The Week That Was...
Ian comments on the happenings in the world of cycling.
Thank goodness it?s July! It can only mean two things... The Tour is here and that means that I basically get a four-week break from writing! Whilst the rest of the world and the world media suddenly re-discover cycling, the rest of the sport practically shuts down and just kicks back with a beer watching the race on TV me included! For the next four weeks, we?ll take a look at all that isn?t going on in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
The UCI have released the latest individual rankings. Following the recent National Championships, Italian Alessandro Pettachi jumped from third to first place ahead of fellow countryman, Paolo Bettini and German, Erik Zabel. Other movers and shakers include Jan Ullrich who climbed 6 places to ninth after his success in the Tour de Suisse and Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero (Saunier Duval) who rose, 16 places from 27th to 11th.
Former Belgian pro, Steve Vermaut, 28, died last week whilst riding his bike. Vermaut, who previously rode for Vlaanderen 2002, US Postal Service and Lotto-Domo, retired in 2002 when doctors discovered he suffered from a congenital heart disease. The rider suffered a heart attack and despite being placed in an induced coma, Doctors were unable to save his life.
Omega Pharma, the Belgian company behind Davitamon and Bodysol Brustar both of whom presently sponsor professional cycling teams, announced last week that it would be a co-sponsor of the new Omega Pharma-Lotto team from next season. The team is reported to have a budget of 6 million Euro?s and Italian Gilberto Simoni is tipped as a possible leader. Meanwhile, it was confirmed last week that Belgian pro team, Landbouwkrediet-Colnago would continue for the next two seasons and that the French Credit Agricole team would continue throughout 2006.
Following his 9 wins already this season, Max van Heeswijk is reported to be attracting attention from, amongst others, Rabobank and also Phonak. US Postal Director, Dirk Demol, said however that they were confident that the rider would still be with the team next year in their new Discover
Channel racing jerseys.
Finally this week it was confirmed that World Time Trial Champion, David Millar, has indeed confessed to using EPO having confessed during almost 48hrs of police questioning. Two empty vials of Eprex were also found in his