News for July 8, 2002
Edited by Jeff Jones
Godefroot not impressed with Ullrich's attitude
Telekom's team manager Walter Godefroot hasn't forgiven Jan Ullrich for taking amphetamines at a disco while he was undergoing rehabilitation for a knee injury in June. The hard nosed team-boss made his comments before the start of the first stage of the Tour de France in Luxembourg today, "I do not understand how Jan, who was in rehabilitation, could find himself in a disco at three o'clock in the morning. That he is fighting depression is understandable, but I can't understand why he was stupid enough to take pills."
Godefroot cited Ullrich's accident two months ago where he had run into a bike rack with his Porsche, while driving under the influence. He was subsequently fined a large sum of money, and lost his driving licence for a year. "He had promised that this was the first and last time," said Godefroot. "The second time came too quickly. I'm not a baby sitter but I demanded a report on Jan's behaviour each week. I wanted to know everything about his activities and his form."
Ullrich's seemingly casual approach during the press conference on Saturday did nothing to appease Godefroot. "I did not like his coldness, his surety. Not once did he say that he hoped to come back to the team as if it was deserved. I tend to believe that it isn't."
Telekom makes Aerts an offer
Team Deutsche Telekom has made a serious offer to Belgian Mario Aerts (Lotto-Adecco), the winner of this year's Fleche Wallonne and considered to be a top prospect in Belgian cycling. Aerts is considering his options, as his current team Lotto-Adecco will be combining with Domo next year, meaning that around 25 riders will be looking for other teams. He has not yet said yes to Telekom.
Big Mat Woes Continue
Hard times continue for the French BigMat-Auber team. First the team missed out on selection for this year's Tour, then came the announcement that sponsorship would not be renewed for the next season. Now the team's bikes have been seized by Podiocom, the company which rents to BigMat its two team buses. Reported in today's l'Equipe newspaper, an unpaid debt of 56,101 Euros to Podiocom has meant that BigMat has been forced to hand over its bikes in the meantime.
All but nine, that is. Podiocom offered a gesture of cooperation by letting the team use the nine bikes required for a race in Poland.
Jean Delatour may lose director next year
The Jean Delatour team, which was granted a new lease of life by Jean-Marie Leblanc when he invited them to participate in the TDF at the expense of Saeco, will likely lose its directeur sportif Michael Gros next year.
Although his departure is not yet official, Gros' contract has not been renewed yet, and much may depend on how he and the team performs in the Tour de France. However, the relationship between Gros and the Jean Delatour organisation, in particular CEO Jean-Pierre Frety, are reportedly not good.
On the other hand, the team announced the contract extensions for three riders: Laurent Lefèvre, Eddy Seigneur and Stéphane Goubert.
Vannoppen extends with Palmans-Collstrop
Belgian cyclocross rider Tom Vannoppen has extended his contract with the Palmans-Collstrop team for another two seasons. Vannoppen will ride with World Champion Mario De Clercq, U23 World's runner up Davy Commeyne, and Britain's Roger Hammond, who was a junior World Champion himself. These four riders hope to be successful as a team in the next 'cross season.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2002)