Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sicard to pen historic four-year deal

Romain Sicard will today put pen to paper on a four-year deal with the team, believe it or not. By signing this extensive contract, the young Frenchman will make history at Euskaltel: never has a rider signed a contract this long. Not even Ibán Mayo, who, after his sensational 2003 season, signed a contract for three years. To tie down Sicard on such a deal is a coup for Euskaltel and the rider alike I reckon. Sicard is virtually a guarantee for success in the years to come. It's not for nothing he's being billed as France's next Tour de France winner. And the fact that he's France's best bet for glory in the Grand Boucle is likely to secure Euskaltel a place in the race for the foreseeable future. A canny move by Galdeano and Madariaga no doubt. Staying with a Spanish squad is also likely to benefit the slightly shy and self-effacing Sicard, as he will to some extent escape the pressure and the massive expectations laid upon him by his countrymen. To be somewhat 'protected' from all the hype will do him the world of good. Too many precocious French riders have suffered and subsequently disappointed after being labelled 'the next Hinault' or 'the new Jalabert'. By staying away from it all, Sicard might just develop into the rider France have longed for for so many painful years.

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