News for February 16

De Las Who?

Armand De Las Cuevas looks unlikely to join the peloton -- at least in 1996. The Collstrop quest for him has definitely been abandoned and contacts De Las Cuevas reportedly had with Banesto to be taken back on that team came to nothing. Other rumours linked De Las Cuevas with Aki-Gipiemme but have been denied by the team.

Emonds Banned in Belgium

Nico Emonds (Bel, Espace-Card) has been banned from racing in Belgium for six months by the Belgian sports ministry for failing to turn up for a drugs control after finishing 8th in a kermesse at Heusden near Gent on August 14. Thirty-six-year-old Emonds, who became the fifth fastest over the hour on Dec 6 in Bordeaux with 52.466km and hopes to make a new record attempt in May, is not prevented from racing abroad. But that's not much consolation for a member of a small Belgian team whose bread and butter comes from domestic kermesses.

Rominger Up, Pantani On The Up, Cassani Down

Tony Rominger, who fractured a rib last week felt no pain (at least not in his chest!) after a six-hour training session near his Monaco home. He will start the Ruta del Sol stage race in Spain on Monday.

Marco Pantani is likely to resume road training between March 5 and 10 says his Carera directeur-sportif Sandro Quintarelli. Pantani, who suffered a double leg fracture in Milan--Turin in October, is doubtful for the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France but hopes to be fully fit for the Vuelta a Espana in September.

Davide Cassani (Saeco) fractured his left humerus while training for the Tour Mediterraneen Wednesday (Feb 4). He will be out of action for two months.