News for November 25, 1996

Armidale Cycle Classic, Western Australia, 23/11/96

50 mins plus 3 laps

 1. Henk Vogels (Rabobank)
 2. Simon Lillistone (UK)
 3. Eddie Hollands (All Bike and Gear)
 4. Frederick Bartelson (Denmark Post)
 5. Wayne Van Moorsel (Bicycle Entrepreneur)

Manuel Saiz talks about Indurain

Manuel Saiz, sport director of Team ONCE, said today that he wouldn't want to be in Miguel Indurain's skin at this time, with everybody waiting for his decision if he will continue or not.

"The great worry for Spanish cycling is if Miguel will continue or not", said Saiz, who added: "I imagine that each day that passes makes it more and more difficult for him to make a decision, since now he shares every moment with his wife and son and he can ask himself: 'Why should I go back on the road?'".

For Saiz, Indurain is the best athlete that Spain has had and that's why, Saiz says, he has the right to take all the time that he wants to make his decision.

"Miguel is honest with himself and wants to think carefully about what he will do with his future", he said. "ONCE's luck is that one rider doesn't make the team, but 20 riders with the quality of Alex Zulle, Laurent Jalabert, Mikel Zarrabeitia, etc. If Indurain comes, I'm not going to expect more from him than from the rest and if he doesn't come I can say that I have a great team", affirmed Saiz, who added that in his opinion Miguel Indurain still has a lot of reasons to continue.

Jose Maria Arroyo, president of the National Organization of the Spanish Blind (ONCE), declared that the cycling team that is sponsored by their entity, will have a budget according to their possibilities.

"If an important rider comes, we would have to reflect on how far we could go", he said. ONCE's director said that they would be honest with Banesto. "We are not going to create any type of competition, anyway everything depends on Miguel's personal decision".

Konyshev to Roslotto-ZG

Thirty year old Russian rider, Dimitri Konyshev, will ride for Team Roslotto-ZG Mobili in 1997, directed by ex-cyclist Moreno Argentin.

Konyshev, professional since 1989, has had 19 career victories, amongst them the most distinguished ones are: three stages at the Tour de France, two at the Giro d'Italia and one at La Vuelta a Espana.

The Russian rider who rode for Aki in 1996 and lives in Italy, has twice been bronze medalist at the World Championships, in Chamberry'89 and Benidorm'92.

The Cofidis Lineup

France's new Team, Cofidis will have in their lineup: Swiss Tony Rominger, Italian Maurizio Fondriest and American Lance Armstrong as team leaders. Cyrille Guimard, sport director for Cofidis, has concluded the formation of his team, which will count with 21 riders of different nationalities.

The last incorporations have been, British David Millar and French Arnaud Tournant, both coming from the amateur field. The whole lineup is as follows: Tony Rominger (SUI), Maurizio Fondriest (ITA), Lance Armstrong, Frankie Andreu, Bobby Julich and Kevin Livingston (USA), Christope Capelle, Laurent Desbiens, Philippe Gaumont, Stephane Goubert, Nicolas Jalabert, Yvan Martin, David Moncoutie, Francis Moreau, Christope Rinero, Cyril Saugrain, Bruno Thibout, Arnaud Tournant (FRA), David Millar (GBR), David Plaza (ESP) and Jim Van de Laer (BEL).

Batik-Del Monte

Team Batik-Del Monte, the new team directed by Emanuele Bombini which regroups riders from Gewiss-Playbus, will have a meeting starting on Sunday to Wednesday at the Hotel Liros di Stradella (Pv). There will be test and medical checkups for the 19 attending: Bertoletti, Berzin, Brignoli, Brognara, Cenghialta, Cerioli, G. Colombo, L. Colombo, Frattini, A. Meier, Minali, Odriozola, Pierobon, Spezialetti, Stocco, Tartaggia, Toffaroli, Volpi, Zanini.

Banesto's meets to plan 1997

Banesto's first meeting in Pamplona to develop the plans for next season. Prudencio Indurain showed up, even though he has yet to sign his contract with Banesto. Prudencio awaits his big brother's decicion, but his presence at the Banesto meeting tells us of Indurain's closeness to Jose Miguel Echavarri's team. Miguel still on vacation in the Caribbean, with his wife Marisa and little Miguelino.

Route for 1997 Tour of Spain announced

The Organization of la Vuelta a Espana has announced the route for the 1997 race, which will start in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon on September the 6th and will conclude in Madrid on Septemebr 28th. For the first time in the history of la Vuelta, the race will go outside of Spain. La Vuelta will remain in Portugal until the second stage.

Prudencio Indurain

Until last Tuesday, Prudencio Indurain hadn't received an firm offer from Banesto. The younger brother of the Navarran champion has already commented that he had a few offers from Spanish teams for '97, but that Banesto hadn't connected with him yet to renew his contract.

He was also interested in separating his career from his brother's, who is still on vacation. "On Tuesday I met with Echavarri. We talked about money, about the calendar, about training. Now I know what his intentions are for me.

The next day, I was with the team, because he asked me to attend a meeting to plan the season a bit. Jose Luis Jaimerena (second sport director at Banesto) told me that he was counting on me. I must contrast my offer from Banesto with the others, weigh the conditions and then decide", says 'Pruden'.

He was quick to add that "I don't want to say that things are going bad for me at Banesto. I'm happy. It is true that when it was Reynolds (although he became a pro in the second year of Banesto) the environment was more intimate".

Although he came out "burnt" from the meeting with Echavarri. "He has distanced himself lately. He's not the same Jose Miguel as always. I'm fine at Banesto, there are things that get cold and things that heat up...".

But there are things that he can't understand. "For example, it was thrown in our faces that we don't have FICP points. How are we going to do it, if we spend all year working for Miguel? And watch out, because we are proud of doing that. But now, they are worried because if Miguel doesn't continue in banesto, the team will be without his points and without a position on the next Tour.

Until now that subject had never worried Banesto. It is one of the best teams in the world, but everything is concentrated on Miguel and that is normal. And it is normal that we all work for him from the first to the last day of the races, specially at the Tour. Sometimes we don't get to where we would want to be, because when Miguel is in form, nobody can keep up with him, the same thing happens to other great team leaders. The riders like me who work for Miguel, are not riders that win races. It is true that last year I rode with a little more ambition, but always depending on what my brother might need every moment". He says that Miguel has never interfered with his decisions and that that attitude has been reciprocal between them. "Miguel has nothing to say about this matter. If I want advise I would ask for it and he gives it to me. But if you don't, each one does as he believes".

What is Miguel going to do?, half of the country is asking. Prudencio is convinced that "the only one who doesn't have his future clear is him. It is true. Here everybody has given their opinion, in the family, we have all given our opinions, but it is not relevant to get into details. My opinion? My opinion is double: yes and no. As a brother I would ask him to retire. As a rider I would ask him to continue active".