Following his victory at the recent Junior World Championships in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 /?>
Verona, Czech rider Roman Kreuziger, has signed a letter of intent to join the new Liquigas-Bianchi squad in 2007 and 2008. Kreuziger will compete in the Italian Amateur ranks for the next two seasons. Meanwhile, his compatriot and Czech U23 Champion and winner of a stage of this year?s Tour de l'avenir, Martin Mares, has signed for the second division eD?system-ZVVZ team. He turned down offers to leave his homeland to sign for the Italian Amore ? Vita and German BH team. <?xml:namespace prefix = o /?>
Keeping the focus firmly fixed in
Eastern Europe , Fassa Bortolo Director, Giancarlo Ferretti has compensated the loss of leading riders Aitor Gonzalez, Tom Danielson, Guido Trenti, Dario Cioni and Filippo Pozzato with the signing of Belarusian U23 World Champion Kanstantsin Siutsou, Slovenian Andrej Hauptman and Estonian Andrus Aug. Joining these three will be a handful of
Italy?s up and coming young performers including Fabio Baldato, Paolo Bossoni, Lorenzo Bernucci and Vincenzo Nibali. The team?s focus will again be to support Italian fast-man Alessandro Petacchi.
It was last week rumored by Tutosport that Mario Cipollini was in negotiations with the French Cofidis team following the non-payment of rider?s wages since June of this year by his current employer, Domina Vacanze. The rumors were quickly quashed by Francis Van Londersele, Director Sportif of Cofidis, who said that Cipollini had been offered to him by his agent at the
Milan bike show. No further action was taken by Cofidis according to cyclismag.com.
Finally after weeks of speculation, the ?next? Miguel Indurain, Alejandro Valverde, has left the Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme teams for Illes Balears-Banesto according to todociclisimo.com. The expected buy-out clause of ?2 million, a stumbling block for earlier suitors including Fassa Bortolo, Rabobank and Phonak, was reduced following negotiations between Illes Beleares and Comunidad Valenciana. The agreed price will be between ?600,000 and ?720,000.
Last week it was announced that the
UK will once again have a professional cycling team. Backed by Driving Force Logistics (DFL), the ten-man squad will focus on major UK races and tours before switching their attention to the Tour de l?Avenir and other events in the 2005 and 2006 UCI European Continental circuit. Director Sportif, James Louter, confirmed that the team will aim to ?bring young talented British riders, who have displayed promise both on the domestic front and on the continent, together in a professionally structured team riding both in the
UK and on the continent.?
Whilst the professional transfer merry-go-round is now well and truly in full flight, it?s important to remember that below the cr?me de la cr?me are a large number of aspiring riders, many of whom have to base themselves in foreign countries during the season. With this in mind, a new organization based in
France called the ?Sport Europe Solidarite? has been set-up to help riders find a new club, within the country, to meet their level of ability. For more information, contact Serge Pineau of SES on firstname.lastname@example.org.