Don't miss a moment from Paris-Roubaix and Unbound Gravel, to the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España, and everything in between when you join Outside+.
T-Mobile leader Jan Ullrich and his manager Walter Godefroot have talked through their differences and will continue to work together, Godefroot said here Saturday.
“It was a good discussion. In the future we’re going to speak more often together. Jan will continue to race for T-Mobile,” said Godefroot.
Both men refused to comment on the nature of the talks.
Despite being heralded as Lance Armstrong’s main rival on the Tour de France, former champion Ullrich finished fourth and a massive nine minutes behind the six-time winner, his lowest placing ever in seven races.
Godefroot has expressed his disappointment at Ullrich’s Tour performance and admitted to being at loggerheads with Ullrich’s personal coach Rudy Pevenage.
McEwen inks two-year deal
Australia’s Robbie McEwen, who won the greenjersey in the Tour de France, has signed a two-year deal with newly-formed Belgian team Omega Pharma-Lotto, the team’s sporting director Marc Sergeant said Saturday.
McEwen was already with the Lotto team and he will spearhead the new operation formed from a union with the Bodysol line-up.
McEwen will be joined at the team by compatriot Nick Gates, who was also at Lotto this season, as well as Belgian rider Peter Van Petegem.
The Belga news agency also reported that the new team will also recruit either Bjorn Leukemans or sprinter Tom Steels.
Aussie medal hunt won’t be derailed by scandals
Drug scandals won’t prevent Australia’s cycling sprint team from winning a medal at next month’s Athens Olympics, reinstated Olympian Ben Kersten said on Saturday.
Kersten, who left Sydney Saturday to join the Australian team in its German training camp, admitted Australian cycling’s reputation had been tainted by drug allegations, but insisted the sprint squad was clean. The 22-year-old sprint cyclist was on Friday restored to the team in place of disgraced Jobie Dajka, who admitted to lying to a drug inquiry when he said he had not self-injected in the room of former teammate Mark French at the Australian Institute of Sport’s training facility in Adelaide.
It was the latest twist in a tumultuous chain of events which have included allegations leveled against former world champion Sean Eadie and created doubts over whether Australia’s sprint cycling program was drug free. Kersten said while Australia’s sprint team missed out on a medal at the world track championship in Melbourne last May, it would definitely win an Olympic medal, possibly gold, with him in the team.
“We can achieve a gold medal-if all this sort of stuff stops … and they pick a team and we settle for that,” Kersten told reporters. “We are definitely capable of a gold medal; it would be very unlikely to be outside the top three.”
He was convinced the chaotic lead-up to the Olympics would not prevent the sprint team from focusing and achieving its full potential.
“I don’t think it’s going to be hard at all, there are such professional riders there and great talent that none of this is going to get in the way and I don’t think any of it has really got to the guys,” Kersten said. “They are that professional, it’s unbelievable, and we’re going to get along with the job that we just have to do.”
Asked if he thought Australia’s cycling program had been stained by the drug allegations, Kersten said: “It would be foolish not to think so.
“But it’s unfortunate that a few people’s actions, or maybe one person in the end, have tainted the whole of the team and we are going to have to live with that. “But it’s really unfair because it’s definitely a clean team and I am clean.”
Kersten said he was best suited to occupying the lead-off spot in the sprint team, though Eadie was also keen to be the starting rider. “It might come down to just seeing who is best at it at the moment. If it happens to be me, then Sean will slot straight into second, because he’s a fantastic second wheel as well,” Kersten said.
Dajka said he intended to appeal against his dumping and if he was successful, it would leave Kersten with no recourse for an appeal of his own.