While Danilo Di Luca was crowned inaugural king of the ProTour after Saturday's final race in the series, the Giro di Lombardia, the two squads that landed first and second place in the teams competition, CSC and Phonak, have also pronounced themselves very satisfied with their results for the season.
Trophies were awarded at a gala dinner after Lombardia, and CSC team manager Bjarne Riis collected the team trophy with many of his riders. "It's very satisfying to win the team prize because we pride ourselves on racing as a team throughout the season," Riis said. "We won some important UCI ProTour races such as Paris-Nice and the Eneco Tour but won the team prize because in each race our riders rode consistently well. We deserved this prize and will be trying to win it again in 2006."
Riis has no intention of resting on his - or rather his team's - laurels. "It has always been our ambition to be the world's greatest team, but not just in points and rankings. We have done things our own way and this has proven to work extremely well. I have never doubted the fact that the results would follow. We have a unique thing here and it is part of our way of thinking that you should always continue to improve. Of course we should be proud of what we have achieved, but at the same time it should also heighten our motivation even further for the tasks ahead," he said.
Phonak manager John Lelangue was also happy with his team's second place. "The goal at the beginning of the season was to be one of the top five teams. That there is only one team that is better than us in the final tally is much more than we could have hoped for," said Lelangue.
Lelangue said he believed his team had performed well in part because it had taken the wishes of the riders into account. "We are convinced that a pro can give his best when he's competing in races that appeal to him," he said, adding that riders had been consulted about the races they preferred and their wishes were taken into consideration as much as possible.