Our Spanish correspondent, Alastair Hamilton, has been trawling the Spanish media for all the top headlines. News on Big Jan, Aitor, Blanco and Spain, Africa and Canada???
BIG JAN IN SPAIN
Jan Ullrich arrived today, Saturday, in the coastal village of Gandia for a training camp. Team Coast riders and technical staff will be based on the Costa Blanca before going on to Mallorca for the start of the season. Big Jan on the other hand won’t be starting his season for a bit, he’ll be keeping away from night clubs, pie shops & fast cars.
Ex-i.banesto.com rider Santiago Blanco has signed for small Spanish team Relax-Fuenlabrada for one season. Blanco, who won a stage in this years Vuelta and finished 57th. in the Tour de France, was one of ibanesto’s strong-men for the short stage races and is looking forward to being team leader with Relax.
NO LICENSE FOR AITOR
Dodgy Acqua & Sapone manager, Vicenzo Santoni, has managed to stop the issuing of a race licence for last years Vuelta winer, Aitor Gonzalez. Gonzalez had signed a pre-contract aggreement, with Santoni, but then signed with Fassa Bortolo and paid 50,000 euros to release him from the pre-contract. Santoni said he never received the money, even though he has signed the papers. Gonzalez’s representative, Angel Buenache, has comented that “this could be a new Linda McCartney”.
SEASON START IN MAJORCA
The Challege de Mallorca starts on the 2nd. of February, with 20 teams and all the stars, well some. Beloki, Bettini,Freire, Zabel and possibly Dekker if he can keep his knee away from hotel doors. The first stage is round Palma for 82 kms, then four stages of around 160 kms each, all over the island.
AFRICAN TO RIDE FOR AMORE & VITA
Samuele Teffashi from Ethiopia has signed for Div II team Amore & Vita for the 2003 season. The 20 year old replaces Kenyan Duncan Seko, who last year rode for RDM-Flanders, in the International bunch, to probably never to be heard of again!
(Duncan – if you are out there – please drop us a line and let us know what you’re up to- ed.)
TOUR START IN CANADA YOU SAY?
The story that the Tour will start in Quebec in the year 2008 is in all the Spanish papers this week. It’s said that the Town Mayor, Jean Paul L’Allier is behind the plan with three stages in Canada. There has been no official confirmation. In the past this has been talked about, but never happend.