Posted by Editor on 11/28/06
By Amanda Leigh Cox
Louis Garneau - Optik Feeling the Effects of Autumn Negotiations
Team Louis Garneau - Optik is feeling the effects of the autumn contract season with the departure of several key riders, but, as Louis Garneau himself stated recently in a Journal du Quebec interview, " I've got several things up my sleeve and we're currently in negotiations with, for example, some riders from the Australian National team."
Leaving the team are Espoir boy-wonder David Veilleux, likely to American team Jittery Joe's, and Alexandre Lavallée, who has taken the position of Director Sportif of Saguenay's new Team Vallée de l'aluminium. Team Directeur of Louis Garneau - Optik, Jean-Yves Labonté, assures us that despite the departure of some strong riders, the team will stay as competitive as ever in 2007.
The final team line-up should be announced in the following weeks, stayed tuned for more details.
David Veilleux Set To Make A Splash In USA In 2007
If current honours are any indication, Quebecois rider David Veilleux has a bright career ahead of him. The 19 year old from Cap Rouge is the current Canadian U-23 Road and Time-Trial Champion, as well as 2005's Quebecois Junior Road and Time-Trial Champion. In addition, he was named Best Junior Rider in 2005's Mardis cyclistes de Lachine, in the same year that he won the prestigious Tour de l'Abitibi.
In 2006, Veilleux rode with Louis-Garneau-Optik, but it appears that American team Jittery Joe's has snapped up the young rider for its ranks. The move will allow Veilleux to ride the competitive NRC calendar, as well as several international events. The unconfirmed (yet-not-denied) rumour is that this departure from the Canadian scene is a considered a stepping stone, as Veilleux and coach Jean-Yves Labonté are already said to be masterminding a move to a European team within the next three years or so.
Speaking on the subject, Veilleux had this to say in a recent Journal de Quebec interview, " I'd rather not comment at this time. I will be in a better position to respond in a few weeks."
A press conference within the next few weeks should clarify the situation for avid fans, but one thing is certain, we haven't heard the end of David Veilleux.
Additions for Team Sleeman Clear Énergie 2007
Quebecois Team Sleeman Unibroue announced recently the addition of two nw riders on their team. Jean-Philippe Paradis and Philippe Viau will join the team, which consists of : Daniel Belleville, Pierre-Olivier Boily, Jean-François Brunelle, Jean-François Laroche, Czeslaw Lukaszewicz, Jean-Sébastien Maheu, Benjamin Martel, Sébastien Moquin, Alexandre Nadeau and Sébastien Pilote. In the women's division, Catherine Marchand will once again don the Sleeman Clear Énergie jersey, while Katy Saint-Laurent will not return. OGC Canada will also align with the team for 2007 by supplying the team with Speedplay pedals.
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