Phonak Cycling Team owner Andy Rihs and General Manager John Lelangue have announced that current main and naming sponsor Phonak Hearing Systems is extending its contract for another year. Also maintaining their partnership with the squad will be Swiss bicycle company BMC. In addition, Rihs and Lelangue expect an agreement with a presenting sponsor to be signed in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, the 2006 Phonak Cycling Team has already had its first gathering. After the Giro di Lombardia, team members spent one week in Malaga, Spain, for an introductory meeting. The first joint training camp of the new year will be held from January 9-19 in Mallorca.
The official team presentation will then follow on January 20 at the Phonak Hearing Systems headquarters in Stäfa, before the new season starts one week later with the GP International Doha, Qatar. Lelangue is looking forward to the new season, in which Phonak will aim to keep its second place on the ProTour calendar. "On top of the Tour de France as the season's highlight, we also want to play a decisive role at all of the other important races," he said. "In addition, there's the second-place team ranking to defend."
The 26 riders of the 2006 Phonak Cycling Team are as follows:
Aurélien Clerc (Swi), Martin Elmiger (Swi), Gregory Rast (Swi), Johann Tschopp (Swi), Alexandre Moos (Swi), Sascha Urweider (Swi), David Vitoria (Swi), Steve Zampieri (Swi), Florian Stalder (Swi), Steve Morabito (Swi), Axel Merckx (Bel), Koos Moerenhout (Ned), Luis Fernandez Oliveira (Spa), José Enrique Gutierrez (Spa), Ignacio Gutierrez (Spa), Miguel Martin Perdiguero (Spa), Santiago Botero (Col), Victor Hugo Peña (Col), Floyd Landis (USA), Jonathan Patrick McCarty (USA), Ryder Hesjedal (Can), Bert Grabsch (Ger), Nicolas Jalabert (Fra), Uros Murn (Slo), Robert Hunter (RSa) and Fabrizio Guidi (Ita).