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The Kid and the Feedbag

Plenty of news today, and I'll start with the happy side. You all know I'm a huge fan of the Kid -- I can't think of anything more riveting than Cunego and Valverde in a two-up sprint for an Ardennes classic or a Tour mountain stage. Today comes news that he's got hitched yesterday in Veneto to his longtime partner, with whom he has a daughter. Not sure about their bringing their daughter on their honeymoon in Mexico, but can enthusiastically support his plans to stop in Houston to get in the wind tunnel. The Money Quote:

"For sure I won't be doing the Tour and Giro," finished Cunego regarding his 2007 grand tour plans. "I will aim for the Corsa Rosa, and before that Liège, a classic I am able win."

Excellent plan! More on the flip...

  • VeloNews has definitely gotten its act together in the past six months, hasn't it? Lately they've had the best reporting, and today is no exception. In today's roundup, they cover the Astana situation, which is growing stranger by the day. Thanks to the completely ambiguous outcome of Operacion Puerco, not even Manolo Saiz' hold on the Active Bay Pro Tour license can be broken. Astana have sponsorship and plenty of support to run a solid team next year. But Active Bay, Saiz' holding co. for Liberty Seguros, still have the pro tour license and still have the contracts with the riders. Anyway, the news is that Astana are meeting with the Pro Tour licensing folks this week to grab its own spot, after which they should have an easier time buying out Saiz' contracts.
  • Just in time for the Tour presentation tomorrow, Oscarita is shooting his mouth off again:
"I don't have a lot of information about this, but I wouldn't be there in 2007. Why should I go back if they don't respect the rules?"

So says the 2006 Tour winner (in his mind), who claims he'd boycott next year's Tour if they don't hurry up and give him his '06 yellow jersey. Where does he get such ideas? José Miguel Echávarri, his manager.

"The rules and regulations are there to be followed, and even more so for the those who make them up. You can't change the rules at halftime. If they don't like the situation, they can change the rules for next year. But now they cannot take away the victory from Pereiro. In the Olympics and all sport, when the first-place is positive, the victory falls to second place. Those are the rules of doping.

Uh, no they aren't. A rider isn't sanctioned until his national licensing federation acts, which USACycling is scheduled to do early next year. If the Tour could declare him the winner before so, do you think they'd have waited two seconds? Anyway, Pereiro has a point I suppose, but I don't think he'll manage to whine his way into yellow this week.

  • Speaking of shady characters, Jan Ullrich is being linked to Volksbank, a continental team in Austria. Fool's gold? Last seen, Jan was having trouble getting motivated for the Pro Tour.