Recently, the Dutch Shimano Memory Corp Pro Team was presented in Nunspeet, the Netherlands. Made up in part of staff from the Shimano Division III team, they have a diverse squad of riders, managed by Arend Scheppink, former manager of the now defunct BankGiroLoterij team.
The team will be competing within the UCI Continental Tour in Asia and Europe for 2005, and will retain the services of Shimano team manager Akira Bandou. Colnago bikes will be the weapon of choice for 2005, running Shimano components - of course!
The team has an obviously Dutch flavour, with riders such as Marco Bos, Laurens ten Dam, Alain van Katwijk and Juliën Smink on the roster, along with no less than nine Japanese riders, including Yoshiyuki Abe, Yoshimasa Hirose and Masamichi Yamamoto.
The main aim of Shimano's involvement is to develop young road riders for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, through racing at the European level. This is designed to complement strengths in the country's track cycling programme.