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Vuelta News forAugust 26, 2003

Edited by Chris Henry

Tension remains at Paternina

Vuelta exclusion threatened for Pecharromán

Tension remains strong at the Paternina-Costa de Almería team, notably between directeur sportif Miguel Moreno and his star rider José Antonio Pecharromán. Relations between the two turned sour following Pecharromán's deal to join the Quick.Step-Davitamon team for 2004 for a reported 1.1 million euros for two years. In return, Moreno has threatened to exclude Pecharromán from Paternina's Vuelta a España team.

Pecharromán's results in the past few weeks haven't helped his cause, prompting Moreno to tell Spanish paper AS that "somebody should tell him that abandoning races doesn't count for much in the Vuelta."

For his part, has blamed his modest results on a slow comeback from knee injury earlier this year. "It wouldn't matter to me if I were left out," he said of his Vuelta participation. "I'd leave my place for a teammate who is riding better."

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