Danish team signs Italian sprinter Furlan
The Danish team Christina Watches-Onfone continues to take form, as the squad has announced the signing of Italian sprinter Angelo Furlan and the Danish Cycling Union (DCU) said that it is ready to send the licence paperwork on to the International Cycling Union (UCI) for final approval.
The team around Michael Rasmussen is taking over the Continental licence from Bianchi M1. Last month the UCI and the team confirmed to Cyclingnews that the process was underway.
DCU chairman Tom Lund confirmed that the federation has finally finished its part of the licence dossier. “The status is that the papers have now been processed by the DCU, we got them this week, and I will deal with them when I get home tonight,” he told dr.dk on Thursday. “So they should be sent for approval by the UCI tomorrow.”
He added that he hoped the UCI will act promptly, and did not have any doubt that the licence papers would be validated. “I reckon it is a formality that the UCI will approve them.”
The team also announced the signing of Furlan, another veteran on the young team and the first non-Danish rider. The 33-year-old, who last rode for Lampre, won two stages of the Vuelta a Espana in 2002 and last October finished second in Paris-Tours.
"I had no doubt when I got Christina’s offer – this team was a team which I could not resist and I simply had to go for the chance,” Furlan said in a press release. “ My job is clear. Every time a race will be decided in a sprint, I am expected to win races and I believe that 2011 will be a year where you will se me as the winner quite often – also in the PostDanmark Rundt, which is the teams highest priority in 2011.”
"It is unbelievable. Our team Christina Watches – Onfone has succeeded in signing one of the world’s strongest sprinters and get him to race in Denmark!” said team owner Christina Hembo. “Furlan has for the past 10 years been a fantastic sprinter for strong ProTour teams, latest at Credit Agricole and Lampre. I am so proud that my team now is so attractive to ride for, that even an established ProTour rider prefers to ride for me.”
The team is allowed a maximum of 16 riders, and now may sign one more rider. “Many have applied and now we will give ourselves the time needed to decide wisely on who will fit our team best,” Hembo said.
Jörg Jaksche recently said that he was negotiating with the team to make a comeback. The German served a one-year doping-related suspension after confessing to his involvement in Operacion Puerto and publicly admitting his doping background.