Riccardo Riccò (Vacansoleil) will not be able to ride Sunday's GP Ouest France for his new squad as the International Cycling Union (UCI) has yet to confirm the transfer. It is believed that the controversial Italian will now make his debut in his new colours at Wednesday’s Druivenkoers Overijse in Belgium.
Riccò’s contract must first be examined by auditors at Ernst & Young before the UCI can approve his mid-season switch from Ceramica Flaminia. “I hope that everything works out for Druivenkoers Overijse on Wednesday,” Vacansoleil sporting director Hilaire Van der Schueren told Sportwereld.
In any case, Van der Shueren is confident that Riccò’s transfer will be confirmed imminently and that this will lead to an invitation to the final classic of the season. “We are all certain that we will be able to go to the Tour of Lombardy,” he said. “Italy is at Riccò’s feet.”
Riccò has not raced in France since he was excluded from the 2008 Tour de France after testing positive for CERA. He was summoned before a French court in June of this year to answer charges relating to that positive test but he declined to appear before magistrates in Foix. He was handed a two-month suspended sentence and fined €3,000.
Meanwhile, Van der Schueren also confirmed that he will be looking to strengthen the support his team can offer Riccò. “We must find riders who will be capable of helping Riccò is his quest for victory in a grand tour.”