Wu out to impress Italians

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 August, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 August, 2006, 12:00am

Up-and-coming Hong Kong rider Wu Kin-san embarked on his Pro Tour adventure when he left for Milan at the weekend.

Wu and Xu Gang, of Shanghai, were signed by Italian team Lampre on a short-term contract in April. The duo were supposed to make their debut for Lampre at the Tour of Qinghai Lake last month but the Italians cancelled the trip.

His contract with the team runs to mid-September.

'Wu has arrived in Italy, safe and sound, and people there are very nice to him,' said Walter Yue Ka-lok, executive director of Hong Kong Cycling Association. 'We, at the association, are delighted as this is the first time we have a rider riding for a professional team.

'It is still not known whether Wu can land a long-term contract as he needs to impress the Italians in the next few weeks, but we all hope he can make it,' Yue said.

The 21-year-old will undergo tough training at Lampre's base in Milan, giving the team a chance to evaluate him.

Lampre are eager to fill the team with young riders. They usually take young guns for training in summer before signing up those with potential for development.

The Italian side are now seventh in the 20-team Pro Tour overall standings, with star rider Ballan Alessandro ranked ninth in the individual standings.

Xu did not make the trip from Shanghai to Milan owing to visa problems and it is not clear when he will be able to join Wu, who returns to Hong Kong next month to prepare for the Asian Championships in Kuala Lumpur.