PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM
Illes Balears have announced their Tour team, or at least six members of it. Their leader is Paco Mancebo, with Alejandro Valverde and Vladimir Karpets his main lieutenants, while support will be provided by Chente Garcia Acosta, Xabier Zandio and David Arroyo.
The three remaining names depend on whether the management decide to bolster the sprinting side of the team (Isaac Galvez and Mikel Pradera), or focus more on the mountains (Daniel Becke, Jos Luis Arrieta, Cayetano Julia). The decision will be made after this Sunday's Spanish road championship.
- Saunier Duval have no such doubts, however. Their nine for the Tour are David Ca¤ada, I¤igo Cuesta, Juan Manuel Garate, Jos Angel Gomez, Constantino Zaballa, Leonardo Piepoli, Manuel Quinziato, Chris Horner and Nicolas Fritsch. Their main focus will be stage wins and trying to get Gomez into contention for the best young rider's jersey.
- Frank Vandenbroucke has been handed a 250,000 euro fine after losing his appeal against a sentence of 200 hours of community service he was given last December after nine banned medical products were found in his home in February 2002. The Ghent Court of Appeal did annul the 200 hours of community service, but effectively ruled that the original sentence was not tough enough by handing down the substantial fine for the Belgian rider's offences.
The court decided that a monetary sentence was more fitting than community service for someone in Vandenbroucke's position. Vandenbroucke cannot appeal against this latest decision, and will face three months in prison if he does not pay the fine. The MrBookmaker.com rider is due to compete in the Belgian championship this weekend after several weeks out of racing with a broken wrist.
- Cofidis' Sylvain Chavanel gave himself a timely boost before the Tour de France by winning his national time trial championship in Boulogne yesterday. Chavanel finished 1-18 ahead of runner-up Didier Rous in the 40.5km test, with Francaise des Jeux's Frdric Finot third at 1-46.
Responding to some criticism in the press about his lack of success this season, Chavanel said: "I don't get worried by what's said in the press. Although I am aware that I have a lot to learn from some of the more difficult races."
The day did not go so well for two other big names. Francaise des Jeux's Sandy Casar abandoned after crashing, while pre-event favourite Christophe Moreau finished a lowly 17th at 4-04.
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM