What's Cool In Road Cycling

Tour Trash – Thursday

Some of the latest stories from Europe includes items from the Tour. Leblanc warns demonstrators. Plus Beloki, Kloden, Petacchi, Midi Libre re-launched and other stories.

New Project For Lefevre
Quick Step-Davitamon manager Patrick Lefevre is in the process of developing another new Belgian team called Bodysol-Brustor. The main sponsor is Bodysol who produce sun tan lotion, the team aims to run in the second division in 2004 and will have twelve riders most of whom will be totally new names and will not be drawn from the current Quick Step division three team which will probably disappear altogether, although Lefevre hinted that one or two riders from that team could possibly move across.

Leblanc Warns Demonstrators
Tour director Jean Marie Leblanc has warned any future protesters who try to halt the Tour may be arrested. Tuesday’s stage was blocked briefly by a protest trying to gain the release of farmers union leader Josй Bovй from prison. Leblanc said, “I’ve noticed that the protest movements are more numerous and they all want to use the Tour as a platform for their grievances, if these people interfere with the riders physically and try to stop the race then the people who are responsible for race security, the police and gendarmes will do their jobs”.

Beloki Could Be Out For Rest Of Season
Despite a successful operation on his broken femur on Wednesday, Joseba could miss the rest of the season. Dr. Mikel Sanchez who performed the operation thinks that Beloki could resume training on the rollers in about three weeks but he thinks that Beloki will almost certainly miss the rest of the season. After the four hour operation Dr. Sanchez commented, “Everything has gone very well, we are very satisfied”.

Petacchi signs for Post Tour Crits
Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo), four time Tour de France stage winner, will ride the Aalst criterium in Belgium on Monday 28th July, Petacchi agreed to ride in the “Onion City” as long as team mate Marco Velo also got a contract to appear. The Italian will then move on to Holland to appear at Stiphout near Maastrict on the following day and then Roosendaal on August 4th.

Kloden Injury More Serious Than Thought
Andreas Kloden who quit the Tour on Monday at the end of stage nine has been found to have broken a pelvic bone which connects the pelvis to the base of the spine. It was originally thought that the German had muscular injuries in the upper leg but on closer examination and X rays back in Freiburg, Germany the fracture has been revealed. Kloden who suffered the injuries in the pile up on stage one in Meaux will have two weeks off complete rest and will not be able to resume riding for at least a month.

Midi Libre To Return With New Name
French sports daily L’Equipe reported on Wednesday that the Tour du Languedoc-Roussillon will replace the Midi Libre (UCI 2.1) stage race which failed to take place in May this year due the new owners of the Midi Libre newspaper pulling out of sponsorship due to “ethical” reasons. The race will be organised by the ASO (Amaury Sport Organization), which already runs the Tour de France. Support for the race will come the Languedoc-Roussillon regional council and the local Midi Libre newspaper plus additional sponsors. The race will take place between the 20th and 24th of May 2004 in the five departments of the Languedoc region with a final finish at the top of Mont Saint Clair. Jean-Marie Leblanc commented, “The ending of the Midi Libre left a vacuum in the calendar, along with the Dauphine Libere it was a logical build up to the Tour de France“.

Record TV Figures For French TV
A new record viewing figure for French TV saw Iban Mayo win the Alpe d’Huez stage on Sunday, 6.6 million people watched the classic Alpine stage. Five million saw Richard Virenque’s victory into Morzine. The flatter stages have been watched by an average of 2.5 million.

Herbreteau Takes Etape Du Tour
French Elite 2 rider Loпc Herbreteau of the Bressuires cycling club won the Etape du Tour cyclo sportiv race from Pau to Bayonne over 201 kms. The race was marred by a serious accident to Englishman Cormac Weldon who fell on the descent of the col de Soudet and suffered multiple fracture and is in a serious condition in Pau hospital.

Six Month Ban Proposed For Rumsas
The Lithuanian Sports Federation have proposed a six month minimum ban and a 2,000 Swiss Franc fine for Raimondas Rumsas (Lampre) as punishment for his positive test for EPO in this years Giro d’Italia, however it will be left to the UCI to take the final decision on the severity of the ban.

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