The Week That Was...
Ian comments on the happenings in the world of cycling.
The prodigal son of Belgian cycling, Franck Vandenbroucke, has announced early last week that he is due to make his annual migration to a new team for next season. Sporza have reported that Vandenbroucke is expected to leave his current employer, Italian Fassa Bortolo, for the Belgian MrBookmaker.com squad. His move home will be his sixth team in five years and eighth since his professional career began with the former Lotto team in the mid 90?s. VDB said that, ?I want to race with Fassa Bortolo but I can?t any more. My future is as good as certain with MrBookmakers.com. I got a letter from the people at Fassa Bortolo saying that I can look for another team. It?s not yet official but I?ll probably sign Monday evening with Hilaire Van der Schueren?s team.? <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
Having been confirmed the 2003 World Time Trial champion, Quick.Step-Davitamon rider Michael Rogers, has been tipped by the Italian national selector, Franco Ballerini, as his tip to reclaim the title in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
Winner of this year?s Paris-Roubaix, Welsh based Swede, Magnus Backstedt, has confirmed that he will be moving to the new Italian Liquigas team for next season. ?Maggie? has signed an initial two-year deal which will see him line up alongside Dario Cioni, Danilo Di Luca, Luca Pagliarini and Stefano Garzelli. Any of you that can remember will surely be hoping for Backstedt?s sake that the team choose not to dust off their old jerseys; a very fetching black with lots of fluorescent writing and an air bubble effect all over it - definitely a kit that goes down as one of cycling?s major fashion sins of recent years!
Former great Spanish hope, Oscar Sevilla, has confirmed his transfer from the Swiss Phonak team to T-Mobile, following days of speculation in his country?s press. The move came about as Phonak and the team manager, Urs Freuler, tried to reduce Sevilla?s salary following a disappointing season. In a statement posted on the T-Mobile website, the team?s Sport Director, Mario Kummer said that, ?he is definitely an excellent climber. He?s proven this on various Grand Tours like the Tour, the Giro and the Vuelta. He will be a big help for us at the Pro Tour.?
Swiss rider, Laurent Dufaux, ended his professional career last week at the Giro del Lazio, the race where 15 years earlier, he made his debut as a Stagiaire for the Helvetia-La-Suisse team in 1990. Through the years Dufaux has won the Dauphine-Libere, Tour de Romandie,