Francesco Planckaert juggles his acting career, while Fuerteventura-Canaria takes shape and Petito oPIC BY TDWSPORT.COM
Belgian rider Francesco "Son of Eddy" Planckaert looks to be continuing his career, although he has not signed a contract yet. Planckaert, who rode this year for Jartazi, didn't impress team owner Patrick Stallaert with his performances on the bike. Francesco is also one of the stars of the Belgian docu-soap De Planckaerts.
"Last season, Francesco started in less than 20 races, and finished three of them," Stallaert was quoted by Het Nieuwsblad as saying. "To use the words of team director Jef Braeckevelt, 'Francesco is not a racer, but an actor.'" According to Planckaert's manager, he is in contact with three teams.
One of those is the low-budget Flanders team, based in Oudenaarde. After team manager Frans Assez died last year, the team will be run by Ronny Assez, Ronny Poelvoorde, Ari de Gans and Andr Tummeleer. Riders contracted already include Joop de Gans, Mart van Zandbeek, Werner van Zimmeren, Bart Velghe, Steven De Decker and Marc Streel.
More contract news
The Canary Islands based Fuerteventura-Canarias team is taking shape, albeit in an unofficial capacity. After signing former Euskaltel rider Iker Flores, the team has confirmed that àscar Guerrero will be the team manager, and David Bernabu the captain. Other riders named to the squad include Adri n Palomares (Kaiku), Mikel Artetxe (3 Molinos Resort), Dailos D¡az (Orbea), Manolo Lloret, Jos Adri n Bonilla (both Comunidad Valenciana) and neo-pros Antonio Piedra and David Belda. The latter is the son of ex-Comunidad Valenciana director Vicente Belda.
On the Italian front, classics specialist Roberto Petito will race for Liquigas next season. Almost 36, Petito triumphed in this year's Four Days of Dunkirk while racing for the Tenax team.
2007 Tour de Georgia
The organisers of next year's Tour de Georgia have confirmed the race's host cities and venues. The race has been extended from six to seven days, and will be run between April 16-22 over a distance of 600 miles. It starts in Peachtree City, just south of metro Atlanta, and works its way clockwise around the state of Georgia, including a return to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Highlights include an individual time trial to the top of Lookout Mountain, a return to the mountain-top finish on Brasstown Bald Mountain, a stage finish in Stone Mountain Park and a return to downtown Atlanta and Centennial Olympic Park for the final stage.
Stage 1: Monday, April 16 - Peachtree City - Macon
Stage 2: Tuesday, April 17 - Thomaston - Rome
Stage 3: Wednesday, April 18 - Rome - Chattanooga
Stage 4: Thursday, April 19 - Chickamauga - Lookout Mountain Time Trial
Stage 5: Friday, April 20 - Dalton - Brasstown Bald Mountain
Stage 6: Saturday, April 21 - Lake Lanier Islands - Stone Mountain Park
Stage 7: Sunday, April 22 - Atlanta circuit race