Awards for Lance and Axel, Euskaltel get a new doctor, Pronk sets derny hour record, T-Mobile lose s
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE Lance Armstrong has won the prestigious Vlo d’Or for the fifth time in six years. The prize is awarded by the French magazine Vlo, based on votes made by members of the cycling press. Armstrong finished ahead of Giro winner Damiano Cunego in this year’s voting. Since his first Velo d’Or win in 1999, Armstrong’s only year out of the top spot was in 2002, when Mario Cipollini took the title. – After much speculation the Euskaltel team have appointed Lampre’s Jos Ibarguren as their doctor to replace Jesus Losa, who left the team after being implicated in David Millar’s doping case. Ibarguren has been with the Italian team for the past three years, during which time the team was hit by doping scandals involving Raimondas Rumsas. Ibarguren worked with the Euskaltel set-up way back in 1995 under the Euskadi banner, and has also worked with Lotto and Banesto. – The German TV channel ARD has decided not to continue with its backing of the T-Mobile team next season. ARD was widely criticised in Germany during this year’s Tour when its commentaries were seen to favour the T-Mobile team and riders. In a statement, ARD said that “as there is also another German pro team, Gerolsteiner, the best thing for us to do is not to renew our contract with T-Mobile.” – Dutch rider Matth Pronk (Bankgiroloterij) has set a new derny-paced world hour record on a track in Alkmaar. Pronk’s new mark of 66.114 kilometres beat the 34-year-old record of 64.546 kilometres set by Theo Verschueren. Pronk becomes the ninth holder of this world record, which was first established by Jean Bobet in 1953. – Having already signed Domina Vacanze’s Michele Scarponi, Cofidis have further boosted the Italian element of their team with a view to next year’s Giro by recruiting Leonardo Bertagnolli from Saeco. The 26 year old was not offered a place on the new team established by the union of Lampre and Saeco, and that will race under the Lampre-Caffitta name next season. – Axel Merckx has been awarded Belgium’s Trophy for Sporting Merit following his bronze medal in the Olympic road race in Athens. His father, Eddy, was awarded the same title in 1967.