Indurain gives backing to new Spanish team, Downing brothers head for Ghent, Sassone suspended, new
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE Miguel Indurain was the obvious centre of attention at the launch of a new professional team in the five-time Tour de France winner’s home province of Navarra on Tuesday. Although not directly linked with the team in any way, Indurain said he was glad to appear and give his backing to the Kaiku team, which is backed by a dairy company. The team is set to comprise up to 16 riders. None of them have yet been totally confirmed, but Dionisio Galpalsoro (Euskaltel), Ricardo Serrano and Francisco Palacio (Cafs Baqu), Ion Bru and Ruben Oarbeaskoa (LA Pecol) and Ezequiel Mosquera and Adrian Palomares (Carvalhelhos) are all being heavily linked with the new team. Several riders are likely to step up from the Caja Rural elite level team to join Kaiku. The team’s focus will be on the Spanish calendar. “It is a real reason for satisfaction to see a new cycling team emerge and particularly because it is from Navarra,” said Indurain. “I hope the project goes well and doesn’t end after a couple of years. We need strong teams, but also others that work more at a lower level and that allow riders to develop.” – An all-British pairing of brothers, Dean & Russell Downing, is to ride in the Ghent Six-Day on November 23-28 in Belgium. The Downing brothers are members of the already existing and newly registered for 2005 Recycling.co.uk/MG X-Power UCI Continental Cycle Racing Team. Having raced successfully in recent weeks in the Herald Sun Tour and Tour Of Queensland in Australia, British fans are hoping for them to put on a good show at Ghent, where Frank Vandenbroucke will be among their rivals. For more information on the team go to www.recyclingteam.co.uk – Former Cofidis track rider Robert Sassone has been handed a two-year ban after testing positive for the corticosteroid Betamethason at the Nouma Six-Day last December. – Congratulations to US Postal Classics ace George Hincapie and his girlfriend Melanie on the birth of a baby girl, who is to be named Julia Paris.