Vuelta News forSeptember 1, 2003
Edited by Jeff Jones & Chris Henry
Two more years for Cipollini - and no Vuelta
World champion Mario Cipollini has extended his contract with Domina
Vacanze through 2005. At the same time, team manager Vincenzo Santoni
has confirmed that Cipollini will not start the Vuelta a España.
Vuelta organisers have threatened to revoke Domina Vacanze's invitation,
which was based on the presence of the world champion.
According to a Marca report, Domina Vacanze's management tried to convince
Cipollini to contest the Vuelta, but unsuccessfully. Cipo has, on the
other hand, decided that he will join Italy at the world championships
in Hamilton, Canada.
Euskaltel-Euskadi for the Vuelta
The orange boys, Euskaltel-Euskadi, will ride the Vuelta España
without top men Iban Mayo and Haimar Zubeldia, but will still have a competitive
team for their national tour. With climber Roberto Laiseka at the helm,
the team will also contain David and Unai Etxebarria, Iker Flores, Gorka
Gerrikagoitia, Gorka Arrizabalaga, Gorka González, Iñaki Isasi and Alberto
Kelme to turn 25
The Spanish Kelme-Costa Blanca team will hit an impressive milestone
in 2004, marking 25 years of sponsorship for title sponsor Kelme. Already
the oldest team in the professional peloton, Kelme emerged
from financial hardship in 2002 with the additional backing of the
Generalitat Valenciana, which stepped in to pay all riders' salaries through
the end of 2002, as well as ensure support until at least 2005. Team manager
Vicente Belda was forced to reduce his roster from 25 to 22 riders, but
the team's presence in the peloton was maintained.
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