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Photo ©: Schaaf

Latest News for September 2, 2003

Edited by Chris Henry

Arvesen to leave Team fakta

Arvesen's Giro triumph
Photo: © Sirotti
Click for larger image

Norwegian Kurt-Asle Arvesen, winner of a stage in this year's Giro d'Italia, plans to leave Team fakta. Arvesen is expected to announce his new team Wednesday, according to his manager Birger Hungerholt. Arvesen has decided to take advantage of other offers rather than wait for the team to find a replace sponsor for fakta, which will end its support at the end of this season.

Already courted by Crédit Agricole last year, Arvesen stayed with Team fakta to honour his contract obligations. He is rumoured to have been sought once again by the French Crédit Agricole team this July around the time compatriot Thor Hushovd re-signed with the team, although Denmark's Team CSC is a strong possibility for Arvesen.

"We are counting on that Kurt-Asle will sign for another team this week," Team fakta manager Peter Sejer Nielsen told "I am pretty sure though that the other riders will wait and see before they get themselves other jobs. Too little is happening on the sponsor front, unfortunately, but we haven't given up hope."

Another Norwegian arrives

Even as Team fakta risks losing riders at the end of the season, fellow Norwegian Gabriel Rasch of Division III Team Ringerike will join the team as a stagiaire for the rest of the season, according to Norwegian news agency NTB. He will make his Division I debut in the UCI 1.2 Ronde van Midden-Zeeland in the Netherlands (September 6), followed by one day races in Belgium, France and Germany.

Jaksche to CSC

Jörg Jaksche has signed for 2 years with Team CSC, after having reconsidered his initial decision to switch from ONCE-Eroski to the German Gerolsteiner team. Jaksche reached an agreement with CSC team director Bjarne Riis, and will help bolster the team along with Ivan Basso, who arrives as team captain Tyler Hamilton departs for Phonak Hearing Systems.

"I know Jörg very well and I am aware of his qualities," Riis said on the team's website. "He will be an important rider for us in the hilly spring classics and in the stage races where he has shown a lot of promise. He does a good time trial and he climbs better than most other riders. I know that he has the right attitude towards his work and he will fit perfectly into the team. I am convinced that he will show more sides of his great talent at our team."

Sastre stays

Team CSC has also extended its contract with Tour de France stage winner Carlos Sastre, who will stay with the Danish formation for another year.

"We are happy to be able to keep Carlos," noted Riis. "He means a lot to the team and he has been able to live up to the high expectations that we have had to him all along. He made a significant breakthrough in this year's Tour and I believe that he has more and even greater results in him."

Van Petegem confident for World's

After an impressive performance in Sunday's GP Eddy Merckx, a two-man time trial in Bruxelles, Belgium, Lotto-Domo's Peter Van Petegem has declared himself confident for the world championships in Hamilton, Canada. Van Petegem and Leif Hoste, the more recognised time trial rider of the two, finished third behind the Michael Rich and Uwe Peschel (Gerolsteiner) and Michael Rogers and Laszlo Bodrogi (Quick.Step-Davitamon) in Sunday's test.

"Things are coming to a crescendo," Van Petegem told La Dernière Heure. "I'm going to take advantage of the month of September and races like Paris-Bruxelles and GP Fourmies to hone my form, then head to Paris-Tours and the world championships."

Van Petegem, winner of Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, now sits in third position in the overall World Cup standings, behind Michael Boogerd and Paolo Bettini, who now holds a considerable lead over his two rivals with two races remaining. Van Petegem's best World's performance came in 1998 when he took the silver medal in Valkenburg, Holland behind Switzerland's Oscar Camenzind.

Hoste sticks with Lotto

Leif Hoste, named as a possible choice for Noel Demulemaere's new team, Chocolat Jacques-Passage Fitness First, has reportedly decided to stay with Lotto-Domo after receiving an offer for the next two seasons. Hoste was the driving force behind Lotto's third place in the GP Eddy Merckx two-man time trial, along with Peter Van Petegem.

"You have to remember that I was teamed with a guy like Leif Hoste, who is not an unknown in this sort of test," Van Petegem said of his teammate in La Dernière Heure. "If I finished in third place [Sunday], it's largely thanks to him."

Also re-signing with Lotto-Domo is Wim Van Sevenant, who himself was also offered a two year extension.

Lampre ready for Vuelta

The Italian Lampre team will head to the Vuelta a España with high hopes, counting on its Spaniard Juan Manuel Garate to put in a good performance. Backed up by the experience of Wladimir Belli, Garate will have something of a leadership role while racing on home soil.

"Lampre goes to the Vuelta with the intention to do well, and the desire to be a protagonist in an important race like the Vuelta," said team manager Beppe Saronni, quoted in Datasport.

Sprinter Jan Svorada will be looking for stage wins in the bunch finishes, while Mariano Piccoli will be looking to get into breaks and animate the race.

Lampre's full line up includes Wladimir Belli, Simone Bertoletti, Rubens Bertogliati, Alessandro Cortinovis, Juan Manuel Garate, Mariano Piccoli, Daniele Righi, Jan Svorada, and Patxi Vila.

Bernabeu suspended

David Bernabeu
Photo: © AFP
Click for larger image

David Bernabeu, a Spaniard on the Portuguese Milaneza-MSS team, has been suspended from competition until July 26, 2004, according to Spanish paper Meta 2Mil. Bernabeu tested positive for a banned corticoid, betametasona, after the penultimate stage of this year's Paris-Nice. He won the race's final stage and finished sixth overall. Bernabeu is the second Milaneza rider to test positive this year, along with Francisco Perez, who tested positive for EPO at the Tour de Romandie.

Moreno honoured in Aragón

Spain's Maribel Moreno, gold medallist at the recent European U23 Championships in Athens, was honoured Tuesday by Pedro García Villamayor, Director of Sports from the Aragón government. She was recognised for her sporting achievements at a ceremony at the Cúpula de Cultura del Edificio Pignatelli. Moreno is the highest ranked woman in the Spanish Federation rankings, and overall winner of the U23 Copa de España.

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