PIC BY RUTA DEL SOL Fuerteventura-Canarias is go Rising from the ashes of the Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme team this year is Spanish pro-continental outfit Fuerteventura-Canarias. The team, sponsored by the government of this popular Canary Island, features seven ex-Comunidad Valenciana riders in its roster of 17. It’s managed by Jorge Sastre, with ex-Kaiku director àscar Guerrero as the main directeur sportif. The team was presented at the International Fair of Tourism (FITUR) in Madrid, and hopes to debut in the Mallorca Challenge on February 12. It was something of a late inclusion in the UCI’s list of professional continental teams after missing the deadline for registration last year. Director àscar Guerrero said, “They are very young riders and I am sure that, from day one, we are going to show the jersey. The team will be a mixture of Kaiku and Kelme, with a tenacious mentality and the determination of both. We are going to fight.” The team’s key riders include David Bernabu, Javier Ram¡rez Abeja, Iker Flores and Eladio S nchez. The only Canary Islands rider on the squad is Dailos D¡az. Fuerteventura-Canarias will target mostly Spanish races. Team roster: Mikel Artetxe Gezuraga, Vicente Ballester Mart¡nez, David Belda, David Bernabu, Jos Adri n Bonilla, Oleg Chuzhda, Javier Cherro, Manuel D¡az, Iker Flores, Rodrigo Garc¡a, Iker Leonet, Manuel Lloret, David Mu¤oz, Palomares Villaplana, Antonio Piedra Prez, Javier Ram¡rez Abeja and Eladio S nchez. Team manager: Jorge Sastre. Team directors: àscar Guerrero Celaya, Juan Mart¡nez Oliver, Antonio Llopis. Unibet vs. Garcia Quesada The newest ProTour team, Unibet.com, has gone on the defensive against its former rider Carlos Garcia Quesada, who is suing them over an unpaid wage claim. Unibet sacked Garcia Quesada in August last year, on the basis that he didn’t fully cooperate with them following his implication in Operacion Puerto. Garcia Quesada, who was a former Comunidad Valenciana rider, said he did make himself available for blood tests to prove that he wasn’t involved in Puerto. He asked a Spanish court to freeze Unibet’s bank guarantee, worth €532,000, until he gets paid. Unibet is maintaining its position, releasing a statement today explaining why it suspended and then sacked Garcia Quesada: “The Unibet.com cycling team temporarily suspended Carlos Garcia Quesada in July 2006 and asked him to clarify his position as his implication in this doping case seriously damaged the image of the team and her sponsors. Moreover, this was jeopardising the going Pro Tour Application of Unibet.com. “The sole means the Unibet.com cycling team had to apply Garcia Quesada’s active co-operation and assistance in this issue, was a temporary suspension of payment. The only person able to demand the authorities of (inter)national federations for clarity in this matter was Carlos Garcia Quesada himself. Unfortunately he did not cooperate in any way on any base and even refused to be transparent with the medical department of the Unibet.com cycling team. “There was a breach of trust and Unibet.com made it clear to Garcia Quesada that on this base there was no possible future together and told him to look for another team for 2007. The Unibet.com cycling team offered him a generous amicable solution in terms of a financial compensation to end the going agreement. Unibet.com definitely did not want to involve Carlos Garcia Quesada in its new ProTour team, managed by a Swedish licence. “Unibet.com regrets the attitude of Carlos Garcia Quesada who now spreads false information to various media. The team therefore will hold him liable and responsible for his blameful actions and for any further false accusations he and/or his lawyers spread in the media about team Unibet.com and/or her sponsors.” Got a comment? Discuss this in the Procycling forum. What else is new? Check out the Procycling blog.
The new Fuerteventura-Canarias was presented today in Madrid. It consists mainly of Comunidad Valenc