The Liquigas-Bianchi team celebrated its 'comeback' professional season at a party in Liquigas' head office in San Donà del Piave, Italy, on Tuesday evening. The team scored 19 victories in 2005, with the highlights being the Pro Tour, won by Danilo Di Luca, who also collected the Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne and the Vuelta a Paìs Vasco; the Italian national title won by Enrico Gasparotto, and the two sprint victories by Mario Cipollini at the beginning of the season.
Managers, riders, technicians and the staff of the green-Celeste team gathered on Tuesday, together with team manager Roberto Amadio and the president and the managing director of Liquigas SpA, Paolo Zani and Paolo Dal Lago.
During the party, Paolo Dal Lago thanked the team, saying, "We have been key players all the season long: our aim for 2006 is...getting even better." As for Danilo Di Luca, he gave all those present a DoGi jewel, one of his own sponsors, with "Pro Tour 2005" engraved on it. After the dinner, Enrico Gasparotto looked after the team and they then emptied a bar in the area's supply of champagne.
Liquigas-Bianchi will race two more events in 2005: Firenze-Pistoia (October 22) with Di Luca, Gasparotto, Andriotto and Miorin, and on Saturday, October 29 in Newport, Magnus Bäckstedt will attempt the derny paced hour record.