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By VeloNews Interactive, Copyright AFP2003
Mario Cipollini’s Domina Vacanze team on Wednesday threatened to sue the organizers of the Tour de France for being excluded from this year’s race.
In a statement posted on its official website, Domina Vacanze team officials said that if their appeal to the UCI to be included in the Tour was rejected they would seriously consider taking legal action in the matter.
The Italian team, which was overlooked for one of the four wild card places, is unhappy that several of the teams invited to take part in this year’s centenary race ranked considerably below Domina Vacanze in the UCI rankings.
Cipollini, who broke the all-time record of stage wins in the Giro last month, has pleaded unsuccessfully to be invited to the Tour.
The 36-year-old Tuscan ace known as ‘Super Mario’ and the ‘Lion King’ was furious at being overlooked for the third consecutive year when the list of 22 teams was announced last month.
The 100th Tour de France starts on July 5.
Copyright AFP2003Bortolami appeals suspension
Gianluca Bortolami’s appeal against a six-month ban for failing a drug test will be heard by the Federal Court of Appeal (CAF) on June 27, Italian media reported Wednesday. The Vini Caldirola rider was suspended by the Italian Cycling Federation (CAF) after anti-doping officials found traces of cortisone in a urine sample taken during the Three Days of La Panne stage race in Belgium in which Bortolami won the first stage.
The 34-year-old Italian cyclist wore the leader’s jersey until the final time-trial when he was pushed into second place by Latvian Raivis Belohvosciks.