Work in Sports
Heras plans to ride for US Postal next year
MADRID (Reuters) -- Tour of Spain winner Roberto Heras said he would be joining Lance Armstrong's US Postal team next season.
"I am very thankful to the Kelme team but my future is in America with Lance Armstrong's US Postal team," he said after winning a race near Madrid on Saturday.
Heras said Sunday's race in Hospitalet near Barcelona would be his last in the green and white Kelme jersey.
Armstrong, twice winner of the Tour de France, has already made it clear he was determined to sign the Spanish rider who finished fifth in this year's Tour and is rated one of the best specialist climbers in the world.
Heras is under contract to the Spanish Kelme team until 2001 and US Postal will have to pay a buy-out clause estimated to be in the region of 200 million pesetas (US$1 million) to secure his services.
Pepe Guiles, the Kelme team's owner, has threatened to pull out of cycling after losing a number of key riders to rival teams.
Specialist climber Fernando Escartin, seventh in the Tour of Spain and third in the 1999 Tour de France, has agreed to ride for the German outfit Team Coast-Wattenscheid next season.
Jose Luis Rubiera, who finished 11th in the Tour of Spain, has already signed for the US Postal team.
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