Italian riders on the rampage after Tour De France - Bike Magic

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Italian riders on the rampage after Tour De France

After Pantani and Cippolini, together with their respective Italian teams, Saeco Cannondale and Mercatone Uno, missed out on tour places in last weeks controversial wild card selection they have lost no time in proving their point.

Cippolini took his Cannondale to a typically explosive sprint victory in the final stage of the Giro De Trentino. Meanwhile leading World Cup rider Francesco Cassagrande took the overall win, letting others know he’ll be a prime contender in the Giro later this month.

Two of the other major contenders didn’t fare so well, with Pantani being one of the 100 of 122 riders washed out of the torrential Giro di Toscana road race after 100km of rinse cycling. Meanwhile Michele Bartoli has pulled out of the Giro altogether with exhaustion after feeling excessively tired following a training session.

The other team affected by non selection – the American Mercury / Viatel squad have been the centre of further trouble rumours after the American arm of Viatel filed for Bankruptcy. Eddy Borysewicz was quick to respond though, “The division in Euorpe, with its own network, is fine. So, we have money in the bank, everything is fine …. With the team, everything’s fine. And the European [division of Viatel] is very happy with the team.”

US Postal Team general manager, Mark Gorski, has also been commenting on the recent criticism of the team’s sponsorship by a public company. “The Postal Service is legislated to break even, doesn’t get tax dollars, and there’s a cycle of profit and loss based around rate increases. [Postal’s management] look at the cycle, not just single years.” “It’s part of our sponsorship deal that we have to bring new business to the Postal service that is worth four times the sponsorship fee and we have achieved that ever year since 1997.”

With Lance looking on track for the ‘Tour hat trick it looks like they won’t be dissapointed this year either.


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