Garzelli, Paolini and Backstedt ready to race, too
Landing the overall title in the inaugural ProTour series was 2005's biggest achievement for the Liquigas-Bianchi team. For 2006, the top Italian squad is aiming for more victories in Classics and Tours as well as series success, as the riders explained at the team's launch in Milano. European Editor Tim Maloney reports.
On a cold winter Saturday night with Milano covered in a rare white blanket of snow, there was a warm welcome for the second season of the Liquigas-Bianchi squad inside The Blue Note, Italy's top jazz venue. With Italian TV host Federica Panigucci and Liquigas-Bianchi press chief Gabriele Sola as the hosts with the most, the Liquigas-Bianchi team revealed its new squad for 2006.
Kicking off the festivities was a brief speech by Liquigas boss, Dr. Paolo Del Lago. Known as a true cycling fan, Del Lago was very positive when he talked about the inaugural year for the team. "Yes, last year was a big season, with a lot of key moments; not just the wins and emotion from that, but also other moments... like on the Colle delle Finestre in the Giro d'Italia. For me, the most important moment was when we were following the stage, and as we began climbing the mountain, I looked up and saw the many tens of thousands of people who were waiting days and days to see the riders for just ten minutes and I realized how beautiful our sport is. That was a special moment for me."
Click here for the full report from Liquigas-Bianchi's presentation.