MONDAY'S INTERNATIONAL NEWS ROUND-UP
CERVELO ANNOUNCES LATEST SIGNINGS
The new Cervélo Test Team of 2008 Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre and Thor Hushovd is shaping up nicely with news that Heinrich Haussler and Jose Angel Gómez Marchante will also be joining the team.
Haussler, an Australian by birth but a German by passport, is an experienced rider with several wins to his credit including a stage win at the Vuelta a España in 2005 as well as a stage at the Dauphiné Libéré in 2007. Haussler was left without a ride for 2009 after his Gerolsteiner team failed to secure another sponsor.
Haussler recently expressed his frustration that it is becoming increasingly difficult for German cyclists to find contracts in light of all the scandals to afflict the sport in Germany.
Marchante formerly rode for the Saunier-Duval team and is known for his overall win at the Tour of the Basque Country in 2006.
“I am excited about having strong riders like Haussler and Marchante on our team,” said Thomas Campana, Managing Director of the Cervélo Test Team. “They are seasoned and smart and will contribute greatly to the team”.
The Cervélo team will be of particular interest to British cycling fans next year with Dan Fleeman, Dan Lloyd, Roger Hammond and Jeremy Hunt all riding for the new squad.
SASTRE SPEAKS OF POSSIBLE GIRO-TOUR DOUBLE
2008 Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre revealed to L’Equipe that he, like Lance Armstrong, is considering a Giro d’Italia-Tour de France double.
“[Riding the] Giro is an idea I’ve had in my head,” Sastre told L’Equipe. “With this team [Cervélo] I have the possibility of thinking about the Giro. Then I will decide at the last minute whether I will go to the Tour or not.
“But, having the number one at the Tour de France is something that is given to very few cyclists and it’s something I’m really dreaming about”.
Before getting too carried away with the idea of being able to carry out a Giro-Tour double, Sastre added: “I’ve got an objective in mind, but that doesn’t put me under pressure. I want to arrive at the Grand Tours in the best possible condition. To fix objectives that I cannot attain has already frustrated me several times [in the past]”.
NYS: BELGIUM’S MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Sven Nys was honoured yesterday with the title of Belgium’s male athlete of the year and marked the first time that a cyclo-cross rider had ever won the title.
Nys won the competition, which was decided by Belgian journalists, ahead of Tour of Flanders winner, Stijn Devolder, and Paris-Roubaix winner, Tom Boonen.