By Susan Westemeyer
"From a kermese team to the champion's league. That's the best description of my team," said a jubilant Hilaire van den Schuern, Sports Director of Unibet.com. The team was informed Friday evening that it had been awarded a ProTour license.
"At last I return to the Tour de France. My last Tour dates back to 1995, when I was with Novell. Now I start in London with my own team. That is a strange but wonderful feeling," he told www.sportwereld.be.
Koen Terryn, spokesman for sponsor Unibet.com, told Sporza that he is already dreaming of the podium in Paris. "That is one of our aims in the coming year," he said. "If we hadn't received a [ProTour] license, we would have stopped in 2007. But now we are ready for the next four years. That will cost Unibet €32 million, but we are glad to pay it."
Team manager Jacques Hanegraaf noted that the team will be looking to make more signings. "We now have 27 riders under contract, so we still have three places to fill, which we will surely do."