Winning the ProTour team rankings for the second consecutive year was one of the big goals for Team CSC during the 2006 season, and last Sunday the Danish team reached this goal by winning the team competition in Paris-Tours, according to the team's website. "I'm so incredibly proud of the whole team. It was very important for us to show we could do it again. It's literally all the riders who deserve the credit for this achievement. We have been strong throughout the season and in all kind of races. Even now at the end of the season, where many other teams have more or less fallen apart and it's hard to put together strong line-ups, we have delivered great results," said Bjarne Riis.
In both Paris-Tours and Züri Metzgete the team had to settle for second places, but during the season Team CSC has a total of 51 victories - four of them in team time trials. Team CSC now leads the ProTour team rankings with 373 points, while Caisse d'Epargne is second with 336. Last year Team CSC finished with 390 points with a 37 points lead. "Perhaps securing the ProTour victory takes off some of the pressure in Giro di Lombardia, but it doesn't change the fact that it's still a very important race and a big goal for us this season. We have a very strong line-up and several riders on really good form," added the 1996 Tour de France winner.
For the past couple of years Team CSC has finished third in the classic Italian race. In 2005, Fränk Schleck made the podium in a race won by Paolo Bettini ahead of Gilberto Simoni, and in 2004, Ivan Basso was beaten in the sprint by winner Damiano Cunego and runner up Michael Boogerd.
Meanwhile, a judgement in the case of Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso - for implication in the doping affair around Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes - is now expected at the end of October, according to radsport-aktiv.de. An announcement was expected soon after Basso last saw a magistrate on September 29 in a hearing for the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), but that decision has now been delayed for another month, pending further documents from the public prosecutor's office in Madrid.