With November come and gone and December well on its way its time for Lampre
to get together and start its preparation for the 2004 season, the first
training camp will take place at the President Hotel in Salice Terme, in the
province of Pavia (Fausto Coppi's old stomping grounds), they will be there from
the Wednesday the 10th to Saturday the 13th December; they start off with the
medical visits and then speak about each riders individual programme for all 22
Cristian Vezzu and Giuseppe Saronni. Courtesy ProAction.
today announces a new sponsor - the ProAction advanced sports supplements
company. The owner of the Padua-based company, Cristian Vezzù, says, “We will be
present during competitions and behind the scenes, furnishing maximum support to
all the riders, both in their pre-season training and during racing when they
are under intense pressure." Vezzù also says this will give ProAction the
opportunity to learn more about what professionals need and want in sports
supplements, so as to better serve their consumers' needs.
The company produces a full range of supplementation products, including
protein, amino acids, rehydration products and gels. Please visit the ProAction
The team also officially announces its 2004 roster:
Returning team members are:
Sergio Barbero, Wladimir Belli, Simone Bertoletti, Francesco Casagrande,
Alessandro Cortinovis, Juan Manuel Garate, Luciano Pagliarini, Mariano Piccoli,
Marco Pinotti, Manuel Quinziato, Daniele Righi, Jan Svorada and Patxi Vila.
New riders for 2004:
Paolo Bossoni, Gianluca Bortolami, Matteo Carrara, Andrej Hauptman and Romans
Vainsteins, and neo-pros Alessandro Ballan, Michele Scotto D’abusco, Oleksandr
Kvachuk and Samuele Marzoli.
The Euskaltel team met yesterday at the Euskaltel Euskadi headquarters in
Derio, Spain as part of their first team get-together - in attendance were the
president of Euskaltel, José Antonio Ardanza; the general deputy from Biscaya,
José Luis Bilbao, and the Guipúzcoa representative, José Juan González.
Julián Gorospe: "We want to improve the results of the last season. We know
that it will be complicated, because we will be a reference team and we will be
watched, but our riders have already demonstrated what they are able to do and
there is room to improve."
Iban Mayo: We have a young team but it is of quality, and we should think
that our challenge is to improve everything that we did last year."
Of the Tour, Mayo has already had one look at the course: It is beautiful,
and I believe that it favors me. It has a single long time trial, in the team
time trials the time loss has been limited, and the time trial climb to the Alpe
d'Huez that benefits me."
Haimar Zubeldia's goal on the Tour: "To improve his fifth position from this
year. It will be difficult, but it is necessary to attempt it." (El Correo
Euskaltel Euskadi for 2004
The 24 riders for 2004 include five neo-pros: Antton Luengo, Aketza Peña,
Markel Irizar, Koldo Fernández de Larrea y Gorka Verdugo.
The balance of the team:
Gorka Arrizabalanga Aguirre, Mikel Artetxe Guezuraga, Iker Camano Ortuzar
(ex-Phonak), David Etxebarria Alkorta, Unai Etxebarria Arana (the only
non-Spanish rider, from Venezuela), Koldo Fernández de Larrea, Iker Flores
Galarza, Dioni Galparsoro Martinez, Gorka González Larranga, Markel Irizar
Aramburu, Iñaki Isasi Flores, Roberto Laiseka Jaio, Íñigo Landaluze Intxaurraga,
Alberto Lopez de Munain, Antton Luengo Celaia, Egoi Martínez de Esteban, Iban
Mayo Diez, Aketza Peña Iza, Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez, Aitor Silloniz Aresti, Josu
Silloniz Aresti, Gorka Verdugo Markotegui, Haimar Zubeldia Aguirre and Joseba
Zubeldia Aguirre. (Thanks to Cycling4All)
US Postal News
Portuguese Sports Daily A Bola report that the US Postal will have to pay
the Milaneza-MSS team 300,000 euros to release José Azevedo and a further
payment of 150.000 euros at the end of the 2004 season. Therefore the total
payout to the Milaneza team will be around 450,000 euros.
However much the loss of Heras disappoints Bruyneel, at least the US Postal
accountants may be happy. To offset the 450,000 euros paid out. they will
receive 1.3 million euros compensation from Liberty Seguros for Roberto Heras,
making a net profit of 850.000 euros. In addition, Azevedo is thought to be on a
salary of around 500,000 euros, about 700,000 euros less then they would have
paid Heras. The other big winner is Azevedo himself, his US Postal salary is
thought to be around double of what he would have earned with Milaneza.
Julien De Vriese honoured
On Tuesday December 2, head mechanic Julien De Vriese of US Postal-Berry
Floor received the cycling trophy ‘Coup de Pédale’ in Hotel Villa Maritiem in
Wenduine (Belgium). With this trophy, De Vriese was honoured for his entire
To Julien De Vriese, it’s already the second distinction in a short period of
time. Some time ago, he was already pronounced best mechanic of all times by a
leading American sports magazine.
There were a lot of famous names present in Wenduine, in order to witness the
presentation of the ‘Coup de Pédale’, with Tour-chief Jean-Marie Leblanc as most
prominent eye-catcher. Two years ago, Jean-Marie Leblanc was the first to
receive this trophy, while last year Eddy Merckx was honoured. Now, for the
first time there were three winners: Mark Vanlombeek (spokesperson for the
Belgian tv-channel VTM), Robert Janssens (sports reporter with one of the
leading Flemish newspapers, Het Laatste Nieuws) and Julien De Vriese. They
received their trophies from the hands of Jean-Marie Leblanc.
Vic Van Schil, Eddy Merckx’ former ‘lieutenant’, had something special in
store for both Julien and his wife. In the name of Eddy Merckx, a very good
friend of Julien, he gave them each a Merckx insignia with a small diamond.
“This prize and the token of remembrance by Eddy Merckx mean a lot to me”,
Julien De Vriese reacts. “I appreciate it very much how they value my work and
consider this a great honour. I would also like to give special thanks to Guido
Cammaert, co-author of “The Tour Encyclopaedia 1903-2003”. (US Postal)
Jurgen Van den Broeck News
One of US Postal's new riders for 2004, Jurgen Van den Broeck, who won the
2001 World Championships Junior Time Trial and is nicknamed VDB’ke," has a new website where the 21 year old sends a report from Austin,
Texas - he has met his new team and is already training with them. Please
visit Jurgen's site here.
Team Bianchi call it a day
Bianchi have decided to call it a day on their Division 1 road team.
Although they had a contract as a sponsor until 2006, they had included non
negligible clause: if Jan Ullrich were to leave the team, the contract could be
At the beginning of October, Ullrich announced his departure to the new T-
Mobile Team.Team manager, Dutchman Hanegraaf has been unable to find a suitable
co-sponsor so the team will be dismantled.
Cafés Baqué-Labarca 2 gains Colombian Sponsor
Division 2 team Cafés Baqué-Labarca 2 have reached an agreement with a new
co-sponsor, the Colombian telecommunications firm Orbitel. The firm which wishes
to expand its interests into Spain, has been a supporter of cycling and is keen
to get its company logo on the jersey of the team of Jon Cengotitabengoa.
The team have 16 riders on the roster at the present time, but only one
Colombian, Félix R.Cárdenas Ravalo. The “Red Cardinal” of the mountains thrilled
fans worldwide with his displays in the Vuelta and was rewarded for his efforts
with the King of the mountains prize. Hopefully Orbitel will wish to add more
Colombian climbers to the team.
Jacques-Wincor Nixdorf News
The new Belgian team continues its expansion programme and has found a new
co-sponsor, shoe manufacturer Ambiorix.
The team have 21 riders so far including Dave Bruylandts, Andy Cappelle,
Chris Peers and the excellent Bart Voskamp. Young guns include two lads from
Ukraine, Maxim Rudenko and Yuiriy Deychuk.
D.S. Johan Capiot also reports that he is very hopeful to sign sprinter
Saulius Ruskys in the next few days. "Nothing is official yet, but, the
negotiations are going well,” said Capiot.
22nd SEA Games
22nd edition of the South East Asia Games, a multidiscipline set of
competitions, commenced this week in Vietnam. The cycling events start Saturday
6 December, and the events are as follows:
12/06/2003: 51km criterium - Men
12/07/2003: 40km Individual Time Trial - Men
12/10/2003: 160km Mass Start Individual - Men
12/10/2003: 1.5km Down Hill - Men
12/12/2003: 35km Cross-Country - Men
12/06/2003: 30.6 km criterium - Women
12/07/2003: 30km Individual Time Trial - Women
12/09/2003: 90km Mass Start Individual - Women
12/10/2003: 1.5km Down Hill - Women
12/12/2003: 25km Cross-Country - Women
the SEA Games website here.