What's Cool In Road Cycling

Spanish Musical Chairs

Looks as though the latest rider to win the “ I don’t like my contract” war is Kelme, er Aqua, er Fassa Bortolo’s Aitor Gonzalez. I’m sure Tom Boonen is sending his manager over to Aitor’s house today in an effort to find a better way around honoring his Postal paperwork. Although the paperwork with A&S was not mentioned, the UCI have acknowledged that they feel the Fassa contract is valid. I hope that A & S get a little follow up, as it seemed that they did have an agreement. Aitor’s people seemed to have acknowledged that they had a contract with A&S when they said they had done what they thought was required to break it (why break what you don’t have?). I guess we will see what the UCI use as a determining factor, as I would hope that simply signing another contract doesn’t seem to legally void one that already exists.

I guess it’s just as well, as it would have been an extreme let down for Super Mario to have given up half of the lead out “Thundering Herd” of Italian Zebras to an effort of towing Aitor around long enough to come in third or fourth in the Tour behind Armstrong, Ulrich and Beloki. More interesting still is that Aitor was most motivated to join a team where “I can be the only leader”, when Fassa has re-signed Dario Frigo, who definitely qualifies as a stage race leader. And you do have to love the “dopers two step” at Fassa who re-signed Dario Frigo after doing the “responsible thing” by abandoning him last year while throwing up there arms claiming no knowledge of his actions when he was caught with a blood booster so new it wasn’t even approved for human use yet. The thought of immediately sacking Frigo when he is suspect only to rehire Frigo as a convict is a little confusing. Funny what a number 6 world ranking will do to the morals of Team managers!

I hope I am not the only one left wondering what the Kelme team would be like had they kept a few or their former members. You may as well give ‘em all red polka dot bikes before the TDF starts had they been able to keep Roberto Heras, Jose Rubiera, The TerminAitor, Santi Botero and heck, why not bring back Fernando Escartin? I get altitude sickness just imagining riding around behind that team. I don’t know what makes people leave Kelme, but they sure do produce great riders and as the oldest Division 1 team by quite a spread, I hope they get things stabilized and keep turning out super talent (and maybe even keeping some of it).

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