Blij targets world speed record, Hamburger agrees to another year, Virenque still in demand even aft
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE Former Dutch sprinter Jeroen Blijlevens has set his sights on the world bicycle speed record currently held by Fred Rompelberg at 268.8kph, writes Susanne Horsdal. “To reach such speed on a bike fascinates me,” four-time Tour de France stage-winner Blijlevens has told the Dutch media. The attempt at the record is expected to take place in the United States next September on the salt flats in the Utah desert. Blijlevens, who ended his career at Bankgiroloterij last spring due to a lack of results, is set to take on a job as assistant sports director with the Eurogifts.com team in 2005. * Danish veteran Bo Hamburger has accepted an offer to ride another year with Italian team Acqua e Sapone, writes Susanne Horsdal. Mads Christensen, Denmark’s U23 bronze medallist at the world championships in Verona, has decided to start his professional career with Quick Step, thus rejecting an offer to join the ranks of Bjarne Riis’ CSC team. * The clamour for Richard Virenque shows no sign of abating despite his recent decision to call time on his racing career. Already signed up by Omega Pharma (owners of the Davitamon brand) for four years in a PR role, the seven-time Tour de France King of the Mountains has been the object of a struggle between rival French media organisations, all hoping to boost their ratings by signing up the popular Frenchman. Despite offers from Eurosport and radio station Europe 1, Virenque has opted to join his friend Laurent Jalabert and work for French national TV during next year’s Tour. * Brisk activity in the transfer market has continued with the moves of German riders Jorg Ludewig (Saeco) and Steffen Radochla (Illes Balears) to the Domina Vacanze/De Nardi team. According to L’Equipe, the Czech Republic’s junior world road champion, Roman Kreuziger, has agreed a deal to turn pro with Liquigas, but not until the 2007 season.