Vuelta News forSeptember 4, 2003
Edited by Jeff Jones & John Stevenson
Cipollini and Domina back in the Vuelta
Mario Cipollini at the Giro
Photo: © Sirotti
The Domina Vacanze team is back in the Vuelta España, after World Champion
Mario Cipollini changed his mind about attending the three week Spanish
tour, in which he won three stages last year. The team arrived in Gijon
last night and will be submitted to the compulsory medical tests before
taking the start in the team time trial on Saturday.
"We did what we had to," said team manager Vincenzo Santoni in an official
statement. "The final contract did not require [Cipollini's] presence
in the Spanish stage race, but we had discussed it only in the initial
phases, therefore morally we have an obligation to the organisers."
Cipollini's attitude was decisive, according to the team. "He assumed
responsibility to represent the team to the best of his ability. He demonstrated
that he is a true captain and a genuine World Champion. I thank him for
this. Surely Cipollini will be more comfortable in this team after renewing
his contract until 2005."
Santoni believes that "This rules mechanism needs to be reviewed. Paradoxically
we had a lot of difficulty with the World Champion because all the organisers
wanted Cipollini. However now we're thinking of the Vuelta. We aim to
do well, we've contested the Spanish race since 1996 and we have always
figured in it."
The director of the Vuelta, Enrico Franco, said that "In the case of
Domina, keep in mind that they responded to the Vuelta after receiving
an invitation from the organisation, after asking us to participate and
facilitating a list that included Cipollini."
If Cipollini should do the unthinkable and abandon on the first stage,
then Franco said that the Vuelta cannot exclude the team, but the UCI
may take measures.
The full Domina Vacanze team consists of Mario Cipollini (Ita), Giovanni
Lombardi (Ita), Gianpaolo Mondini (Ita), Miguel Martin Perdiguero (Spa),
Kyrylo Pospyeyev (Ukr), Michele Scarponi (Ita), Francesco Secchiari (Ita),
Filippo Simeoni (Ita) and Santos Gonzalez Capilla (Spa), with Giuseppe
Petito and Enrico Paolini as directeurs sportifs.
US Postal fields "strongest ever" Vuelta team
US Postal has revealed the riders that will take part in the Vuelta a
España which starts Saturday in Gijon.
Previous Vuelta winner Roberto Heras will lead the team, according to
directeur sportif Johan Bruyneel. "[Heras] deserves to be the leader of
our team at the Vuelta," said Bruyneel. "I think our team is probably
the strongest we have ever sent to the Vuelta in our history. Roberto
is fully recovered from the Tour de France and said he is ready to go
Heras will be supported by his fellow Spaniard Jose Luis Rubiera, Canadian
Michael Barry and Australia's Matt White, allof whom rode last year's
Vuelta in which Heras finished second. They will be joined by Manuel Beltran
of Spain, Americans George Hincapie and Floyd Landis, Luxembourg's Benoit
Joachim and Max Van Heeswijk of the Netherlands.
"George and Floyd are two good riders who, due to other circumstances
this season, have not yet reached 100 percent of their strength," said
Bruyneel. "They both rode the Tour but still have lots of energy left
for the rest of the season. These are riders who are still fresh to ride
the whole month of September and that is the key. The most important thing
is you have to have fresh and motivated riders - that is 50 percent of
their performance in the month of September. If you have a rider who is
motivated and fresh, that is a pretty good guarantee for good results.
Floyd in particular is very motivated. He was already talking about the
Vuelta during the last week of the Tour."
Bruyneel also said Heras has been feeling well the last month. "He took
time off after the Tour, tested his feelings at the Tour of Burgos, left
that race feeling good and has continued to work hard since."
ONCE for Vuelta
The ONCE-Eroski has announced the composition of the team that will start
the Vuelta a España, which starts Saturday and runs until September 28.
Staying at 'home' for ONCE's swansong appearance in the Spanish national
race will be Jose Azevedo (Por), Igor Glez. De Galdeano (Spa), Jan Hruska
(Cze), Jörg Jaksche (Ger), Isidro Nozal (Spa), Mikel Pradera (Spa), Joaquín
Rodríguez (Spa), Marcos Serrano (Spa) and Ángel Vicioso (Spa).
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