Road

Sunday’s EuroFile: Valverde, Kelme happy together; The Mallorca Challenge

Alejandro Valverde has received a nice pay raise and will earn closeto 1 million euros per season in a new deal signed with the Comunidad Valenciana-Kelmeteam (formerly Kelme) and will lead the team until at least 2007.Valverde was Spain’s revelation last season, winning two stages andfinishing third in the Vuelta a España and taking silver at theworld road championships in Canada.Despite efforts by other teams to lure Valverde away from the troubledKelme team, the Valencia regional government stepped up to ensure the team’sfinancial future and secure Valverde’s services, the Spanish daily

Alejandro Valverde has received a nice pay raise and will earn closeto 1 million euros per season in a new deal signed with the Comunidad Valenciana-Kelmeteam (formerly Kelme) and will lead the team until at least 2007.Valverde was Spain’s revelation last season, winning two stages andfinishing third in the Vuelta a España and taking silver at theworld road championships in Canada.Despite efforts by other teams to lure Valverde away from the troubledKelme team, the Valencia regional government stepped up to ensure the team’sfinancial future and secure Valverde’s services, the Spanish daily MARCAreported.Despite the team’s demotion to TT2 status for the 2004 season, Valverdewasn’t eyeing a run at the Tour de France and will instead focus his effortson winning the Vuelta and shining at the Summer Games and the road worlds.The team is also poised to finalize the deal with 2001 Vuelta championAngel Casero, who is set to ride for the team with a one-year contract.Armstrong’s Tour goals put Olympics on back burner
Five-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong has admitted his aimto go for gold at the Athens Olympics could be doomed by his potentiallyhistoric bid for a sixth straight yellow jersey.”My plan is to race in Athens but it’s going to be very difficult,”Armstrong told the AFP in an interview during the team’s training campin California.”Twenty days after the Tour de France, it’s probably the toughest periodyou have. Get into another work cycle and trying to get that back intothe Olympic Games is going to be very difficult,” Armstrong told AFP. “Potentiallythe best riders at the Olympics will be people who either skipped the Touror people who did only half of the Tour or people who use the Tour strictlyas preparation.”
Team for Mallorca Challenge
The following teams have been announced by race organizers for theMallorca Challenge set to open the European road season the first weekof February:Bankgioroloterij (Nl)
CSC (Dk)
Euskatel-Euskadi (Sp)
Geroslteiner (Ger)
Illes Balears-Banesto (Sp)
Comunidad Valenciana – Kelme (Sp)
La Barca 2-Café Baqué (Sp)
Liberty Seguros (Sp)
Lokomotiv (Rus)
Paternina (Sp)
Phonak (Swi)
Quick Step (B)
Rabobank (Nl)
Relax-Bodysol (Sp)
Saunier Duval (Sp)
Spanish Track Team (Sp)
British Track Team (GB)
T-Mobile (G)
Wiesenhof (G)