By Hedwig Kröner
The European heating technology group Saunier Duval has chose Paris as the location to present its pro cycling team. On Thursday, February 1, the predominantly Spanish ProTour team announced its 2007 roster to the public at the Club Med World Hall in the French capital, and also celebrated the 100th anniversary of Saunier Duval.
Tour de France stage finish announcer Daniel Mangeas presented the 29 riders, of which nine were absent due to the ongoing Tour of Qatar. The most important new signing for 2007 is climber Iban Mayo, who showed great strengths at the 2003 Tour de France and won the Dauphiné Libéré the year after, while riding for Basque team Euskaltel-Euskadi. Within the new squad, the 29 year-old will target victories at stage races like the Giro d'Italia or the Tour de France.
Team Manager, Swiss Mauro Gianetti, will also count on big names like time trial specialist David Millar as well as Italians Leonardo Piepoli and Gilberto Simoni. At 35 years of age, the two-time Giro d'Italia winner and his fellow countryman have a lot of experience to build on.
Moreover, the team announced its engagement in the French fundraising organisation 'Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque', which provides medical help to children suffering from heart malfunctions. And, last but not least, Saunier Duval made known that its commitment to plant trees in Mali, Africa - one for each kilometre raced by the team - still holds. "Just talking about global warming is no use, we have to act," said Gianetti.
The 2007 Saunier Duval-Prodir team roster lists as follows: Raúl Alarcón (Spa, Elite 2), Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat, Universal Caffè-CB Immobiliare), José Alberto Benítez (Spa), Rubens Bertogliati (Swi), Iker Camaño (Spa, Euskaltel-Euskadi), David Cañada (Spa), Juan José Cobo (Spa), David De La Fuente (Spa), Jesús Del Nero (Spa, 3 Molinos Resort), Arkaitz Durán (Spa), Alberto Fernández De La Puebla (Spa), Koldo Gil (Spa), Ángel Gómez Gómez (Spa), José-Angel Gomez-Marchante (Spa), Rubén Lobato (Spa), Iban Mayo (Spa, Euskaltel-Euskadi), Piotr Mazur (Pol), Javier Mejías (Spa), David Millar (GBr), Manuele Mori (Ita), Luciano Pagliarini (Bra), Leonardo Piepoli (Ita), Riccardo Riccò (Ita), Christophe Rinero (Fra), Gilberto Simoni (Ita), Guido Trentin (Ita), Francisco José Ventoso (Spa), Remmert Wielinga (Ned, Quick-Step) and Carlos Zarate (Spa).
See Cyclingnews' teams database for more team information.