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March 29/08 9:23 am - Phil Cortes Comments On Loss Of Valentino Fois

Posted by Editoress on 03/29/08

By Matt Hansen

We caught up with Phil Cortes, who rides for Amore & Vita-McDonald's Continental team, the team of Valentino Fois, who died yesterday of an apparent seizure. The shocking news has hit the team hard and the Italian cycling community is still struggling to deal with the loss of the rider, who was once the teammate of another tragic cycling figure, Marco Pantani.

The cycling world was once again Following the shocking news that Italian Valentino Fois died yesterday in Italy, by an apparent seizure, we caught up with Phil Cortes.

"The loss of Valentino is very hard, the news has rocked me, my team, as well as the whole cycling world. I found out from our team president, Ivano Fanini at 7am the morning it happened," Cortes said. "Valentino was from what I saw a sympathetic, charismatic caring guy. A guy always ready to crack a joke."

Although Cortes had met him just a few times, he had only good things to say about Fois. "As with all teams, the season is still early. I honestly only saw him at team camps and at a few races. Obviously he was a guy with a past and a lot of experiences, he seemed to have his life on track, even planning a wedding with his longtime girlfriend. He was proud to be back on the bike, and racing again. This news shocked us all."

And like the rest of Italy, there's not much more news as to his passing. "I don't have anymore news than anyone else, It is sometimes harder to be on the inside of a tragedy like this as I have learned things from the press myself about him. We will wait to know when his funeral is, then I'll hear from the management the team's next step."

Cortes also asked the Canadian cycling community to keep the Fois family in their thoughts.


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