Shorts: Vuelta, Hong Kong, Gerrans, UNIQA

Basque politician calls for Vuelta's return to the region, ProTour gets its first Chinese cyclist, G

Basque politician calls for Vuelta’s return to the region, ProTour gets its first Chinese cyclist, G



The secretary general of the Basque section of Spain’ Partido Popular, Carmelo Barrio, has put forward a request in the regional parliament for the organisers of the Vuelta a Espa¤a to consider bringing their 2007 race to the Basque Country for the first time since 1978. “Since then the Vuelta has not been back to the Basque Country in spite of its great cycling tradition, its important riders and teams, and of course its great races,” said Barrio, who urged the region’s various political groups to work together to attract the Vuelta in 2007.

The Vuelta has avoided the region after threats were made against it by the terrorist group ETA, which recently declared an end to its armed activities.

Hong Kong’s Wu Kin-san has become the first Chinese rider to sign for a ProTour team after he agreed to join Lampre-Fondital this summer. The 20-year-old will make his first appearance in Lampre colours at the Tour of the Qinghai Lakes in July. An extension of his contract into 2007 will depend on performances.

Simon Gerrans is set to return to racing at the Circuit de Lorraine on May 18 after undergoing two shoulder operations following a bad crash at the GP d’Ouverture at the end of January. The Australian, who started the year in great style by winning the Tour Down Under, made a brief return to racing in March at Milan-Turin, but was forced to undergo further surgery after his wounds became infected.


– Next week’s UNIQA Classic in Austria has been cancelled after the organisers failed to raise the budget required to finance the event.