Flecha to Rabobank
Spanish rider Juan Antonio Flecha has signed for Dutch outfit Rabobank for a two-year term. In Madrid for the world championships, Rabobank general manager Theo de Rooij came to an agreement with Flecha, saying, "Flecha is a racer that stands out on most levels of the Rabobank team. He rides in a way we like: always on the attack."
The 28-year-old, originally from Argentina, has ridden for Italian squad Fassa Bortolo the past two seasons. In 2003, Flecha won the 11th stage of Tour de France stage to Toulouse, and a year later, he won his first World Cup, the Meisterschaft Von Zürich. This year, the classics specialist won a stage in the Tour of Valencia, took second in Gent-Wevelgem and third in Paris Roubaix. De Rooij is convinced they'll be able to help Flecha perform in the big classics: "He's now in a team that him can help increase his chances of doing well in those kind of races."
Rabobank also wants Sastre
Along with Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank wish to reinforce their team next year with another climber, with Theo de Rooij informing the Telegraaf he has been in discussions with Vuelta a España podium finisher Carlos Sastre. As it happens, the 30 year-old Spaniard is at the end of his contract with Team CSC, but at this stage, de Rooij has not presented him with a firm offer.
Rinero and Pagliarini to Saunier Duval
Brazilian sprinter Luciano Pagliarini has just signed a two-year deal with Saunier Duval-Prodir, while Frenchman Christophe Rinero, mountains winner and fourth overall at the 1998 Tour de France, has also signed to be a member of the team.