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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

News Flash for January 14, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones

Fred Rodriguez signs at last

The most asked question on Cyclingnews over the past few months can finally be answered. Two time U.S. Champion Fred Rodriguez has found a team for 2003. The former Domo-Farm Frites rider signed on Monday with Division I team Sidermec (formerly Tacconi Sport) of Italy, joining stage race specialist Stefano Garzelli and classics rider Gianluca Bortolami.

"The economy of cycling is so low right now," said Rodriguez, who waited until after the UCI had released its final list of Division I teams late last week. "Everyone is so behind in their sponsorship schedules that I had to wait until everything settled down and Sidermec had the position for me."

Rodriguez joins Bortolami as one of the team's main classics leaders. "With the experience I gained last year in my success in Gent-Wevelgem and Milan-San Remo [where he finished 2nd behind Cipollini], I feel like I can improve upon that in the classics this year. I've been working with my coach René Wenzel and I'm ahead of where I was last year at this time."

Rodriguez's outlook is also helped by the acquisition of recently retired Coast team pro Mauro Gianetti as Sidermec team director. "Mauro is one of the friendliest riders in the peloton and I get along well with him. He has faith in my abilities and pulled hard to get me on board."

Also see: Cyclingnews Fred Rodriguez interview

(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2002)