Team Barloworld-Valsir will feature 24 riders in 2005, with the biggest signing being 2003 World Champion Igor Astarloa. The continental professional team has been greatly expanded since last year, when only 11 riders were on board.
Apart from top signing Igor Astarloa, Barloworld has also added 34 year-old Spaniard David Plaza, who rode for Cafes Baque last year and now has a two year deal with Barloworld. Another Baque rider is talented Colombian climber Felix Cardenas, who won the mountains competition in the Vuelta a España for the last two years. Other new signings include Peio Arrentunandia (Cafes Baque), Rene Jorgensen (Alessio), Paolo Longo Borghini (Vini Caldirola), Roger Beuchat, Stefano Cavallari, Luca Celli, Giampaolo Cheula, Guilo Tomi (all Vini Caldirola) and Tom Southam (Amore e Vita). Rene is out to prove his worth to the cycling world after a frustrating year with injury.
Team Barloworld-Valsir has retained many of its promising youngsters, including Darren Lill and Ryan Cox. They are hoping to continue their steady improvement and become part of the team's nucleus. They will be joined by new recruit Tom Southam. On the other hand, the team's seasoned campaigners Enrico Degano, Antonio Salomone, Eddy Serri, 'Jock' Green, David George and Tiaan Kannemeyer are keen to build on their successes of last year in the revamped squad.
Team Manager John Robertson is very pleased with the riders he has at his disposal and is looking forward to a year of continued improvement, beginning with next month's Tour de Langkawi in which he hopes to top last year's second and fourth places with a first.