On Thursday, January 6, part of the UCI Professional Continental team MrBookmaker.com-SportsTech gathered in Paris for a first public appearance in new team colours following an initial team presentation in Oostende, Belgium on the previous day. The Belgians Frank Vandenbroucke, Kurt Van der Wouwer, Gorik Gardeyn and Geert Omloop as well as the five Frenchmen of the team (Fréderic Gabriel, Julien Laidoun, Laurent Paumier, Camille Bouquet and David Boucher) met with the attending media alongside their new directeur sportif Lucien Van Impe, Tour de France winner of 1976, and team manager Hilaire Van der Schueren.
In 2005, the Belgian team will be focusing on the Spring Classics and the French races mainly, but "our sponsor also has interests in Spain and Portugal," Verschueren explained. Meanwhile, the team hopes for invitations to ProTour races like Paris-Roubaix or Dauphiné Libéré, but much will depend on the performances of Frank Vandenbroucke, of which Van Impe says, "I don't think that he will come back a 100 percent as the VDB we once knew, but if he can come back to 80 percent he'll still be a great rider. He's 30 years old and I think he may still have five good years in front of him."
Mrbookmaker.com-SportsTech will be in Calpe, Spain for a training camp from January 10-17.
For the full team roster, click here.