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First Univega team meeting in the snow

Susan Westemeyer
January 01, 2006, 0:00 GMT,
April 20, 2009, 22:57 BST
First Edition Cycling News for January 1, 2006

The first Univega Pro Cycling Team meeting became an arctic adventure, as it took place from...

The first Univega Pro Cycling Team meeting became an arctic adventure, as it took place from December 28-29 in the skiing area of Engelberg, Switzerland. The objective of the meeting was to integrate the new team members and strengthen the team spirit.

Except for Pascale Schnider, who is staying in L.A. at the moment, Emma Rickards and Joanne Kiesanowski, the whole team gathered at the mountain hotel Trübsee-Hof. Nicole Cooke, the new leader, visited Switzerland for the first time and was enchanted by the white splendour of the mountainous landscape.

After agreeing on the racing program for 2006, the team management announced the goals for the new season: A placing among the best three UCI Pro Teams at the end of next year, the overall World Cup 2006 for Cooke, and the victory in one of the Grand Tours. "If you have the current TT World Champion Karin Thürig, the vice World Champion road 2005 Nicole Cooke as well as a number of good and experienced riders in the team, the expectations of course are very high for next year," said team director Thomas Campana. "That's high level sports and we want to live up to its expectations."

After the meetings, the team members were served a Swiss cheese fondue in an igloo village, where they "comfortably" spent the night in polar sleeping-bags with temperatures of 2° Celsius. The riders and staff agreed that it had been a lot of fun, and were already anticipating the next meeting at the training camp in Melbourne, Australia, starting in the first week of January.

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