Julien Absalon will be the captain of Bianchi-Agos in the Trofeo Cigala, the first event of the "Internazionali d'Italia MTB Liquigas Cup" and the race season opening for the MTB team. The race has been scheduled for Saturday, March 5, in Brescia, Italy. Julien Absalon, an Olympic champion and the current World cross country champion who has already won the "Internazionali" in 2003, will be accompanied by his French teammate Thomas Dietsch, the New Zealander Kashi Leuchs, and the Swedish U23 rider Emil Lindgren. Cristian Cominelli, the current Italian Junior champion, will ride too. Cominelli had an excellent season last year and is looking for a sweet home victory as he comes from Brescia. The team manager will be Massimo Ghirotto.
The Liquigas Cup is the most important Italian off-road event and consists of four races that have been scheduled in March and April. "Trofeo Cigala is the 2005 season's curtain raiser for me: I know I can perform well and my form is already all right," Absalon said. "Do you want to know who the most dangerous opponents of Bianchi-Agos are? Well, a lot of champions are expected but we are not going to be afraid at all."
Another celeste team is the Bianchi-Aliverti women squad competing in the GP Città di Castenaso, near Bologna next Sunday, March 6, lining up the two captains Luisa Tamanini and Valentina Alessio. Joining them at the race will be their teammates Veronika Andreasson, Catherine Hare and Susanne Joidon, under the guidance of team manager will be Stefano Della Santa.