A rider who will leave Lampre-NGC is the World Champion Alessandro Ballan, who may ride for USA's BMC Racing Team in 2010. He wants to learn to speak English and see the world. It seems like a lovely reason to change team. He has been with Lampre for six years now and it’s time to leave to see something new. Perhaps he has some kind of a nomadic soul too; or maybe he is just interested about knowing new things about the world. "I will not stay with [Giuseppe] Saronni because I want to better myself. It has been good in this team, very good, and I still have some big goals: repeating Worlds and Lombardia. But to stay another two years would be too much."
It is not yet known where he will race next year. The UCI prohibits teams and riders negotiating prior to September 1, tomorrow, but some riders have already decided were to race next year. It means they have to pay a fine. Alessandro Ballan will wait, because he still needs to sign the contract. "Tomorrow I will know more about my future," Alessandro Ballan told Cyclingnews. "At the moment I have not signed with anyone."
It has been rumoured though that he speaks with BMC; a Professional Continental team based in USA. The team was formed when Phonak Hearing Systems disappeared and John Lelangue continued as a sport director for the new team. The team has been invited to some big races this season and next year they would like to be invited to a Grand Tour race. This year they have raced the Dauphiné Libéré and Paris-Roubaix. "It's true that BMC is not a ProTour team and has to have invites. But Cervélo showed how it is done this year," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "You need to have good riders and the invitations will arrive. BMC also has [George] Hincapie, [Marcus] Burghardt and [Karsten] Kroon, no?"
At least it is rumoured that the three riders mentioned will be racing for BMC, so there is a chance that they will be invited to some big races.
Damiano Cunego and Gilberto Simoni during 2004 Giro d'Italia.
I heard somebody mentioning that it may be mass exodus from Lampre-NGC, but now their star Damiano Cunego has decided to renew his contract with the team for the 2010 season. So many riders will probably decide to stay with the team, because he will remain. And why leave then?
Cunego finished second at the World Championships, won Amstel Gold and his third Giro di Lombardia last year. He won the 2004 Giro d'Italia and the young rider classification at the 2006 Tour de France.
Next year it seems he will focus on one day races. It seems he has realised that he is no longer a stage race winner.
Lampre-NGC has also signed Under 23 time trialWorld Champion, Adriano Malori, Alfredo Balloni, Enrico Magazzini and Diego Ulissi. It will be an interesting team to follow, don’t you think?
It is not easy to choose a team for the world championships, especially not for the bigger countries like Norway, Italy and France.. It’s an easier decision to tell the Uzbek cyclists that Sergey Lagutin should race, because he is the most experienced of the cyclists, plus the most successful rider. In France they have more riders to choose between. But it seems like Laurent Jalabert wants Pierrick Fédrigo to lead the French national team at the World Championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland. "It is important to develop confidence [in a leader] long enough before the big day," Jalabert told L'Equipe.
The former world champion, Laurent Jalabert, named the six riders yesterday on television who will form the national team. Fédrigo, Sylvain Chavanel, Thomas Voeckler, Christophe Le Mevel, Dimitri Champion and Christophe Riblon will all be there. He hopes and believes. "I fully back my selection, although there are plenty of other guys that I would have liked to select," said Jalabert.
It is a surprise that France will only be able to bring six riders. Normally they have nine places to the world championships but France has lost position in the nation’s rankings, so therefore countries like Great Britain, Norway and Luxembourg can bring nine, while France and the Netherlands will only bring six riders. They have to do better next year if they want nine riders again.