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Cycling News Roundup 5 December 2003
By Podofdonny
Date: 12/5/2003
Cycling News Roundup 5 December 2003

Lampre News

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 riders.

Cristian Vezzu and Giuseppe Saronni. Courtesy ProAction.
Lampre 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 website here.

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.

Euskaltel's Plans

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 Digital)

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

The 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 career.

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 broken.

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

Spanish 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

The 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

Visit the SEA Games website here.

Related Articles
Cycling News Roundup 2 December 2003
Cycling News Roundup 3 December 2003
Cycling News Roundup 4 December 2003 Updated

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