The Week That Was...
Speaking with the Europa press last week, Basque rider Iban Mayo said that despite recent speculation, there have still not yet been any approaches from other teams for his services in the 2005 season. "If there were offers we (Euskaltel-Euskadi) would listen to them," said Mayo. "If there are other teams willing to negotiate we will see what happens. But listening does not mean anything." Since the departure of David Etxebarria from the Basque team, Mayo?s position has seemed increasingly uncertain. The stumbling block for any prospective employer is likely to be the reported 900,000 Euro buyout clause in Mayo?s contract.
Following a disappointing 2004, former World Champion, Mario Cipollini, has signed a one-year contract with the new Liquigas team. In a final attempt to leave the sport on his terms, the 37 year-old will ride alongside fellow country-men Stefano Garzelli, David Dario Cioni and Franco Pellizotti. Cipollini has failed to win a major race since he won his 42nd and record breaking Giro stage last year. This season has seen the Lion King drop outside the top 600 ranking riders in the world following a bust-up with his Domina Vacanze team, management and riders.
Whilst at the official Tour de France presentation last week, Discovery Channel Director Sportif, Johan Bruyneel, used the opportunity to announce the teams 26th rider for 2005 Fumiyuki Beppu from
The new French Bouygues Telecom team announced its roster for the 2005 season. Director Sportif, Jean-Rene Bernaudeau explained that his new 26 rider squad aims to promote and focus on the young talent within the French peloton. "At the Pro Tour, we will have to match the best teams. But our goal is to prove that the French are as good as anybody else.? 2004 Tour de France revelation, Thomas Voeckler, and
The complete Bouygues Telecom line-up is: Walter B?n?teau, Giovanni Bernaudeau, Olivier Bonnaire, Franck Bouyer, Laurent Brochard, Anthony Charteau, S?bastien Chavanel, Mathieu Claude, Pierre Drancourt, Pierrick F?drigo, Yohann Gene, Anthony Geslin, Maryan Hary, Christophe Kern, Laurent Lef?vre, Fr?d?ric Mainguenaud, Rony Martias, Alexandre Naulleau, Micka?l Pichon, J?r?me Pineau, Anthony Ravard, Franck Renier, Didier Rous, Mathieu Sprick and Thomas Voeckler (all French), Unai Yus (Spanish).
Another team finalising its 2005 line-up is the Danish Team CSC. Bjarne Riis last week said that, "I am very pleased with the team we are now able to present as the Team CSC 2005." Riis added that "It's a strong and diverse team, tailor made for the Pro Tour. A lot of work has gone into selecting each rider on the team, and there are no coincidences among these 25 riders. I know we can achieve good results through the entire season with this team. This year has been a turning point for us, and we have shown, we belong among the absolute best in the world. We have every reason to be proud of what we have achieved so far. We came very close to finishing the season as number one in the world rankings, and this is thanks to our ability to put together a team, which is able to work together and perform at a high level for the whole season in all kinds of races...We possess the potential to win both the classics and the greatest race in the world - the Tour de France in the coming seasons." Riis also said that he was still negotiating with another co-sponsor and said that he hoped that the team would be able to increase its budget and further improve the team.
Team CSC will line-up next year without German rider, Jorg Jaksche. The former ONCE rider has left the team to join former Director Sportif, Manolo Saiz, at Liberty Seguros. Riis explained that, ?In order to gain some space in our budget we have chosen to let J?rg sign for
The full CSC line-up is: Ivan Basso (Ita), Carlos Sastre (Spa), Jens Voigt (Ger), Bobby Julich (USA), Michele Bartoli (Ita), Jakob Piil (Den), Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor), Frank Schleck (Lux), Andrea Peron (Ita), Fabrizio Guidi (Ita), Nicki S?rensen (Den), Lars Michaelsen (Den), Tristan Hoffman (Ned), Peter Luttenberger (Aut), Michael Blaudzun (Den), Manuel Calvente (Spa), Thomas Bruun Eriksen (Den), Vladimir Gussev (Rus), Brian Vandborg (Den), Christian Vandevelde (USA - Liberty Seguros), David Zabriskie (USA - US Postal), Lars Bak (Den - BankGiroLoterij), Giovanni Lombardi (Ita - Domina Vacanze), Matti Breschel (Den - neo-pro), Andy Schleck (Lux ? neo pro).
Think you have what it takes to make it as a Pro? Former Team Saturn rider, Rahsaan Bahati, is putting the finishing touches to a brand new professional team and is accepting resumes from all interested riders. You can email Bahati at email@example.com.
Till next week,