McEwen looks forward to "great duels" with Boonen and Petacchi
The Davitamon-Lotto team was formally launched on Monday and set out an ambitious program for 2006, targeting the ProTour, the Grands Tours and major Classics.
With the six-day racing as a backdrop, Davitamon-Lotto manager Marc Sergeant made it clear that he has high expectations of his riders for 2006, when he introduced this year's line-up in Hasselt, Belgium.
"If we do the same as last year we're doing fine," said Sergeant. "To win Gent-Wevelgem, a ProTour race, was fantastic but to win Tour of Flanders or Paris-Roubaix is something else still; if we can add one of those great ProTour races to our list that would be beautiful and top things of with the Green Jersey in the Tour, that would be the max we can ask for.
"I have to admit that when Nico Mattan won Gent-Wevelgem last season; the pressure came off. We started well in February but fell back in March.
"He saved us from things which probably wouldn't have done the team any good; the pressure would have become too much for many. It was important for us that win. But, I would like to take a step up this year."
Click here for the full report, including Robbie McEwen's, Cadel Evans' and Wim van Huffel's ambitions for 2006