassa Bortolo.

Gonzalez also spoke of his fallen teammate Denis Zanette, whom he had met in November in Italy, saying that Zanette had made an impression on him, and that things like this are very hard to believe. (

Savoldelli won't ride the Giro

Paolo Savoldelli's new team Telekom will not be assigning him to defend his 2002 Giro d'Italia title this year; instead the team will concentrate on the Tour and taking a bite out of Lance Armstrong. Savoldelli is disappointed, but goes along with the team's decision fully. Savoldelli said, "With Botero, Evans, Kloden and myself, we will make life very difficult for Armstrong. The race will decide whether Botero or I will be the leader." (Velo Club)

Euskaltel News

The Euskaltel Euskadi team begins training tomorrow in Calpe, on the south eastern coast of Spain, for ten days. Team member Robert Laiseka has had a surgery to repair damage to his elbow from a crash during the Vuelta, and he will be off the bike for ten days. Two other teammates have run into a bit of trouble - Samuel Sanchez, who is a prospect for Paris-Nice is having hip complaints, while Josu Silloniz's knee is bothering him - but both of these riders will start the season. The team's first race will be the Challenge of Mallorca. (Velo Club)

Tonkov still not signed with Marlux

Despite announcements that Pavel Tonkov would sign with Marlux yesterday, the deed is not yet done, and according to Velo Club the team has sent the rider a plane ticket so he can come sign his contract.

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