The Skil-Moser Pro Cycling Team, a new Continental team from The Netherlands, sees the return of the Skil brandname to the peloton after a near 20 year absence. In the early 1980s, Skil sponsored a top professional team that included the likes of Gerrie Knetemann and Sean Kelly, winning several of cycling's top classics (Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Paris-Roubaix, Giro di Lombardia, Amstel Gold Race).
"With this new, young and enthusiastic team we intend to reach for the same highlights as in the early 1980s," said Gerhard Kobesen, President of Skil Europe.
This year's team is built around Tour de France and Vuelta stage winner Bart Voskamp, with Bert van der Tuuk as team manager and Gerry Takens, Aike Visbeek, and Merijn Zeeman as directors. The team is largely a mix of Chocolade Jacques and Team Moser-AH.nl riders, including Bert Hiemstra, Peter Mazur and Jan van Velzen.
At 36, Bart Voskamp is the most experienced cyclist in the team. A professional since 1993, Voskamp has twice won the Dutch time trial championship (1991 and 2001) as well as stages in major cycling races such as the Tour de France (1996) and the Vuelta a España (1994 and 1997). Voskamp has ridden for TVM, Polti, BankGiro Loterij and Chocolade Jacques, and his experience will be very useful both for the riders and the management. "I'm setting myself the goal of lifting this team to a higher level," said Voskamp. "With the experience I have, I will be fulfilling the role that lies between the management and the riders as team captain. But that will not stop me from adding to my list of victories."
Alongside Dutchmen, Belgians and a German, no fewer than four strong Polish riders have been included in the team. Peter Mazur was first in the Tour of Poland young riders classification last year; Marek Wesoly won the Polish road championship that year; Dariusz Rudnicki is considered to be a good sprinter; and Arkadiusz Wojtas wants to prove that he can be one of the leaders of the team.
The Skil-Moser team will have an international program, including Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, Giro del Capo, Brabantse Pijl, Veenendaal-Veenendaal, Tour of Belgium, and Volta ao Alentejo this spring. In addition to the professionals Skil will also sponsor the Moser-AH-Trentino U23 Continental team, which is a development squad for young riders aiming to become professional.