The Week That Was...
Current Lampre-Caffita team leader, Gilberto Simoni, is reportedly in discussions to join the Domina Vacanze team for next season. After losing the Giro last year to teammate, Damiano Cunego, rumours have been rife about the rider?s ability to co-exist and lead the same team together. Simoni is currently fourth in the Giro standings behind Paolo Savoldelli. Cunego is already a further thirteen positions behind.
Rumours earlier this week suggested that the Italian Fassa Bortolo squad would no longer be after 2005, according to press sources in Belgium and Italy. Aimed at squashing such speculation, the team issued a statement just a few days later advising that an announcement over their future would be released on 31st May. Possible destinations for the team?s sprint king, Alessandro Petacchi, include Phonak and Discovery Channel although both have denied any interest. Another possible destination could be Liquigas who are looking to fill the shoes of the recently retired Mario Cipolini.
Following his unexpected withdrawal from the Giro last week, Discovery Channel rider Tom Danielson has found himself in the midst of speculation over whether he may or may not be lining up in France this July. Claiming to have no knowledge of an injured knee, Rick Crawford, Danielson?s personal coach, said to the Durango Herald that his immediate thought was that the team were looking to prepare Danielson to assist Lance in his quest for a seventh consecutive Tour de France victory this July.
"That was the first thing that popped into my head. I think I would have known if his knee was hurt, and this is the first time I've heard anything about it. I'm sitting on pins and needles. I don't know how to take it. I don't know if it's real or not real,? said Crawford. ?Sometimes there are ulterior motives with these things where they say one thing to the press, but then there's a lot of different things going on. They're sneaky with this stuff."
Discovery Channel Director Sportif, Sean Yates, later confirmed that an MRI scan had indeed shown an inflammation behind the Americans kneecap, an injury that has caused him insurmountable pain during the race. However, Danielson for the Tour? we will have to wait and see.
Following an enforced two-week lay off, Spanish World Champion, Oscar Freire, is hoping to line up at the start of the Tour of Switzerland on June 11. Freire had been suffering from an injury around the saddle area. As Freire?s team manager, Erik Breukink, explained to the ANP news, treatment and recovery from this type of injury can be difficult. He went on to add that, "Two weeks ago, Freire had an injection, after which he had to rest for two weeks. That time is now up. We will see if he is fit for the Tour of Switzerland. If he cannot ride that race it is obvious that he will not be able to go to the Tour."
It seems that love most certainly is not in the air at the moment for some of the biggest stars in cycling. Last week it was announced that Jan Ullrich had split from his long time love and mother of his child. This week, Star magazine in the US reports a possible split between Lance Armstrong and his current flame, Sheryl Crow. The magazine cites their gruelling workloads and difference in lifestyles as to the reason behind the split. These allegations have been denied by Johan Bruyneel, Director Sportif of Discovery Channel.
According to La Gazzetta dello sport, Mario Cipollini and his wife of twelve years, Sabrina Landucci, are also to follow suit. After several attempts to save their marriage, the pair have agreed to go their own separate ways.
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