By Mark Zalewski
For the past twelve years, Ed Beamon has been successful in fielding one of the strongest teams in the North American peloton - and even with team transfers routinely challenging the Navigators Insurance team, the veteran team director continues to assemble talent from all over the world. In 2006, his work has resulted in the largest roster ever, totalling seventeen riders.
Many familiar names remain with the team, including the 36 year-old Russian sprinter Vassili Davidenko and multiple Olympic champion track sprinter Marty Nothstein. Also continuing with the outfit is the international flavour, with Irish champion David O'Loughlin keeping his national jersey with the team. In fact, eleven of the seventeen riders are from outside of North America.
The 2003 U-23 World Road Champion Sergey Lagutin heads the lineup of new recruits that includes several European based professionals as well as a strong compliment of North American based performers. Lagutin, the current national road and time trial champion in his native Uzbekistan is joined by former Ukrainian national champion Valeriy Kobzarenko. In addition, the Belgian based Australian Glen Chadwick and the California based Australian Ben Brooks join the squad along with two Americans, former Navigators rider T. Burke Swindlehurst, and the up-coming Bernard Van Ulden.
With this expanded roster, team Navigators will continue to compete in key events throughout Europe, Asia and Oceanic countries, while refocusing on domestic goals as well, and is well positioned to take advantage of a strengthened U.S. event schedule that now spans February through September.
The full 2006 Navigators Insurance Cycling Team roster is:
Ben Brooks (Aus), 27, Siro Camponogara (Ita), 29, Glen Chadwick (Aus), 30, Hilton Clarke (Aus), 27, Vassili Davidenko (Rus), 36, Cesar Grajales (Col), 33, Oleg Grichkine (Rus), 31, Valeriy Kobzarenko (Ukr), 29, Sergey Lagutin (Uzb), 25, Shawn Milne (USA), 25, Marty Nothstein (USA), 35, David O'loughlin (Irl), 28, Ciaran Power (Irl), 30, T. Burke Swindlehurst (USA), 33, Bernard Van Ulden (USA), 27, Mark Walters (Can), 30, and Phil Zajicek (USA), 27.