Latest news from Europe and the Tour: Laur Aus tragically killed: Euskaltel and AG2R continue sponsorship: Beloki discharged from hospital: Lefevre to La Boulangerie: Garzelli needs Op: Tankink extends: Sachsen Tour.
Lauri Aus Tragically Killed
The Estonian professional Lauri Aus (AG2R) has been tragically killed while out training in his home town. The 32-year-old was struck by a truck, which police say was being driven by a person who was under the influence of alcohol. Tour de France spokesman Philippe Sudres said that a one minute silence will be held before the start of Monday’s stage in Bagneres-de-Bigorre.
Laurin Aus was born in Tartu, Estonia on the 4th of November 1970, he turned pro in 1995 with the small French team La Mutuelle de Seine et Marne, in 1996 he won two stages of the Tour de Poitou Charantes and this earned him a move to Vincent Lavenu’s newly expanded Casino team and join up with compatriot Jaan Kirsipuu. Lauri stayed with Lavenu for the rest of his career as the Casino team became AG2R. His palmares saw him take fifteen victories and many impressive placings, his most recent results were at the end of June when he finished runner up in both the time trial and road race of the Estonian national championships.
The death of Lauri Aus resembles the tragedy of Ricardo Otxoa who was killed while training in Spain in February 2001 and shows the risks that racing cyclists have to take on today’s busy roads while training to achieve the fitness required to race competitively. Pez Cycling News sends it’s condolences.
Lauri Aus Palmares
1996: Two stages Tour du Poitou Charantes: Stage Ruban Granitier Breton.
1997: Stage and Overall Tour du Limousin: Stage Tour of Poland: 2nd GP Cholet: 7th World Road Race Championships.
1998: Haribo Classic: Stage and Overall Tour Poitou Charantes: Stage Tour de L’Oise: 15th World Road Race Championships.
1999: GP Isbergues: 5th Milan-San Remo
2000: Estonian RR Champion: 2nd GP Ouverture
2001: Stage Tour du Poitou Charantes: 8th Overall Paris-Corezze
2002: Rode Vuelta a Espana
2003: 3rd Overall 3 Days of West Flanders: 3rd Tallinn GP: 2nd Estonian TT Champs: 2nd Estonian RR Champs.
Euskaltel To Continue Sponsorship
Spanish mobile phone company Euskaltel has guaranteed that it will continue cycling sponsorship until 2006. However, Company boss Jose Antonio Ardanza said that the amount of sponsorship would remain at 2003 levels and other sponsors would have to be found to increase finances required to retain Iban Mayo and Haimar Zubeldia in the team. Team manager Miguel Madariaga is in negotiations with the regional goverments of the Basque Country to bring them on board as co sponsors.
AG2R Also extends commitment
AG2R, the French insurance company has also extended it’s sponsorship of the cycling team run by Vincent Lavenu, it will remain as main backer until the end of the 2005 season. AG2R came in as main sponsors of Lavenu’s team in 2000, previous sponsors of the team had been Casino, Petit Casino and Chazal. Lavenu has already re-signed Nicolas Portal, Andy Flickinger, Inigo Chaurreau, Mikel Astarloza and Christophe Oriol for next season while negotiations are ongoing with team leaders, Jaan Kirsipuu and Laurent Brochard who are both at the end of their contracts.
Beloki Discharged From Hospital
Joseba Beloki (ONCE-Eroski) was discharged from Vittoria hospital on Monday where he has been since last Tuesday following his fall in the Tour de France. Joseba will have to attend the hospital as an out patient for a number of weeks to receive physiotherapy on his injured right hand.
Laurent Lefevre Signs For Le Boulangerie
27 year old Laurent Lefиvre (Jean Delatour) has signed a two year contract to ride for rival French team Brioches-La Boulangerie from next year. The news was announced from the Tour de France on Sunday and comes as no surprise as the future of the Jean Delatour team is unclear with the main backers Jean Delaour, a jewellery company, talking of pulling out of cycling sponsorship. Brioches team manager commented, “Laurent will fit into the team there will be no problem of integration”. Lefevre who has previously ridden for Festina and Cofidis has two victories this season, stage wins in the Dauphine Libere and Bayern Rundfahrt.
Garzelli Has Tonsil Problems
Stefano Garzelli who withdrew from the Tour de France with throat problems has been told by a specialist that he needs to have his tonsils removed to solve the problem. Garzelli will have the operation in the Autumn.
Tankink Extends Contract At Quick Step
Bram Tankink has joined fellow Dutchman Servais Knaven in extending his contract with Patrick Lefevre’s Quick Step-Davitamon team for 2004. Tankink and Knaven followed Lefevre when he left the Domo set up at the end of last year to set up the Quick Step team.
Sachsen-Tour International (UCI 2.3)
The Sachsen-Tour International (UCI 2.3) takes place this coming week in the eastern part of Germany between Wednesday 23rd and Sunday 27th of July. Defending champion Oscar Camenzind (Phonak) will be on the start line and he will be challenged by last years runner up in the race Jorgen Bo Petersen and Peace Race winner Steffen Wesemann (Telekom). Two Telekom riders will be returning from injury in the race, Danilo Hondo rides his first race since breaking a hand in the Deutchsland Tour and Cadel Evans starts his rehabilitation after a fall in late May in the TEAG Hainleite. Other men to watch are Beat Zberg, Ondrej Sosenka, Gianmatteo Fagnini and Bart Voskamp.