June 14/01 5:17 am - Mercury Update, Tour Rumours
Posted by Editor on 06/14/01
It appears that the reason for Lemond/Viatel split from Mercury is primarily because of the Fuji bike lawsuit. Fuji was the bike supplier to Mercury prior to Lemond coming on board. Naturally, when Lemond brought his riders (notably Pavel Tonkov and Leon van Bon) and sponsor Viatel to the table he wanted to have his own bikes under the riders (which aren't made by Trek, we understand, which is why they aren't involved in the lawsuit). This broke the deal Fuji had with Mercury and they sued. Now that Lemond has left, look to see Mercury back on Fuji...
The Sociètè du Tour de France has announced that they may possibly kick out teams caught in the Giro doping raid, depending upon the severity of the charges. This opens an interesting scenario of who will replace the removed teams? How about Mercury and Mario Cipollini's Saeco Macchine Per Caffé squad...