After the sensational blow-up of the new team supposedly sponsored by Sony Ericsson and directed by Giancarlo Ferretti, the current manager of team Fassa Bortolo, many riders, assistants and mechanics must now look for another employer if they want to stay in cycling. While this will be relatively easy for Italian Gilberto Simoni, blessed with great end-of-season form, it might be harder for others with many teams already organised and complete for next season.
Australian sprinter Stuart O'Grady is one of the 15 riders now looking for a new contract. According to French L'Equipe, O'Grady's agent turned back to his current team Cofidis after the news was out, but team manager Eric Boyer sees no possibility of extending the sprinter's contract for 2006. "After what happened when his contract was re-negotiated, I can't work with Stuart anymore," Boyer said. "It's a pity that some riders are without a contract at this time of year, but it won't be possible."
However, Australian U23 champion Chris Sutton has apparently found a new home after his deal with Ferretti's Silver team also went up in smoke. The 20 year-old might still make his debut as a pro in 2006, taken over by Cofidis. "I believe that he's young and that he was influenced," Boyer continued. "I decided to show him that the doors to the team are still open."