Its like the hot girl on the checkout, you always end up choosing her to scan your barcode. Don’t resist, here’s some shrink wrapped Euro slices for your shopping cart: UCI No. 1 – Zabel, Erik’s Ladder, Simoni’s Yodelling, Rebellin Returns, Bettini and a New Pro Team For The UK…
UCI No. 1 – Zabel
Mr. Consistency, the ever reliable, evergreen, blah blah blah, Erik Zabel is UCI No. 1 once again following his excellent silver medal place in the Worlds last weekend. The German sprinter, renowned for his professionalism, mild mannered nature and longevity has been in and out of the top spot years and this looks set to stay the same. That is, providing he doesn’t fall off a ladder or something…
After returning home to Germany, Zabel’s luck took a turn for the worst. In a ladder related incident, the man on top of the UCI points table fell from grace and fractured his heel. This has finished his season and also puts his plans for the winter on hold. In previous years the T-Mobile rider’s appetite for racing has matched the appetite for pie and cake of some of his famous team mates. Zabel has appeared on the six day circuit in the past but a repeat performance this year looks unlikely. He is however expected to make a full recovery. Get well soon!
Its the latest in Italian fashion, coming to a boutique near you: PassportChange pour homme. Yes, now its Simoni, the diminutive Italian climber and former Giro winner is seeking Austrian citizenship. ‘Gibo’, rankled at being left behind in the world championship selection is hoping to follow Rebellin’s example and jump ship. However, Austrian Cycling Federation president Otto Flum gave an interview with Austrian newspaper ‘Der Standard’ and has said that “Simoni has a lot to give to Austrian cycling,” “But we not only want him to start for our country at the next World Championships; he should also become an active member of our cycling scene.” It is not yet known whether Simoni has agreed to enrol in the compulsory yodelling classes.
Speaking of Rebellin, the Itali.. sorry, Argentinean rider will make his return to racing at Paris-Tours this Sunday. The Gerolsteiner Pro had a disappointing World Championships – he didn’t ride. After attempting to gain Argentinean citizenship, the paper work was not completed on time so Rebellin’s start in Verona was blocked. Unlucky.
One name conspicuously absent from the weekends worlds results was Olympic Champ Paolo Bettini. After banging his knee on the door of his team car in a ‘freak accident’, (we heard he was involved in a pre-race orgy of Monty Python imitations of John Cleese’s Ministry Of Silly Walks) the Quick-Step rider abandoned the race due to the pain. Fortunately for him, no damage was done and ‘the cricket’ as he is known, will return to racing at the weekend.
Pro Team For UK
Following a successful season on the amateur circuit, one of the UK’s premier teams ‘Recycling.co.uk/MG X-Power’, is turning Pro next for 2005. Team Manager Phil Leigh is registering the outfit in the new ‘Continental Division’ replacing Division 3 next year. The teams roster will be expanded and whilst it will be based in the UK, the team will participate in races internationally. This development can only be good for the future of cycling in Britain.