Simoni set for Tour Down Under, Svorada returns home to race, Manning and Hayles get recycled, final
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE Czech sprinter Jan Svorada has signed with the second division ed’System ZVVZ based in his home country after his latest spell with the Italian Lampre team. Now 36, Svorada was not offered a place on the new Lampre-Caffita team formed by the fusion of the Lampre and Saeco set-ups. Winner of three stages of the Tour de France, the last of them on the Champs Elyses in 2001, Svorada has said that he had other offers available to him but opted to return home to compete. – The British recycling.co.uk team have announced the signing of British track stars and road stalwarts Paul Manning and Rob Hayles for the 2005 season. Both are Olympic medallists on the track. – Former Banesto rider Jon Odriozola has been appointed directeur sportif of a new pro team that will ride under the Orbea banner on the European continental circuit next season. The news was announced by Euskaltel team boss Miguel Madariaga, who said that the Orbea team will be used as a testing ground for promising Basque riders, no doubt with a view to some of them moving up into Euskaltel’s ranks if they show the necessary quality. – Monday’s meeting of the UCI’s licensing commission has left three teams in the running to fill the 20th and final place in next season’s Pro Tour. As well as Phonak, who were expected to get the place before three of their leading riders tested positive during the latter part of the recently ended season, the other teams are Ag2r and MrBookmaker.com. The UCI will announce its decision on the final team on November 30. – The Tour Down Under has revealed that Lampre will be making their first appearance in the Australian event since 1999 and will be led by two-time Giro winner Gilberto Simoni.