It has been a busy and successful week for Team Vorarlberg-Corratec, with three top ten finishes in the Tour de Langkawi. It also received "wild-card" status from the International Cycling Union, allowing it to ride in ProTour races. To top it off it also may be on the verge of signing Wim Vanhuffel.
In Langkawi, Daniel Musiol finished sixth in the first stage of the Austrian Professional Continental team's season opener, and team newcomer René Haselbacher has finished seventh and sixth in the next two stages. "The sprinting works out quite well," said Directeur Sportif Gregor Gut. "Tomorrow [Thursday] we want to try again to be in the front, and then Friday it goes up into the mountains."
The team is currently in negotiations to sign Vanhuffel. The 29-year-old Belgian rode for Lotto for four years, but did not receive a new contract for 2009. Since then, he has signed with two teams that failed to get UCI licenses, TlTeck-H20 and Crota-Turbo' Hoet. Most recently he rode for Revor-Jartazi as an elite rider without a contract. That connection has now been dissolved.
Vanhuffel hopes to ride for the Austrian team, but admitted that things are not yet final. "I signed the offered contract and sent it back to the team manager, but so far I haven't received it back from him," he told hln.be. Frustrated by his difficult job search this winter, he said that if this contract doesn't work out, "then I will cut my bike into pieces and stop riding."
Vorarlberg-Corratec was one of 13 Professional Continental teams to receive "wild-card" status from the UCI this week. This status allows non-ProTour teams to be invited to ProTour races.(SW)