Shorts: Antequera, Giro 2006

Antequera offered Spanish coach's role - for just one year, Belgium set to host start of 2006 Giro d

Antequera offered Spanish coach's role - for just one year, Belgium set to host start of 2006 Giro d


The Spanish cycling federation have come to an agreement with national team coach Paco Antequera that will see Antequera leave his post immediately but retain the option to manage the Spanish road team at this year's world championships in Madrid. Antequera backed the losing candidate in last year's elections for the presidency of the federation, and his tenancy in his post has been uncertain ever since.

Despite leading Spain to four world road race title successes in the past seven years, Antequera is now considering whether to accept a two-month contract with the federation covering August and September this year. "I will have to think about it, but I am almost certain I will accept as a show of thanks to the backroom staff, riders, media and fans. I think this will provide a good send-off," Antequera told AS.

Antequera has been negotiating with the Comunitat Valenciana team and is expected to be confirmed as a directeur sportif with the Spanish continental division team later today (Thursday).

- Former ONCE pro Alvaro Gonzalez de Galdeano is also moving into a new coaching position, in his case as the manager of the elite and under-23 riders in the Basque Country.

- As attention focuses on Lige for Sunday's latest edition of La Doyenne, the Belgian city has been confirmed as the start venue for next year's Giro d'Italia. The prologue will take place in Lige on May 5, 2006, with stages taking place in southern Belgium over the following two days. On May 8 a stage from Lige is set to take the race into Germany and then south towards Italy. The Walloon government has put a budget a 1.2m euros into the event, which follows last year's successful hosting of the Tour de France prologue.

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