AFP (Paris) announced that that ONCE had offered Indurain around $US11.6 milion to ride for one year. Indurain is considering his future. This amounts to around four times his present salary at Banesto.
Miguel Indurain is having a very busy end of season. He will not forget the '96 season, because of his results, or the offer from ONCE, the second he gets from the beginning of his career and that has cause quit a stir. Here is yet another interview with Miguel Indurain:
Q: Are you going to continue in cycling and with what team?
Q: Why have you met with ONCE, after spending all your life with Banesto?
A: They wanted to speak with me from before la Vuelta a Espana. We agreed on Tuesday after many days when either them or I couldn't meet. They wanted to talk and we have. Once before, ONCE had made me an offer, but my conversations with banesto were too advanced.
Q: What has ONCE offered you exactly?
A. They have exposed their ideas, what they would like to do with me, their objectives. It is a good objective. I have listened to everything they have told me, what they have presented. I haven't asked for anything and we haven't spoken about my brother Pruden. Why am I going to ask for anything if later I don't sign.
Q. Have you learned something new about ONCE, that you didn't already knew?
A. It is the first time that I speak to them so seriously about things that one knows, but that somebody from the inside tells you. We have told me what can be done with the calendar. I already knew how ONCE works, their way of riding. It is a team that works with a lot of intensity.
Q. Are you capable of remaining with the best for one more season?
A. Sabino, (referring to his trainer) has told me that physically I can be with the best riders. From that to giving the maximum there is still a bit.
Q. Do you have any guarantee that you can return to your best level?
A. It is clear that age keeps on passing by, but I can remain close to that level, at least it seems that way.
Q. Do you know three months, exactly what happened to you at the Tour de France?
A. I don't know what happened to me at the Tour and I don't want to dwell on this. The only thing that I know is that fifteen days before the start of the race I was fine and after that I was bad.
Q. Can we deduct from the fact that you have spoken with ONCE that you will remain in cycling?
A. The only thing that can be deducted is that I have spoken, not that I will continue. I have a contract with Banesto until December and now I will have to decide.
Q. Have you spoken with somebody from Banesto after your meeting with ONCE?
A. No, I haven't spoken to anybody. I spoke to Jose Miguel (meaning Echavarri), but before I spoke with ONCE. My contract ends on December 31st anyway.
Q. Is there any satisfaction that almost at the end of your career, another team is interested in you?
A. It is always a satisfaction when somebody remembers you. Anyway, Banesto has taken good care of me and I have always been able to do what I wanted.
The rider limit set by the UCI for the next two years will be 25 for '97 and 22 for '98 and has forced Mapei to restructure the team completely. The whole Spanish block will disappear, only Mauleon and Pena continue since they have one more year in their contracts, but they have freedom to negotiate with whomever and only if they don't get a contract with another team will they continue with Mapei. Also incorporating to the Milanese team will be Tonkov, accompanied by Camenzind, Fois, Svorada, Bramati and Faresin, his most trusted companions from Panaria. Bugno will also spend next year with Mapei, although he hasn't signed yet, but has a verbal agreement.
If Squinzi has not officially announced Olano's departure it is because, he still needs to contact Echavarri so that Olano can go to Banesto, with at least, part of the Spanish block from Mapei. Until now only Manuel Fernandez Gines, good friend of Olano, has signed with banesto. The Mapei boss pretends, in this way, that the Spanish riders from his team won't be separated and if possible that nobody has to stop riding because of not having an offer.
In the case of Arsenio, Etxabe and Beltran. Echavarri seems interested in Noe and Colonna, whose contract end with Mapei this year. Squinzi will attempt to squeeze, if not in Banesto in other teams through Echavarri, Arsenio, Etxabe and Beltran. Lastly, a rumor coming from Italy, states that Indurain has already signed a contract for '97 with various suppliers of materials and accessories for team ONCE.
Abraham will not sign until January 1st to save money - Giorgio Squinzi is called 'Dottore' although he's title is in economics and business. He's also called 'Telefonino' (little telephone man) because of his addiction to this apparatus. He presides the building component company founded by his father and enjoys making and breaking in the team, at the contract level and at a sporting level.
Only remember the telephone conversation that he had with Patrick Lefevere, one of his sport directors, when Museeuw, Bortolami and Tafi were about to reach the Roubaix velodrome alone. Squinzi ordered that the Belgian had to win and that's how it was. Now he wants to place the extra Spanish riders so that they are not out of work. Olano is already taken care of, although he will not sign with Banesto until January 1st, so that he doesn't have to pay 30% of his earnings to Marc Vibert, his manager until December 31st.
The 24 year old son of 5 time Tour winner Eddy Merckx rode this season for Motorola which is finishing at the end of the season. Prior to that he rode for Telekom. Merckx came third in the Tour of Lombardy last Saturday, the second last World Cup event. And earlier this month he was fourth in the Worlds, won by his teammate Johan Museeuw.
Maybe Mig can lend him some money!!
Cyclocross at Vossem (Bel) 1. Van der Poel (Ned) 1.01.00 2. Vervecken (Bel) 0.35 3. Van Santvliet (Bel) 4. Nijs (Bel) 0.45 6. Mario Declercq (Bel) 1.10 6. Janssen (Bel) 7. Moonen (Bel) 8. Van den Abeele (Bel) 9. Wouters (Bel) 10. De Bie (Bel) Kermesse at Aalsmeer 1. Beicirch (Dui) 125 km in 2.47.10 2. Van de Wolf 3. Bastiaanse 4. Neloebin (Rus) 5. Van den Broek 6. De Loo 1,40 7. Van de Meer 8. Teutenburg(Dui) 9. De Clercq (Bel) 10. De Meester (Bel) Dernykoers at Alkmaar 1. Slippens (Ookmeer) 50 laps in 12.11 (avs. 61,5 km/u) 2. Stam (Koogaan de Zaan) 3. Rozendaal (Warmenhuizen) Cyclocross at Oldenburg (Ger) 1. Boezewinkel (Hooglanderveen) 59.12 2. Nieberding (Dui) 0.20 3. Scheffer (Velswijk) 0.25