Cycle-Collstrop will make it's debut at the French race de Ster van Bessèges from January 6-10. The new squad is run by Hilaire Van Der Schueren, who founded the outfit after Unibet.com folded at the end of last season following a year of political termoil.
"We will just have to wait and see what my riders can do," Van Der Schueren said. "All of them had their own program, we didn't have a team training camp. Each of the guys were able work through their training programs over the last few months thanks to the good weather. We will ride at Bessèges just to get back into the rhythm of racing. I won't be putting any pressure on the guys at all."
Van Der Schueren's former ProTour outfit Unibet.com collapsed after it was sidelined from many races, with major organisers claiming that allowing an online gambling sponsored squad to compete on certain nation's soil would be illegal. The claims, which left the team losing court battles for its right to compete for much of the year, were widely believed to be a guise for the ongoing UCI Vs. Grand Tour organisers battle.
"Steffen Wesemann has made the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix his target," Van Der Schueren said. "After Bessèges we will take a selection to the Ruta del Sol and the Tour of Algarve before returning for Omloop Het Volk, Kuurne and the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen."
Teams taking part in the Ster van Bessèges:
Silence-Lotto, Landbouwkrediet, Topsport Vlaanderen, Mitsubishi-Jartazi, Cofidis, Crédit Agricole, Ag2r, Bouygues Telecom, Française des Jeux, Slipstream, Agritubel, Elk Haus, Auber 93, Team Sean Kelly, Bretagne, Apiflo Vacances, Roubaix-Lille Metropole, Miche-Silver Cross, Differdange and Cycle Collstrop