The Week That Was(n't The Tour de France)
Ian comments on the happenings in the world of cycling.
With the announcement last month that the Discovery Channel will be taking over the title sponsorship from the US Postal Service, Director Sportif Johan Bruyneel has been busy trying to strengthen his squad with a view to meeting the requirements of the new UCI Pro Tour that requires all teams to compete in the Tours of France, <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
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As his legal teams continue to pursue the authors and publishers of ?LA Confidential?, Lance Armstrong faces another legal battle, this time against him. Domina Vacanze rider Pippo Simeoni confirmed that he is pressing ahead with plans to sue Armstrong for defamation of character for comments made by the American about Simeoni after he testified against Dr Michele Ferrari. ?My lawsuit for defamation against Lance Armstrong is going forward,? said the Italian. ?(Armstrong) publicly insulted me and took advantage of his media power. That really bothered me so I?m seeking legal recourse for this.?
Ex-Kelme rider, Jesus Manzano (Amore e Vita), was thought to be missing in action last week as his new team manager, Ivano Fanini, admitted he was, ?very worried about the state of Jesus Manzano. After the team presentation at the end of March and after being questioned by the district attorney?s office in
The Europa Press later reported that Manzano was indeed well and had been away, dodging the throngs of press who waited daily to interview the rider at the centre of the Kelme doping allegations. It added that Manzano had indeed visited a clinic but it was not for depression, his girlfriend, Marina, is pregnant with their first child.
Although I know I promised no Tour talk for the next few weeks, I couldn?t resist revisiting a moment of poetic beauty from Italian climber, Gilberto Simoni. After finishing behind the leading five riders from his Saeco team in the Team Time Trial, Simoni lashed out after finding himself over three minutes behind the race favourites because of the new race rulings. ?I came here to win the race but my morale is in my boots. I?ve never liked the Tour anyway. I feel really bad. I just want