What's Cool In Road Cycling

Euro Trash – Thursday

All the latest news from Europe: Team Fakta in Sponsor Talks: Hamilton and Van Bondt crash in Holland: Piil interests Phonak: Zulle considers retirement: New Spanish team takes shape: Totschnig out for season: Perez Signs For Labarca: VDB: Cafй Rйveil Matin

Team Fakta in Sponsor Talks
Team Fakta who are to lose their main sponsor at the end of this season are hopeful of pulling of a deal with Danish firm Grundfos, a manufacturer of a wide range of industrial pumps according to team manager Peter Sejer

Hamilton And Van Bondt Abandon In Holland
CSC riders Tyler Hamilton and Geert Van Bondt both fell during Wednesday’s second stage of the Ronde van Nederlands. Both riders had to abandon the race, Van Bondt sustained a fractured collar bone while Hamilton has a finger injury. Alessandro Petacchi was hardly surprised at the injuries sustained by the riders saying, “if you finish a race with three laps of three kms over cobbled streets then you are not surprised if there are falls – cobbles belong in Paris-Roubaix not here”.

Erik Zabel won Thursday mornings 86 kms third stage of the race between Coevorden and Denekamp, Thursday afternoon sees a 23 kms individual time trial.

Phonak Interested in Piil
Phonak team manager Urs Freuler is interested in signing CSC’s Tour de France stage winner Jacob Piil. Freuler has had preliminary dicussions with Piil’s manager Jens Veggerby

Zulle Considers Retiring Again
For the second time this season Alex Zulle (Phonak) is considering retirement. Zulle almost quit earlier this year after the problems with his previous team Coast. Zulle switched to the Phonak team in March but has been disappointed with his form which has seen him perform poorly in both of his “home” tours the Tour of Romandie and the Tour de Suisse, he hasn’t taken a win this season and third overall in the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon is his best result this year. The 35 year old Swiss says that he will finish at the end of this season if his form does not show signs of returning even though he has a contract for 2004 with Phonak.

New Spanish Team Takes Shape
Amidst the crisis in Spanish cycling, a new pro team is close to coming into being. The new team is based on the Galician amateur squad Supermercado Froiz which is run by ex pro rider Evaristo Portela and will receive sponsorship from the organisation Caixa Galicia and also the Galician regional government. The president of main sponsors Caixa Galicia, senor Mauro Varela is presently on holiday and will not give his final decision to back the project until the first week in September. If the new team does come into being it will retain the same infrastructure as the Supermercado Froiz and use BH bicycles. The team will have a minimum budget of 1.5 million Euros with 16 riders and the managers will be Evaristo Portela and another ex pro Rodriguez Gil who rode with the Santa Clara team.

Totschnig Injury Could End his Season
The Gerolsteiner rider George Totschnig (Austria) fell heavily during Tuesday’s running of the Tre Valli Varesine and will probably miss the rest of the season due to injuries sustained to his left calf and right elbow. 32 year old Totschnig who finished 12th overall in the Tour de France came down after 110 kms of the race and has returned to Austria to receive treatment on the injury.

Sergio Perez Signs For Labarca
Spanish second division team Labarca 2-Cafe Baque has once again strengthened it’s squad by signing Sergio Perez from the Relax-Fuenlabrada squad. Last week Labarca signed the two Colombians Hernan Buenahora and Felix Cardenas in time to ride the Vuelta a Espana. Perez from the Aragon region will also ride the Spanish Tour. The final nine riders for the Vuelta a Espana for the Labarca-Cafe Baque team is now: Cesar Garcнa Calvo, Aitor Kintana, Jose J ‘Pipe’ Gуmez, David Lуpez, Fran Gutiйrrez, Sergio Pйrez, and the Colombians Felix Cбrdenas and Hernan Buenahora.

VDB Out Of Belgian TT Champs
Frank Vandenbroucke (Quick Step) has pulled out of Sunday’s Belgian time trial championships leaving just 29 starters in the event. Vandenbroucke will ride the GP Plouay instead on Sunday. Vandenbroucke is down on the official provisional start list which was issued today (Thursday) for the Vuelta a Espana (number 158), however team boss Patrick Lefevre does not seem too impressed with VDB’s current form saying, “he rode anonymously in the Tour de l’Ain and he abandoned both in Zurich and in Zottegem on Tuesday”.

Cafй Rйveil Matin Damaged By Fire
According to French newspaper L’Equipe the Cafй Rйveil Matin in the Paris suburb of Montgeron has been severely damaged by fire. The Cafй Rйveil Matin has an important place in cycling history as it is the place where the first Tour de France in 1903 started. This years centenary Tour visited the Cafe during stage one and a commemorative plaque was unveiled.

Stagieres For Palmans-Collstrop
The Belgian Palmans-Collstrop team is to give trials to Kurt Hovelynck and Benny De Schrooder for the rest of the season. Hovelynck has been riding for the teams development squad and finished 9th in the U23 version of Liege-Bastogne-Liege, while De Schrooder has been with the ABX-Go Pass amateur squad. Team manager Hilaire Van Der Schueren was pessimistic over the riders actually getting offered a pro contract after the trial period, saying that financial constraints next year would make it difficult for any new riders to be engaged by the team. He also said that it is possible that a third English stagiere may be taken on by the team before September 1st

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