Shorts: Casagrande, Cipo, Zabel

Naturino say Casagrande free to ride Giro, Cipollini's lawyer negotiates over compensation demand, Z

Naturino say Casagrande free to ride Giro, Cipollini’s lawyer negotiates over compensation demand, Z



Contrary to some reports, Francesco Casagrande has not yet announced his retirement from the sport. It was widely reported that 34-year-old Naturino-Sapore di Mare rider had quit after this past weekend’s Tour of Tuscany because his continental team did not receive an invitation to the Giro d’Italia. However, the Naturino team have released a statement saying that Casagrande is free to take part in the Giro with any other team he wishes if he can find a free slot.

– Negotiations have taken place between Mario Cipollini’s lawyer, Massimo Martini, and Amore e Vita team manager Ivano Fanini to resolve a dispute stemming from a contract believed to have been signed by both Cipollini and Fanini in 1998. The contract allegedly stated that Cipollini, who retired from racing last week, would end his career with Fanini’s team or pay out a substantial sum in compensation. Fanini has been claiming 600,000 euros.

Martini has said that Cipollini won’t be budged on his decision to retire, while Fanini has said that he is open to negotiation but insists that the contract is valid and insists that he wants something from it.

– Following his third victory in Sunday’s GP Henninger Turm in Frankfurt, Erik Zabel has been added to the T-Mobile roster for the Giro. Zabel had planned to spend a few weeks away from racing after Frankfurt, but, according to T-Mobile sporting director Mario Kummer, the change was made in accordance with “Erik’s personal wishes”.

“I am going great guns at the moment and I believe that the Giro fits well to my programme,” said Zabel, who has never ridden the Giro before. “May always used to be my race-free month, but now I want to try something new.”

There has also been recent success for T-Mobile emerging talent programme member Ian Stannard. The 17-year-old Briton won the 123km GP Bati Metallo junior race in Belgium on April 24. Back in March, Standard soloed to victory in the junior version of the Ghent-Ypres semi-classic. “Ian was very impressive in winning this race, and it comes so soon after his success in Ghent-Zpres,” said T-Mobile coach Heiko Salzwedel.


– And, finally, a heartwarming story from the CSC team. Click on the link to see how Jens Voigt ended up taking a fan out on a tandem.