Bruyneel says Beltran OK for Vuelta, Illes Balears bring in first French rider of five, Garate opts
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Discovery Channel team manager Johan Bruyneel has said that Manuel Beltran will take part in this month’s Vuelta a Espa¤a after being in collision with a motorbike while out training last weekend. “Beltran is OK, he’s only got scratches and bruises, he will be fine for the Vuelta,” Bruyneel confirmed.
– The ‘Frenchification’ of the Illes Balears team as Caisse d’Epargne prepare to take over as the main sponsor has continued with the signing of Ag2r’s Nicolas Portal on a two-year contract. Portal is the first of five likely French signings to the team to have been confirmed.
– Spanish road champion Juan Manuel Garate has agreed a two-year deal with Quick Step. The 29 year old finished fifth in this year’s Giro and is likely to lead the Belgian team’s challenge in Italy next May.
– Crdit Agricole’s Sbastien Joly has agreed to join Franaise des Jeux on a to-year contract rather than taking up an offer to stay with his current team next season. Bouygues Telecom’s Anthony Charteau is set to fill one of the spots at Crdit Agricole caused by the departures of Christophe Moreau, Andrei Kashechkin and Joly. Charteau was disappointed to have missed out on selection for the Tour de France after winning a stage at the Tour of Catalonia in May and going close to another big win at the Dauphin Libr in June.