AG2R not happy
Vincent Lavenu, general manager of the French team AG2R, who failed to be selected as a member of the UCI ProTour , expressed his bitterness about that decision, he considered that his team “had met all the criteria perfectly”
«We also have met the historical , sporting, ethical and financial criteria. Over the last 13 years on the road we have achieved 275 victories and 8 stages wins in the Tour de France in the last 7 years.” Talking to the French Daily L’Equipe Lavenu continued- “"I don't know why we failed .The UCI confirmed that our bid was complete and well presented. Quite simply, UCI did not want to upset the geographical balance of the Tour by including a fifth French team and we are the unlucky team. I always had a team that has ridden with honour and , although our riders will be disappointed I hope we can continue in the same manner … I know that we still have the support of the race organisers, especially the Tour de France and the Dauphine Libéré."
Team Saeco aiming to end the season in style
Paris-Tours on Sunday and then the Tour of Lombardy
The 2004 season is almost over but Team Saeco wants to end the year in style and is focusing on the final big races of the calendar. First of all Paris-Tours in France on Sunday. This is the penultimate round of the World Cup and Saeco will field six riders: Mirko Celestino, Giosuè Bonomi, Stefano Casagranda, Nicola Gavazzi, Gerrit Glomser and Eddy Mazzoleni.
Next week sees the trittico lombardo with Milano-Torino (Wednesday 13), the Giro del Piemonte (Thursday 14) and then the Tour of Lombardy on Saturday 16 based on a new course between Mendrisio and Como.
After riding the World Championships in Verona last Sunday Damiano Cunego travelled to the Las Vegas bike show (with team mate Gilberto Simoni and directuer sportif Giuseppe Martinelli) but will be back in Italy tomrrow morning and is scheduled to look at the the new Lombardy course on Saturday afternoon.
Cunego will also ride the Milano-Torino race on Wednesday along with Leonardo Bertagnolli, Mirko Celestino, Juan Fuentes, Eddy Mazzoleni, Marius Sabaliauskas, Sylvester Szmyd e Giosuè Bonomi. Giuseppe Martinelli will drive the team car and again the day after at the Giro del Piemonte with Leonardo Bertagnolli, Giosuè Bonomi, Juan Fuentes, Nicola Gavazzi, Marius Sabaliauskas, Sylvester Szmyd and Stefano Casagranda.
Fassa Bortolo: Alessandro Petacchi will not ride
Alessandro Petacchi is unable to ride the Classic that suits his powerhouse sprinting best. The 30 year old had made the French Classic his last objective of the season but he has had a fever for the last two days and has ruled himself out. Petacchi has won 21 races this season, a tremendous figure, but one that will not now be over taken by Tom Boonen .
Fabian Cancellara, Francesco Chicchi, Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni, Alberto Ongarato, Roberto Petito, Fabio Sacchi, Guido Trenti, Marco Velo
Tom Boonen (Quick Step) will not recover in time from his stomach illness in order to ride in Paris Tours Boonen , who has won 20 races this year explained- “In the World Championships I was forced to abandon because of this problem, and I have not been able to train until today .This morning I went out on the bike for a while, but I feel too weak to be competitive in a demanding and long race like Paris Tours. I am not interested in finishing 30th or 40th and I am not strong enough to help the team . The World championship Race was my last of the season”
Saunier-Duval Prodir, Horner to debut
USA rider Chris Horner will be able to see if his excellent World Championship form continues in the Paris Tours. He is also listed for the race of the falling leaves – The team in Paris will be Juan J. Cobo Acebo , José Angel Gomez , Manuele Mori , Juan Gomez, Chris Horner, Francisco Ventoso ,Constantino Zaballa,
Euskaltel-Euskadi for Paris Tours
D.S Julián Gorospe has selected the following riders for the race Mikel Artetxe, Koldo Fernández de Larrea, Markel Irizar, Iñaki Isasi, Samuel Sánchez, Aitor Sillóniz, Aketza Peña and Josu Sillóniz.
Lampre for –Paris Tours
The general manager of Lampre Saronni has announced his squad for the 98th edition of the race which runs from St Arnoult-En-Yvelines to the Avenue de Grammont in Tours over 260 kilometres:
Igor Astarloa, Alessandro Ballan, Paolo Bossoni, Gianluca Bortolami, Alessandro Cortinovis, Andrej Hauptman, Manuel Quinziato, Patxi Vila.
Usov to AG2R
Vincent Lavenu, of AG2R, has announced that Alexander Usov, who has ridden since 2000 for the Swiss team Phonak, will be riding for the French team next season.