Shorts: Nazon, Van Dijk, ProTour
Elder Nazon decides to hang up his wheels, Van Dijk decides against ban appeal, major tours gather t
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Crdit Agricole sprinter Damien Nazon has decided to retire from the professional peloton and take up a position as coach and directeur sportif of the Hagueneau amateur club in eastern France. The 31 year old, who is the older brother of Ag2r sprinter Jean-Patrick, took 33 victories in his career, including stages in the Dauphin Libr, Midi Libre and Tour of Belgium. He won just two stages in smaller French stage races last season.
– Dutch sprinter Stefan van Dijk has decided not to appeal against the one-year ban imposed on him after he fled from a random testing unit who turned up at his home. Van Dijk’s lawyer said that if the rider’s appeal failed, which was almost certain to happen, the length of his ban could have been doubled.
– The leaders of the three major tours are meeting in Paris today to decide what their next step should be in their ongoing conflict with the International Cycling Union over certain aspects of the ProTour. The leaders of the Vuelta, Tour and Giro have made clear their desire to find a resolution to long-standing problems before the start of the new season, and have recently reiterated a threat made at the end of last year to pull all of their races from the ProTour calendar in 2006 if negotiations with the UCI do not work out.