Contracts and Transfers- The first retreat by Team Cantina Tollo begins today (11/07) at Porto Sant'Elpidio, and will conclude on Tuesday. The Italian team, managed by Vincenzo Santoni with Giuseppe Petito & Palmiro Masciarelli has given itself new life by contracting some top riders like Ukranian Sergej Gontchar, sprinter Massimo Strazzer and Marco Villa, climbers Gilberto Simoni & Alessandro Baronti, from the Italian Natioanl Team at San Sebastian. Cantina Tollo is composed of 18 riders: Baronti, Bellini, Colage, Di Renzo, Frizzo, Gentili, Giunti, Gontchar (Ucr), Hvastija (Slo), Ljungqvist (Sve), Magnani, Pierdomenico, Rittsel (Sve), Simoni, Strazzer, Trenti, P. Valoti & Villa. They will ride Pinarello bicycles.
- Team Scrigno-Gaerne will meet on November 10-11 for medical exams at Reggio Emilia. The confirmed riders are: Conte, Casarotto, Rossato, Tronca, Apollonio, Pieri, Filippo Casagrande, Secchiari, Vatteroni; and the new acquisitions Laddomada, Cei, Zanetti, Glomser, Axelson, Panetta, Douma & Auriemma.
- The list of riders for Team Ballan, which will debut as the main sponsor in 1998, is growing. After securing riders with the caliber of Gabriele Colombo, Gontchenkov & Leoni; the team from Miozzo will also count with Ugrumov and Cattai.
Hot Rumour - UnconfirmedThis has not come from any of my usual sources. But just remember that you heard it here first. Mick Turtur, ex-Gold medallist in the Team's Pursuit at the LA Olympics, has been promoting track racing in Adelaide at the Superdrome. Spectator interest in the events was high initially but has fallen off a bit in recent years in terms of crowds attending.
He also works for the South Australian major events corporation which aims to reduce the loss that the State faced when it lost the Formula One Grand Prix to Victoria. The rumour - there will be a 6 Day Tour in and about Adelaide next year. Route planning is underway and 2 high profile Tour de France finishers have been signed up to start.
The questions that will be asked: How much of the money that is being raised to run the event will stay in Australia and be used to develop Australian cyclists? The rumoured fees for the foreign riders are rather large. Also, how much of the promotional budget will be taken by the organisation as "profit" - again being lost to Australian cyclists?
When more is confirmed - like dates etc, I'll let you all know. I tried to get more info from my usual sources but they didn't know anything.
American Team Saturn will take two Aussie RidersPhill Bates Promotions have released a statement which confirms that Team Saturn will take two riders from the now defunct Giant-AIS team for next season. The initial proposal was to take 4 riders. The two riders who are most likely to be chosen are Matthew White and Peter Rogers with about $60,000 being put in by Australia.
The actual arrangement is not confirmed however and a teleconference is being organised for next week.
This is some return for National Coach Heiko Salzwedel who is the only reason these riders have had any professional opportunity at all after the Australian Cycling Federation and the Australian Institute of Sport pulled the pin on his team. He approached Saturn some time ago but delays in decision making by the ACF and AIS may have jeopardised the proposal.
The President of the ACF Ray Godkin continued to argue when approached yesterday (Friday 5/11) that the Giant-AIS team was not sustainable given the financial support that was available from the sport's budget. defended the body today over its stance on the men's road program, saying it simply lacked the finances to support a professional trade team. Godkin argued that the team required an injection of over $200,000 which the Federation did not have.
The plan from Salzwedel was that the ACF/AIS would put in $200k and help support the 4 riders. The ACF/AIS rejected this proposal and reduced their financial exposure.
Salzwedel has expressed his disappointment in the public press this week saying that the officials lack vision and have failed to take a window of opportunity for Australian cycling. This criticism has often been made of the officials in Australian cycling.
A report from AAP's Roger Vaughan also quotes Godkin as saying: "Cycling Australia will run Cycling Australia the best way it should be - it's not there to buy people jobs." In other words, disagreeing with Salzwedel.
UCI to meet on Richard's CommentsThe UCI Disciplinary Commitee will meet today (Friday 5/11) to decide about comments made by Olympic gold medallist, Switzerland's Pascal Richard. Richard threw a shadow over Dane Bjarne Riis and German Jan Ullrich, by suggesting that they had both avoided the anti doping controls. Richard may face disciplinary action for this.
Award for MinaliSprinter Nicola Minali, who had nine wins this season and will ride in 1998 with Team Riso Scotti, will receive an award tomorrow at San Giovanni Lupatoto (Verona), from the supporters of the Fans club Minali. Also present at the activity will be his current director Bombini and teammates Cenghialta & Brognara.
Cipollini and Gotti to star in "film"Next week Mario Cipollini, Ivan Gotti, Roberto Petito & Paolo Savoldelli (new acquisition for Saeco) will fly to America to pose for the Cannondale publicity poster, the North American bicycle company which is running an important marketing promotion. Cipollini & C. will also become actors in a videoclip. When they come back to Italy, the Saeco men will meet at the Monsummano Terme college from the 19th to 21st.