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Belgian Frank Vandenbroucke, who recently left the Quick Step team, on Friday signed a one-year deal with the Italian Fassa Bortolo squad, according to his manager, Paul De Geyter.
“After his departure from Quick Step, Vandenbroucke had several choices but his preference always was for the Italian team,” said De Geyter, adding that team owner Giancarlo Ferretti hopes to see the Belgian tackle the classics and the Tour de France.
Fassa Bortolo is the third Italian team for Vandenbroucke, following stints with Mapei and Lampre.
The Belgian, who is recovering from a broken collarbone, faces other problems. The prosecutor’s office in Termonde said last month that it would soon ask that he appear in court in reference to an investigation opened after the discovery in February 2002 of doping products allegedly found in his residence.
Bortolami signs with Lampre
Gianluca Bortolami will leave Vini Caldirola to race for Lampre in 2004, the team announced Friday in Milan.
The 34-year-old cyclist has 30 wins in his 14-year career as a professional, including the 1994 World Cup and the 2001 Tour of Flanders.
Bortolami began serving a six-month suspension on June 27 after testing positive for corticoids on April 2 during the Three Days of La Panne in Belgium, where he won the first stage and held the overall lead until the final time trial..
Ferrari returns to court in December
The next hearing in the ongoing case against Dr. Michele Ferrari, who is accused of distributing dangerous substances to cyclists and other athletes, will come December 17 in Bologna, according to judicial sources.
The court is expected to rule on a defense request for a new expert report on the differences in values of hematocrit and hemoglobin in certain athletes who are clients of Ferrari.
The prosecutor contends that the variations come from external sources and thus prove the use of EPO. The defense argues that they are physiological. – Copyright 2003/AFP