Durand “Escapes” At Dauphine
Jacky Durand (Fdjeux.com) fell during today’s (Thursday) 239 kms fourth stage of the Dauphine Libere between Vienne and Morzine. The Frenchman has been transferred to Vienne hospital with injuries to his right elbow. Race doctor Gerard Porte said Durand needed further examination to ascertain the seriousness of the injury.
Op For Galdeano
Igor Gonzбlez de Galdeano (ONCE-Eroski) had a one hour operation on his broken collar bone on Wednesday. Doctor Mikel Sanchez who carried out the operation in Vittoria recommended that Galdeano does not take part in the Tour de France. “Everything has gone well”, said the doctor, “titanium screws have been inserted and he is stable, however I recommend that he does not ride the Tour”
Robbie To Lead Lotto-Domo at the Tour
The Lotto-Domo team will go to the Tour de France with a team dedicated to providing stage wins for sprinter Robbie McEwan. Director sportif Claudy Criquielion says that Rik Verbrugghe, despite recovering well from his stage 3 crash in the Giro d’Italia, will not make a serious assault on the GC in the Tour. Verbrugghe rode and finished the Tour of Luxembourg at the beginning of the month, with Criquielion saying, “I am very glad he managed to finish, in fact his form seemed better than in the first three days of the Giro. In the Tour he could win the prologue and hold the yellow jersey for a number of days but he should forget the GC, we will go to the Tour with Verbrugghe, Merckx, Baguet, Brandt and Van Bon who can all work for McEwan “. This past week Verbrugghe has been training around Perpignan in the south of France and will ride next weeks Tour de Suisse as final preparation for the Tour.
German TT Champs in Black Forest
This weekend sees the German national Time Trial championships in the town of Reute near Freiburg in the Black Forest. Gerlosteiner’s Uwe Peschel will be defending his title over a 40 kms course but will get strong competition from team mates Michael Rich and Sebastian Lang, also among the fancied riders are Jens Voigt (Crйdit Agricole), Christian von Kleinsorgen (Bianchi) and Bert Grabsch (Phonak). The women’s race takes place on Saturday over 28 kms and sees the Team Nuremburg trio of Hanka Kupfernagel, Trixi Worrack and Judith Arndt as the favourites.
No Giro In 2004 for Lotto-Domo
Lotto-Domo have announced that they will have a more traditional early season programme in 2004. It seems that the team will not ride the Giro d’Italia next year and will send a squad to the Dauphine Libere instead and then the Vuelta a Espana later in the year.
Petacchi Says “Si” to TDF
Fassa Bortolo sprinter Alessandro Petacchi confirmed on Monday evening that he will start the Tour de France on July 5th. After the Giro, Petacchi told journalists he would not be on the start line in Paris but on Monday he stated, “when I said I would not ride the Tour I was tired and the battery was flat and the intention was to prepare for the Vuelta and the Worlds, however after taking ten days off the bike I realise it would be an error not to ride the Tour”. The 29 year old from La Spezia recently took six stages in the Giro d’Italia and wore the Pink jersey for six days at the start of the race. With 12 victories this season (including three stages of the Vuelta a Aragon), Petacchi is the most prolific winner of 2003 so far.
Casagrande Wants The Tricolour
Francesco Casagrande (Lampre) is targeting the tricolour jersey of Italian champion to close out the first part of his season on a high. Casagrande has never won the championship which takes place on June 29th and commented earlier this week, “After eleven years as a professional it would be fantastic to win the title of Italian champion, the course at Saltara (20 kms south of San Marino) suits my style of riding”. Casagrande bounced back to finish third overall at the Euskal Bizikleta last weekend after the disappointment of his withdrawal from the Giro d’Italia in the final week. He will be using this Saturday’s GP Gippengen and the Tour de Suisse which starts Sunday as final preparation for the Italian RR Champs.
Vlaanderen Stars Could Fly
Jean-Pierre Heynderickx director sportif of the Belgian second division team Vlaanderen-T Interim fears that the good form displayed by the team during the past weeks will lead to some of his top riders leaving for bigger teams at the end of this year. “Even though we have had only two victories this season we have been very consistent all year”, said Heynderickx. Those victories came from Wim Van Huffel in the Hel van Mergelland and Wouter van Mechelen who won stage in the Circuit des Mines. However both Stijn Devolder who was third in the prestigious GP E3 in March and James Vanlandschoot who was tenth overall in the early season Tour of Qatar have been attracting the attentions of the bigger teams for next year.
“Madrid 2012” Signs Vuelta Deal
Madrid 2012, the organisation behind the candidacy for Madrid’s bid for the 2012 Olympics has signed an agreement with the Vuelta a Espana organisers Unipublic which will see the “Madrid 2012” logo appear on the leaders jerseys during September’s race. Advertising hoardings will also be erected at the stage finishes as well as television commercials which will appear both on Eurosport and TVE during the transmissions of the race.
Pantani & Alessio: Last Chance For Tour Dance?
It seems that Marco Pantani’s last chance of riding the Tour de France could rest with the Alessio team. Pantani has been rejected by both the Bianchi and Vini Caldirola squads as a guest rider for the Tour. Alessio will probably go into the Tour with Pietro Caucchioli and Laurent Dufaux as their men for the overall GC.
Kraftwerk Release New Version of “Tour de France”
More good news for Euro-trash-ophiles! The German cult band Kraftwerk have released a new version of the classic Electro song “Tour de France” to mark the 100th anniversary of the race. The song was originally released in 1983 and the updated version is to be part of a new album to be released on the 21st of July.