Shorts: CSC, Aitor, Balears

CSC rider quits for "regular job", Aitor agrees another year in orange, Balears add fourth Frenchman

CSC rider quits for "regular job", Aitor agrees another year in orange, Balears add fourth Frenchman


Team CSC's 26-year-old Danish rider Thomas Bruun Eriksen has decided to end his professional career at the end of this season to take up a "regular job". "I've had some exciting and educational years as a professional rider, but I feel there are other things I'd like to do as well. I haven't quite been fit enough nor had the motivation to continue at this level, and that is why I've made the decision to quit. I became a professional shortly after I'd finished my education and now I want to return to a regular job," commented Bruun Eriksen, who has had two victories in his four years as a pro.

CSC team manager Bjarne Riis wished the rider all the best for his future career, saying: "It hasn't been an easy decision for Thomas, but I respect it because I know it's well thought through. Thomas has always delivered a solid effort for the team, at the same time as he's won some races on his own. I hope he's learnt something valuable to take with him in his future ventures. On behalf of the team I would also like to wish him the best of luck for the future."

- Aitor Gonzalez has reached an agreement with the Euskaltel team to ride for them for another year. Winner of the Tour of Switzerland this season, Gonzalez was only on a year-long agreement covering this season.

- The Illes Balears soon to be Caisse d'Epargne team have signed their fourth French rider in the shape of RAGT's Eric Berthou, who finished sixth at the recent Tour de l'Avenir. The 25-year-old former Barloworld rider joins compatriots Florent Brard, Mathieu Perget and Nicolas Portal at the team next season.

- European continental series leader Stefan Schumacher has been acquitted of a doping offence after testing positive for cathine (norpseudoephedrine) at the Tour of Rheinland Pfalz earlier this year. The German cycling federation announced that the 24-year-old Shimano-Memorycard rider had asked several sports federations if the medication he had been prescribed to combat a pollen allergy was permitted. The medication had been prescribed by Schumacher's mother, who is a doctor.

Although happy to be acquitted, Schumacher told the Radsport-News website that "the case dragged on and on and put me under enormous nervous strain". Schumacher said he will return to racing this season with his team, but admitted that his form "is in the cellar". In the meantime, he is hoping to recommence talks with his team about a new contract for next season.

- The court of appeal in the French city of Poitiers has ruled that there is no case to be answered following the sudden death of Brioches La Boulangre rider Fabrice Salanson on the eve of the Deutschland Tour in June 2003. Salanson's parents had lodged a complaint with the court in December 2003 alleging involuntary homicide and reckless endangerment. However, the court's medical officer ruled that Salanson had died in his sleep due to natural causes.

This article was published by BikeRadar, the world's leading source of bike reviews, gear reviews, riding advice and route information
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