Shorts: Lemond, Caisse, Quick Step, Simoni
Lemond claims he was threatened by Armstrong, Caisse d’Epargne name strong team to support Valverde,
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The ongoing French witch-hunt against Lance Armstrong took another turn on Sunday when three-time Tour de France winner Greg Lemond claimed that he was threatened by Armstrong after making comments criticising the Texan’s association with controversial Italian training consultant Michele Ferrari.
Speaking to L’Equipe, who continued their onslaught against Armstrong, Lemond said that he had come under pressure from Armstrong and the Texan’s immediate circle after making comments about Armstrong and Ferrari in 2001. Lemond also said the threats continued after 2001.
“Lance threatened me. He threatened my wife, my business, my life,” said Lemond. “His biggest threat consisted of saying that he would find 10 people to testify that I took EPO.”
– Caisse d’Epargne have named a strong team to start the Tour de France this coming Saturday. Led by Alejandro Valverde and also including 2005 Tour stage winner Oscar Pereiro, the team also features David Arroyo, new French road champion Florent Brard, Isaac Galvez, Jos Vicente Garcaa Acosta, Vladimir Karpets, Nicolas Portal and Xabier Zandio.
– Quick Step have confirmed that Serge Baguet will ride for them again during the 2007 season, while they have also signed world junior cyclo-cross champion Davide Malacarne. The 19 year old rider will compete at under-23 level for the next twp seasons with the Zalf Desiree Fior team, and will join Quick Step from 2009 until 2011.
– Saunier Duval have announced that Gilberto Simoni has extended his contract with the team into 2007. Simoni, whose second son, Enrico, was born last week, had been considering retiring at the end of the season, but now looks like continuing for one more year at least.