Max Sciandri joins the Italian cycling federation to work side-by-side with national coach Paolo Bettini. He will assume the role full-time after the Florence World Championships in September, when Bettini will become general technical manager.
The federation made the decision over the winter and confirmed it yesterday at a meeting in Rome.
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Sciandri, 46, will focus on track endurance events and the road time trial immediately, according to newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport. Bettini, after guiding the Squadra Azzurra at home in Florence, will oversee the entire programme with attention specifically on the juniors.
“The track needs to be the hub,” Sciandri told Cycling Weekly earlier this month. “I don’t want to copy the Brits, but they had it right. We do a lot with passion in Italy, but sometimes it’s not enough. In the UK they have the numbers right, the strategies, the planning and that’s what we lack in Italy.”
Sciandri will continue as one of BMC Racing directors. At the end of the season, he said he would re-evaluate his BMC contract that runs through 2015.
Former Flanders champ Nick Nuyens suffers
Nick Nuyens (Garmin-Sharp), 2011 Tour of Flanders victor, continues to suffer from a hip fracture from last year. He abandoned Tirreno-Adriatico, but said that he is pushing ahead to race Flanders again.
“I think the problems still come from my hip,” he told Sporza TV. “Maybe I forced myself too much this winter. I’ll be riding Flanders, but without many opportunities.
A crash last year in Paris-Nice sidelined him for much of the season and meant he was unable to defend his Flanders title.
RadioShack to pull sponsorship
Team sponsor RadioShack is calling it quits at year-end after four years, according to a report in L’Equipe. Its team suffered from the Lance Armstrong scandal and Fränk Schleck’s Tour de France doping positive.
At the start of the year, co-sponsor Nissan pulled its support.
RadioShack, a Texas-based electronics retailer, joined cycling in 2010 with Lance Armstrong. It continued with Johan Bruyneel, when he joined team Leopard as general manager. The team fired Bruyneel over the winter for his links to Armstrong.
Team owner, Flavio Becca denies the reports.
“It’s pure speculation,” he told Luxembourg’s Wort. “No one at RadioShack has notified me of their intentions.”
Fuentes willing to provide client list to WADA
Eufemiano Fuentes, the doctor at the centre of the Operación Puerto investigation, said that he would provide his client list if the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) asked for it.
“If they felt I was useful and they asked me, I would consider it and would be willing. What I don’t know is if what I would give them would be worthwhile to them or not,” he said in an ongoing trial, according to AFP.
“If, within this cooperation such a list was necessary, they would have it.”
The Puerto trial resumed in January in Madrid. The judge blocked Fuentes from naming his clients. Besides cyclists, Fuentes said there were athletes from cycling, soccer, tennis and boxing.
Gatto: Dwars door Vlaanderen’s first Italian winner
Oscar Gatto (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) entered record books by becoming the first Italian to win Dwars door Vlaanderen yesterday.
“It was cold, freezing rain, everything, but it went well,” Gatto said in a press release. “I love the north. Now, hope to do well in the race of my dreams, Flanders.”