Discovery announce their Vuelta nine, Phonak reap sales benefit from recent scandals, Euskaltel link
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Discovery Channel have named their nine riders for the Vuelta, where procycling columnist Tom Danielson is set to start as team leader. In addition to the American, the team selected by Discovery directeur Johan Bruyneel includes Michael Barry, Manuel Beltran, Janez Brajkovic, Stijn Devolder, Vladimir Gusev, Benoit Joachim, Egoi Martinez and Jurgen van Goolen. The reserves are Volodymyr Bileka and Gennadi Mikhailov. “Selecting this team was not easy for me as we have a lot of guys that are riding very strong at the moment but I feel that we have a very solid team in place that will work well together,” said Bruyneel. “Tom Danielson is set to be our leader for this race and I believe he has prepared very well. With the team that we have to support him I am confident that he will be able to finish very high up in the overall classification.”
– Phonak may be cutting their links with the sport, but it seems that the old saw “all publicity is good publicity” can certainly be applied to the Swiss hearing aids manufacturer. Despite the doping scandal involving Tour de France winner Floyd Landis and other negative publicity in recent months, Phonak’s sales have hit record levels. “The image that is sent out after a positive test is not good, but it helps the brand to become known. Phonak is beating sales’ records,” confirmed team directeur Juan Fernandez.
– Following the decision to part company with long-serving directeur Julian Gorospe, Euskaltel are being linked with a move for former world road champion Abraham Olano as a replacement.
– The Spanish continental team 3 Molinos Resort has announced that it is “temporarily” cutting its links with cycling but has said it is likely to return to the sport in a sponsorship capacity in the future. The Spanish construction company has been unhappy with riders in the 3 Molinos team being implicated in doping affairs. Riders who had contracts with the team will be paid for at least three months after negotiations between the team’s management and the riders’ association.
– Seven-time Tour de France King of the Mountains Richard Virenque is reported to be making good progress in a Grenoble hospital following an operation on injuries he received in a cyclosportif event at the weekend. The Frenchman, 36, was descending when the forks on his bike reportedly broke. He received severe facial injuries requiring 42 stitches in his face and the reconstruction of his broken nose.