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Vuelta News forSeptember 2, 2003

Edited by Chris Henry

Domina Vacanze out of Vuelta

Unipublic, the organising body of the Vuelta a España, has held its ground and officially excluded Domina Vacanze from the race in response to Mario Cipollini's decision not to take part. Domina Vacanze was a wildcard selection for the Vuelta, and Unipublic has said on several occasions that the team's invitation was dependent on the presence of world champion Cipollini. The team's own efforts to persuade its star to make the trip to Spain were unsuccessful.

"The Vuelta and cycling deserve more respect from Domina Vacanze," said Victor Cordero, sports director for Unipublic. "On August 5th, when we sent the letters of registration to the invited teams, we made it clear: Cipollini's presence was imperative. On the 18th, they responded to us with Cipollini included as leader. Now they tell us he's not coming."

Cordero added his disappointment that other teams could not be invited in place of Domina Vacanze, but noted that the three week tour will carry on with only 21 of the 22 teams invited. "It's also unfortunate that we have to deny entry to riders like [Cipollini's teammates] Miguel Angel Perdiguero or Giovanni Lombardi," Cordero continued, "but this is a matter of principle."

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