Latest: Bruyneel confident; T-Mobile wants stage in California; Big field for Manchester

Johan Bruyneel doesn't think finding a sponsor to replace Discovery Channel will be too difficult. A


Johan Bruyneel doesn’t think finding a sponsor to replace Discovery Channel will be too difficult. A

PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM Bruyneel confident of finding new sponsor Johan Bruyneel, one of the co-owners of the Discovery Channel team, is confident of finding a new backer to replace the cable TV network that is pulling out at the end of the year. “It will work out,” he explained to Sporza. “At Discovery Channel there were a number of changes made. At the same time as a new CEO was appointed, there was a big clean out. One of the consequences was that the sponsorship of the cycling team stopped. But we had counted on it and are already talking to a number of companies. All American for the time being, yes. As soon as more is known, we will reveal it.” Bruyneel is not looking too far into the future. “We are working with a budget of 14 or 15 million euros for two seasons,” he said. “One sponsor is ideal, but there are other possibilities. It’s also the intention to bring in Lance Armstrong for the search. He is the co-owner of the team and is really concerned with it. Plus, he is one of the greatest riders of recent years, perhaps even the greatest. “As a team, we have built a certain prestige in the last few years, through winning the Tour, Giro and Vuelta. I don’t think that we will have to convince possible sponsors of that.” T-Mobile looking for stage in California T-Mobile’s team director Brian Holm is optimistic that his squad will be able to pull off a stage win in the Tour of California, which runs between February 18th-25th. “With Greg Henderson and Gerald Ciolek, we have two sprinting talents in the team, who’ll be able to show their ability on a course like this,” said Holm. In the general classification, he is hoping that the experienced riders Aaron Olson, Jakob Piil and Kim Kirchen will pull their weight. Michael Barry, Adam Hansen and Michael Rogers will round out the team. The eight day tour along the US west coast will cover a distance of 1,000 km from San Francisco to Long Beach. “If you consider which phase of the season we’re in at the moment then you can’t really talk about a preparation race,” said Holm. “Here, you are up against it from the start.” Big field for Manchester world cup A record 274 entries have been announced for the Manchester track world cup, which runs between February 23rd and 25th. The final round of the world cup series will see numerous Olympic and world champions taking part. Double Olympic champion Ryan Bayley will lead the Australians in the sprinting events, with Mark French and Daniel Ellis also part of the team. On the endurance side, Bradley McGee will try to topple Britain’s Brad Wiggins in the individual pursuit. The Aussies also have a strong women’s squad, with sisters Kerrie and Anna Meares in the sprint and keirin. Dutch sprinter and new 200m time trial record holder Theo Bos is looking at doing both the keirin and the sprint, as well as teaming up with Teun Mulder and Tim Veldt in the team sprint. Willy Kanis is one of three Dutch women travelling to the UK. Kanis is a convert from BMX, where she won the elite women’s world championship in 2005. German entries include Stefan Nimke, who won the Olympic gold on the track with the men’s team sprinters. Arnaud Tournant takes the short trip from France to ride the men’s sprint and team sprint events. The current altitude 1km time trial record holder won’t be competing against Britain’s Chris Hoy in this event at Manchester. Hoy hopes to take Tournant’s record in Bolivia in May. The points, scratch and Madison events will see British riders Rob Hayles, Gerraint Thomas, Chris Newton, Paul Manning, Ben Swift and Ed Clancy competing. Hong Kong’s Kam-Po Wong will ride the scratch race. More details are available on Got a comment? Discuss this in the Procycling forum. What else is new? Check out the Procycling blog.