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News for January 17, 2000
Mapei want Fons
The World's number one team, Mapei-Quick Step will hire former Belgian classics star, Fons de Wolf to be their public relations spokesman, according to team boss Patrick Lefevere.
Fons de Wolf last rode professionally nine years ago and has since been selling German luxury cars. He will take over the seven year job left by Claude Criquielion when the latter went over to Lotto-Adecco late last year.
"Fons will take over a key role in the team. The P-R function is very important to us," said Patrick Lefevere. "The sponsors see what a good rider he was when he was racing, and his experience in the luxury car sales area will help a great deal."
Memory Card Jack & Jones loses sponsor
By Tomas Nilsson, cyclingnews.com correspondent
BlueTel, a mobile telephone retailer with shops mostly in Denmark Germany and Italy, has, just before the season starts, jumped off as sponsor for Memory Card Jack & Jones. According to news paper Herning Folkeblad, MCJJ director Torben Kølbæk said that no papers were signed, but there was an oral agreement(!) for a sum of 3-4 million Danish kroner (400,000-500,000 USD). Lawyers have been engaged.
Danes to Nice
The Danish team Memory Card Jack & Jones can seek some comfort for lost money in the fact that the team has been invited to ride the Paris - Nice, an HC class stage race on March 5-12. A good performance here would mean a step forward in the struggle for a ticket to the Tour de France. According to news paper BT the team puts its hopes on Dunkerque winner Michael Sandstød in the prologue, Bo Hamburger overall with Jacob Pill and Martin Rittsel as outsiders.
No classics for Riis
Bjarne Riis has said, according to Danish web site cyclingworld.dk, that he will not ride the spring classics and that his Tour de France ride "hangs on a thin line". "The Eagle from Herning" will increase his training though, and emphasizes that he still has the will to compete on the bike.
Pregnolato not to be disciplined
After Fabiana Luperini was given an eight month suspension yesterday by the ICF (Italian Cycling Federation), they did not apply a penalty to Gabriella Pregnolato (she tested positive for ephedrine last year). According to the regulations, adopted by several national federations, that came into place at the beginning of this year, Pregnolato will not be disciplined for this offence. Reason being because it was the first time that she had tested positive for this stimulant. For "mild" stimulants, like caffeine and ephedrine, the new regulations allow a first infraction without penalty.
Italian doping: Besnati heard
The Italian doping investigation continues, with the latest in a long line of doctors, riders, and officials being heard yesterday in Rome. CONI's prosecutor listened to Dr Massimo Besnati, of the Riso Scotti team, who is also the president of the Italian medical association of cycling.
Besnati was questioned about illegal drugs that were found in possesion of people in the association. For his part, Besnati said that "we are aware that some doctors have muddied the name of the association and for this they will have to be investigated, but the greater part of our members are well in order. We have confirmed to the prosecutor our intention to collaborate in order to shed light on this together."
Yesterday the Power of attorney summoned Faresin, Bortolami, Bertolini and Gotti for this Saturday, January 22 to give evidence in the case.
A couple of weeks ago, Dutch world number 2, Michael Boogerd fell over whilst out taking a walk. This weekend he went to the hospital in Amersfoort, finding that he has a little crack in his right wrist. He won't need plaster and his wrist can be taped. He will be able to continue his training.