By VeloNews Interactive
Olympic bronze medallist and one-time Linda McCartney team leader Max Sciandri is set to sign a two-year contract with the Italian Lampre team early next week, according to a news release issued by the McCartney squad’s former press officer John Deering.Sciandri and Deering were among a large group of riders and staff let go as Britain’s top pro road team collapsed last month under financial pressures.
The team, once thought to be recruiting its way to Division I status, fell apart after failing to secure a major secondary sponsor and receiving only limited from its title sponsor, Linda McCartney Foods, a vegetarian food producer named for the late wife of former beatle Sir Paul McCartney. Late last year, the team appeared to have secured the services of former Postal team rider Kevin Livingston. That deal fell apart and Livingston later signed on with Jan Ullrich’s Deutsche Telekom team.
Sciandri said he was relieved to have his team and sponsorship issues settled for the foreseeable future. Sciandri said he had been training, but was getting a bit concerned about the fact that he was racing as the 2001 season beginning to ramp up.
“It was my birthday yesterday, so I’m really happy,” said Sciandri. “I’m especially pleased that it’s a two-year deal – it shows they have great faith in me.”
“I’m very sorry not to be riding with Linda McCartney, as we had such a great bunch of guys there. But Lampre have shown fantastic faith in me, and I just want to repay them – and show Paul McCartney what he’s missing!”