Romans Vainstein’s palpable lack of enthusiasm for his profession has finally forced him to consider
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE Former world champion Romans Vainsteins is apparently jaded with professional cycling and on the brink of retirement at just 31 years of age. According to reports in Italy, the Latvian finisseur has lost the will to train and even to put himself in the shop window for 2005. Vainsteins, who became world champion at Plouay in 2000, had his contract with Lampre rescinded after the world championships in October, officially for not respecting the team’s internal code of behaviour. Those in the know report that Vainstein’s performances had become considerably more energetic on the dancefloor than on the road, where he has plunged to 151st in the world rankings. One team that would be willing to accommodate Vainsteins is Vini Caldirola, for whom he rode in 1999, 2000 and 2003. It was in his first stint with the team that Vainsteins wooed the daughter of the Caldirola company owner, Elisabetta Caldirola, who he would later go on to marry. Vini Caldirola will be replaced by Barloworld as the main sponsor in 2005. The team will ride in the UCI’s Continental division. Team manager Enrico Maggioni claims to have spoken to Vainsteins in recent days and offered him a contract. “I know Romans well, I know his value. We have worked together in the past and he could have an important role in our team. But it’s all down to him,” Maggioni said. Vainsteins himself has said that he will consider his future over the coming days before making an official announcement.