News for October 25

Festina team riders in OZ

Six Festina riders will prepare for the 1996 European season in Australia between 7 and 28 January. Lars Michaelsen, Yva Martin, Stephen Hodge, Valerio Tebaldi plus two others to be picked by team manager Bruno Roussel will take part in five criteriums for the first week. The second week will be devoted to training and the third week to the Tour of Tasmania when they will be looke after by the former Helvetia rider Michael Wilson

Indurain Lets Go...At Last

Sunday afternoon (22 October) Miguel Indurain undertook tests, under top-secret conditions, on the Bordeaux track. During a first ride of a quarter hour he averaged 55.550kph (above Rominger's full-hour average of 55.291) but was unable to finish a second test because the setting sun shining directly through the velodrome windows was blinding him. "I couldn't see the line," he said "and preferred not to persist." He decided he would not try again -- at least at Bordeaux.

"On a 250m track [like this] I climb up [the banking] in the bends and I'm not at my ease." The only covered velodrome in Europe with a 333m lap length is in Moscow. "But," said Francis Lafargue, the Banesto manager present in Bordeaux, "we don't know what state it is in; the only information we have on it comes from the Russian trainer of the Colombian team and he hadn't been there for two years." But Indurain has no intention of going there right away, with his first child due within the month.

Final World Cup Standings

(Only includes those who qualified by riding a minimum six of the eleven races) 1. Museeuw 199 2. Tchmil 114 3. Gianetti 106 4. Bartoli 100 5. Baldato 91 6. Bugno 88 7. Fondriest 87 8. Sciandri 79 9. Armstrong 74 10. Zanini 65 11. Chappucci 62 12. Ballerini 58 13. Skibby 44 14. Elli 41 15= Ekimov 38 15= Fr. Casagrande 38 17= Capiot 36 17= Bortolami 36 19= Heppner 35 19= Cassani 35 19= Caruso 35 22. Zberg 33 23. Sorensen 32 24. Den Bakker 26 25= Furlan 25 25= Podenzana 25 27. Cenghialta 24 28. Ferrigato 23 29. Fontanelli 22 30. Tafi 20 31. Zaina 18 32. Piepoli 16 33= Konychev 14 33= Missaglia 14 35= Michaelsen 12 35= Rooks 12 37= Aldag 10 37= Imboden 10 39= Puttini 8 39= Bettin 8 41. Yates 6

French-German Team Takes Fuller Shape

The conseil-general of the Creuse region voted yesterday (October 24) to give its support, in association with as yet unnamed French and German commercial sponsors to a new team. The total budget will be 6.35 million French francs (1.3 million US dollars) and there will be 15 riders. Jean-Claude Cluis, the manager, and Marc Durant, the directeur-sportif, are in advanced negotiations with Jacky Durand. Thierry Laurent (Castorama), Herve Garel and Emmanuel Hubert (ex-Le Groupement) and Jean-Luc Masdupuy (Aki) have also been mentioned. Three additional places have been reserved for French riders, and over and above this Jean-Francois Bernard and Thierry Marie could be brought in. Both of these riders would require an additional sponsor to come in to meet their salary requirements (as was the case with Bernard at Chazal). Six or seven German and Italian riders would make up the rest of the team.

Coming and Goings

French rider Laurent Roux (Castorama) has signed for two years with TVM. " Several teams in northern Europe looking for a climber contacted me," he said. Roux will be accompanied to TVM by another Castorama rider, Stephane Petilleau.

Gilles Delion, France's last Giro di Lombardia rider in 1990, was not in hopeful mood when spoken to before the race about his prospects for 1996. "I've had two contacts, but the prospects are remote. If I have to stay on the touchline, I'll devote myself to mountain bike racing."

Thirty-four-year-old Jean-Claude Colotti, who has been dropped from the GAN line-up for 1996 is also pessimistic. "I've had a few approaches from foreign teams but the conditions proposed have been too precarious,. If I don't get an offer in France I'll retire. In fact I'm preparing myself for that."

Ex-Le Groupement rider Pascal Lino has signed for Italian team ZG Mobili whose directeur-sportif is Massimo Ghirotto and general manager Moreno Argentin. Argentin is said to be having some problems rounding out the budget for the team, which needs another main sponsor in addition to ZG-Mobili. For this reason he is only signing nine riders at this stage including Maurizio Fondriest and Giorgio Furlan.

New Teams

A new Dutch team, Foreldorado-Golff, directed by Frits Schur, has so far signed seven riders: Veenstra (ex-Motorola), Talen (ex-Mercatone-Uno), Meijs (ex-Asfra), Van den Akker (individual pro) and neo-pros De Louw, Van Dijk and Gilsing. An eighth rider is to be signed.

A Slovenian-based pro team sponsored by the companies Tollo and Cobo is to take the road in 1996. There will be three Slovenian riders, but the majority will be Italian neo-pros.

Obree a Phenomenom?

During the Bercy track meet at which Graeme Obree was beaten in the 4km pursuit by Chris Boardman after his chainset came apart and he was foced to borrow a bike from the Italian team he was asked by a French journalist if he could be considered "a phenomenom". [How would one translate this very French question?] "Phenomenon?" Obree replied. "Hmm. Let's say I wouldn't have made a good soldier in the army."