You can’t stop yourself, you know it, so go on, take a look, its that spicy EuroTrash again: Tour Of Britain, Rebellin’s Rebellin’, Nederland Says No To Ronde, Jean Floc’h Hits The Big Time, Transfer News and Kessler’s Back…
Tour Of Britain
September 1st; back to school for some, but for others, the happy day saw the start of the Tour Of Britain. The race replaces the now defunct ‘PruTour’. The first of five stages launched in Manchester yesterday with a 207km jaunt around the area. After an enthusiastic early escape by Duncan Urquhart (Scotland), Rodney Green (Barloworld) and Robert Partridge (Wales), the peloton regrouped allowing QuickStep veteran Stefano Zanini to take the bunch sprint ahead of Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Lotto-Domo and Alejandro Alberto Borrajo (Arg) Ceramiche Panaria. The race features a strong contingent of teams from across the continent including Chocolade Jacques (CHO), Ceramiche Panaria, QuickStep-Davitamon, Crйdit Agricole, Team CSC, Bodysol-Brustor, Lotto-Domo, T-Mobile, MrBookmaker.com-Palmans, Team Barloworld, Navigators and the US Postal boys.
What do Davide Rebellin and Alejandro Alberto Borrajo have in common? Right now, not lot, but that could all change in the next few days. Poor Rebellin thinks that his chances for selection in the upcoming Verona World Championships look slim so he’s decided to take the drastic decision to apply for an Argentinian passport. He would therefore potentially become the team mate of Mr. Borrajo, another Argentinian. Rebellin believes confirmation of his citizenship should arrive soon and his place on the Argentinian National Team for the Worlds is already guaranteed.
Nederland Says No To Ronde
Last Saturday saw the end of the final Ronde van Nederland. Erik Dekker took the victory by the smllest of margins in his home race. This was the third time the Dutchman has won the overall classification of the race. The race is not completely disappearing from the calendar. As a result of the ProTour, it is metamorphasising into the ‘Benelux Tour’. The new event, co-organised by the Belgian and Dutch federations will include stages in Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg.
Jean Floc’h Hits The Big Time
France will have a new pro team for 2005. The very succesful and highly organised amateur Jean Floc’h outfit is stepping up to the plate and joining the ranks of the new ‘continental division’. This division effectively replaces Division’s 2 and 3 under the new UCI team classifications for next season. In practise, this means that the team will compete throughout Europe in UCI categorised events just below the ProTour level. Teams such as this will play an important role in development for young riders as well as ensuring that smaller pro races do not die out in the shadow of the behemoth that is the ProTour.
I could write an individual piece on each rider but a) It would take up too much space, and b) I’m too lazy. Here’s the summary:
Tom Steels: Landbouwkrediet-Colnago to Omega Pharma-Lotto
Cristian Murro: Miche to Domina Vacanze
Pietro Caucchioli: Alessio-Bianchi to Crйdit Agricole
Ludovic Auger: Auber 93 to Fdjeux.com
Lilian Jйgou: Crйdit Agricole to Fdjeux.com
Stйphane Augй: Crйdit Agricole to Cofidis
Hervй Duclos-Lassalle: Crйdit Agricole to Cofidis
Cyrille Monnerais: Jean Floc’h to Fdjeux.com
Ian McLeod: HSBC to Fdjeux.com
Christophe Detilloux: Lotto-Domo to Fdjeux.com
Jussi Veikkanen: VC Roubaix to Fdjeux.com
Stйphane Barthe: Oktos-Saint Quentin to MrBookmaker.com-Palmans
Kessler Back In Action
T-Mobile rider Matthias Kessler returned to racing at the Internationale Hessen-Rundfahrt yesterday. You may recall the German pro having a rather violent collision with a fence post after a crash in this years Tour de France. The 25 year old suffered a collapsed lung following the incident but has thankfully recovered from his ordeal.