By Tim Maloney, European Editor in Treviso
At a gala presentation Friday in Treviso, Italy, Fassa Bortolo presented its revamped 26 man ProTour squad for 2005, where Fassa celebrated five years of successful racing from 2000-2004 and looked forward to a successful sixth year in the pro peloton. For '05, the Silver Team is based around the speedy legs of Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi, with Swiss TDF prologue winner Fabian Cancellara, Spanish classics specialist Juan Antonio Flecha and enigmatic GC man Dario Frigo as other key elements.
Team patron Paolo Fassa was clearly moved by a highlight film at the beginning of the presentation, saying "Yes, I would do it all over again! Our objective was to have a serious and successful team and we have achieved that." Fassa pointed out that like his building products company, which has doubled it's turnover in five years to €400 million, and "We wanted our team to grow like the company and it's achieved that." Fassa added that the squad was seeking a co-sponsor for 2006 to relieve the financial burden, as the Italian squad has only taken out a one year ProTour licence.
Fassa Bortolo's team manager Giancarlo Ferretti, nicknamed 'il sargente di ferro' (man of iron) for his strict team discipline then spoke of the blue and white squad he's guided for the last half-decade. "This season, we will really focus on the ProTour, because we need to obtain as many points as possible to propel our team high in the ProTour rankings. This is a key objective for us."