The Rabobank team has communicated its race schedule and rider selections for the next few weeks of the 2006 season start. For the Volta a Comunitat Valenciana in Spain, slated for February 21-25, the management announced the participation of the following riders: Michael Boogerd, Bram de Groot, Erik Dekker, Thomas Dekker, Juan Antonio Flecha, Grischa Niermann, Alexander Kolobnev and Jukka Vastaranta.
The next event will see the team back up in the North of Europe at the Omloop Het Volk (February 25): Jan Boven, Graeme Brown, Mathew Hayman, Marc Wauters, Niels Scheuneman, Joost Posthuma, Pedro Horrillo and Marc de Maar will represent the Dutch ProTeam in the first of the famous Belgian Classics.
At the same time, a second team roster will line-up in Spain at the Clasica de Almeria in Spain, scheduled for the very next day. Tour de France Mountains Jersey winner Michael Rasmussen is planned to make his return to racing at the event, alongside Theo Eltink, Jukka Vastaranta, Denis Menchov, Pieter Weening, Thorwald Veneberg and Alexander Kolobnev. The team will change only slightly for the following Spanish stage race, the Vuelta a Murcia from March 1-5, where Marc Wauters, Niels Scheuneman and Marc de Maar are appointed to replace Jukka Vastaranta and Alexander Kolobnev.
The 2006 season will then really get under way with ProTour stages races Paris-Nice (March 5-12) and Tirreno Adriatico (March 8-14), where two separate Rabobank rosters will line up as the events overlap. The French "race to the sun" will see Erik Dekker, Mathew Hayman, Jan Boven, Graeme Brown, Joost Posthuma, Grischa Niermann, Alexander Kolobnev and one other rider on its roads, whereas its Italian counterpart will welcome Thomas Dekker, Michael Boogerd, Oscar Freire, Juan Antonio Flecha, Pedro Horrillo, Bram de Groot, Marc Wauters and Thorwald Veneberg.
Next up will be the Italian one-day Classic Milano-Sanremo. Oscar Freire, Erik Dekker, Thomas Dekker, Juan Antonio Flecha, Pedro Horrillo, Bram de Groot, Marc Wauters and another rider yet to be determined will give their all on the hilly roads towards the race finish at the Via Roma.