News for September 4

Olano Persuaded Not To Forgo Worlds

Reigning world road race champion Abraham Olano has decided -- appparently after pressure from Dr Giorgio Squinzi, the boss of adhesives maker Mapei, one of the sponsors of his Mapei-GB team -- that he will, contrary to an earlier decision, take part in next month's world championships in Lugano. Olano is to ride both the time trial on October 10 (he was silver medallist in the event in Bogota last year) and the road race on October 13.

Two Italians suspended for drug taking

Italy's professional cycling league said on Tuesday it had banned two of the country's top riders, Fabiano Fontanelli and Franco Ballerini, for doping offences.

Fontanelli was banned for six months after testing positive for having a too high testosterone/epitestosterone ratio during the Amstel Gold Race on April 27.

The 31-year-old rider finished fifth in the 253-km Dutch World Cup race from Heerlen to Maastricht and went on to win a stage of the Giro d'Italia the following month.

Ballerini, who won the Paris-Roubaix classic in France last year, was given a 20-day suspension for testing positive for ephedrine in the Grand Prix of Wallonia on May 16.

Wim de Vos finds new sponsor

Cyclo-cross rider, Wim de Vos has found a new sponsor after he resigned from the Belgium professional team, Espace Card. He didn't name the sponsor but his new team which will include two other contracted riders will be presented in Heeswijk on September 15.

Belgian Kermesse at Wetteren

Wetteren, Professionals
 1. Spaenhoven (Bel) 	165 km in 3.50.00
 2. De Meester (Bel)
 3. Dauwe (Bel)
 4. Prokopenko (Oek)
 5. Van Steen (Ned)		all s.t.

Armstrong To Cofidis -- It's Official

As widely predicted, Lance Armstrong has signed a contract -- initially for two years -- for new French team Cofidis, which has Cyrille Guimard as its directeur-sportif. Armstrong, who will be team leader, is taking several Motorola team-mates with him to his new team -- fellow Americans Frankie Andreu and Kevin Livingston, and French riders Laurent Madouas and Bruno Thibout. GAN riders Francis Moreau, Philippe Gaumont and Laurent Desbiens are also joining the team as are Festina's Stephane Goubert and Yvan Martin, La Mutuelle de Seine-et-Marne's Nicolas Jalabert and Christophe Rinero and Aubervillier 93-Peugeot's Christophe Capelle and Cyril Saugrain. "Neo pro" David Mouncoutie joins from GSC Blagnac. Guimard intends starting the 1997 season with 18 riders and is currently negotiating with two Spanish riders, a Belgian and an Italian. Cofidis, which sells goods on credit by telephone and has more than 3 million customers, has announced that it will sponsor the team for a minimum of three years.

Rominger to ride the Vuelta

Tony Rominger (MAPEI) has according to Swiss Television reports decided to participate in the "Tour of Spain 96".