Skil wants Cornu, Saxo Bank gets Aussie talent
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Friday, October 9, 2009

Skil wants Cornu, Saxo Bank gets Aussie talent

by Bjorn Haake at 11:01 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

The Dutch Skil-Shimano squad is making a strong effort to get Dominique Cornu on its roster, while Saxo Bank is one step further, as they snatched up Aussie talent Richie Porte for two years.

Cornu is a time trial specialist but the Skil deal is not a sure thing yet. "He also talks to other teams," Skil-Shimano-manager Iwan Spekenbrink said to De Telegraaf. "We would like to have him on our team, but it is too premature to say that there is already an agreement."

Cornu rode for Bodysol in 2005 and 2006, before moving to Lotto. At the beginning of the 2009 season he switched to Quick Step. Cornu's biggest success so far came in the individual time trial of the 2006 World Championships in Austria, where he won the gold medal. His only win in a professional road race came in stage four of the Giro del Capo last year.

Besides winning some Belgian championships in time trialing in various categories, the Belgian has also been successful in track racing, notably the individual pursuit.

Porte moves to the Euro peloton from Australia, where he spent the last two years with Praties. His contract expired in June and he has been racing for himself since then. His latest success came in the GP Citta di Felino, which he won in mid-August. He also took a win in the time trial in the Baby Giro.

Saxo Bank owner Bjarne Riis noted the good results. "Richie is relatively new in the world of cycling, but he has already shown his great talent on the road by taking several impressive victories in diverse terrain and in time trials," Riis said. "With his winning character and team spirit, he will undoubtedly fall well into place on Team Saxo Bank. We are looking forward to working with Richie and even more so to developing his obvious great talent."

A third change is that from Frenchman Sylvain Calzati, who moves from dissolving Agritubel to the new British Sky team. The 30-year-old is a former Tour de l'Avenir winner.


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