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Mosquera attends Vacansoleil team presentation

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Riccardo Ricco

Riccardo Ricco
(Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Commentator Michel Wuyts interviews Stijn Devolder

Commentator Michel Wuyts interviews Stijn Devolder
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Jean Paul van Poppel joins Vacansoleil from the Cervelo team

Jean Paul van Poppel joins Vacansoleil from the Cervelo team
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Borut Bozic in the 2011 Vacansoleil team

Borut Bozic in the 2011 Vacansoleil team
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Romain Feillu is interviewed

Romain Feillu is interviewed
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Romain Feillu considers the question

Romain Feillu considers the question
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Marco Marcato

Marco Marcato
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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The Vacansoleil riders pose with their new bike

The Vacansoleil riders pose with their new bike
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Feillu shows off his Ridley

Feillu shows off his Ridley
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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The 2011 Vacansoleil team

The 2011 Vacansoleil team
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Bjorn Leukemans

Bjorn Leukemans
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Wout Poels

Wout Poels
(Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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The 2011 Vacansoleil team

The 2011 Vacansoleil team
(Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Thomas De Gendt

Thomas De Gendt
(Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Stijn Devolder adds star power to the Vacansoleil team

Stijn Devolder adds star power to the Vacansoleil team
(Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Belgian champion Stijn Devolder shows off his new duds

Belgian champion Stijn Devolder shows off his new duds
(Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Ridley gave Devolder a bold look for 2011.

Ridley gave Devolder a bold look for 2011.
(Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Sergey Lagutin is the champion of Uzbekistan

Sergey Lagutin is the champion of Uzbekistan
(Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Santo Anza

Santo Anza
(Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Ezequiel Mosquera in his new Vacansoleil jersey

Ezequiel Mosquera in his new Vacansoleil jersey
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Romain Feillu, one of the team's top sprinters

Romain Feillu, one of the team's top sprinters
(Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Marcello Pavarin relaxes before the formalities

Marcello Pavarin relaxes before the formalities
(Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Bjorn Leukemans

Bjorn Leukemans
(Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Borut Bozic is the team's fast man

Borut Bozic is the team's fast man
(Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Ezequiel Mosquera attended the presentation in hopes his doping case will be overturned

Ezequiel Mosquera attended the presentation in hopes his doping case will be overturned
(Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Johnny Hoogerland

Johnny Hoogerland
(Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Lieuwe Westra

Lieuwe Westra
(Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Rob Ruijgh

Rob Ruijgh
(Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Martijn Keizer

Martijn Keizer
(Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Matteo Carrara

Matteo Carrara
(Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Pim Ligthart dashed over to the presentation from the Rotterdam Six day. Here, he poses with Martijn Keizer and Wout Poels.

Pim Ligthart dashed over to the presentation from the Rotterdam Six day. Here, he poses with Martijn Keizer and Wout Poels.
(Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Riccardo Ricco will be hoping to return to the Tour de France

Riccardo Ricco will be hoping to return to the Tour de France
(Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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The team's manager Hilaire van der Schueren has some mic time

The team's manager Hilaire van der Schueren has some mic time
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia)

Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia)
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Devodler is questioned by the media

Devodler is questioned by the media
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Can either Björn Leukemans or Stijn Devolder win the Tour of Flanders for Vacansoleil-DCM?

Can either Björn Leukemans or Stijn Devolder win the Tour of Flanders for Vacansoleil-DCM?
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Riccardo Riccò on stage

Riccardo Riccò on stage
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Devolder and some teammates show of the new Vacansoleil-DCM jersey

Devolder and some teammates show of the new Vacansoleil-DCM jersey
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Belgian national champion Stijn Devolder

Belgian national champion Stijn Devolder
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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 Italy's Matteo Carrara

Italy's Matteo Carrara
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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France's Romain Feillu

France's Romain Feillu
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Veteran sports director Hilaire Van Der Schueren

Veteran sports director Hilaire Van Der Schueren
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Riccardo Riccò shows his attitude

Riccardo Riccò shows his attitude
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Stijn Devolder

Stijn Devolder
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Stijn Devolder looks serious

Stijn Devolder looks serious
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Riccardo Riccò cracks a rare smile

Riccardo Riccò cracks a rare smile
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Italians Matteo Carrara and Alberto Ongarato

Italians Matteo Carrara and Alberto Ongarato
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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The riders are interviewed on stage

The riders are interviewed on stage
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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The Vacansoleil jersey is still yellow and blue

The Vacansoleil jersey is still yellow and blue
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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New sports director Jean Paul van Poppel

New sports director Jean Paul van Poppel
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Björn Leukemans hits the big screen

Björn Leukemans hits the big screen
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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sports director Hilaire Van Der Schueren is hoping Björn Leukemans will be at his best in April

sports director Hilaire Van Der Schueren is hoping Björn Leukemans will be at his best in April
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Björn Leukemans and Stijn Devolder

Björn Leukemans and Stijn Devolder
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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 Björn Leukemans smiles

Björn Leukemans smiles
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)

Ezequiel Mosquera was presented at the official presentation of the Vacansoleil-DCM team in Rotterdam on Monday but it is far from certain if the Spaniard will be able ride for the team this year.

There is still no word on a final verdict regarding his positive anti-doping control at this year's Vuelta a Espana, in which he finished second overall and so he is allowed to compete.

Mosquera and his then Xacobeo teammate David Garcia Da Peña tested positive for Hydroxyethyl starch, which can be used as a masking agent for blood doping. Mosquera has repeatedly proclaimed his innocence.

Hydroxyethyl starch is not a performance enhancing product, and Mosquera can only be suspended from competition when both the A and B samples confirm the positive test. Apparently the B sample has still not yet been tested and the Vacansoleil-DCM claimed the UCI has given Mosquera the green light to compete.

According to the Dutch De Telegraaf newspaper Mosquera said: “I can only wait. It is not a pleasant situation but I'm learning to live with it. And maintain that I am innocent.”

“My family and my training are getting me through this. But if there is really a suspension, then that will be it. I'm 35, and my image has been damaged. Then it's time for other things in life.”

If he is allowed to ride this year, Mosquera hopes to ride his first Tour de France. “The Vuelta is my first objective, but I am going for both grand tours,” he said.

Confident for the future

Team manager Daan Luijkx tried to focus on the long-term hopes of the team of the team rather than the Mosquera case.

“In 2009 we aimed to be ready for the highest division by the end of 2011. The fast development of the team, the ambitious sponsors and the 12th spot in the sporting hierarchy of the UCI accelerated our growth. The license and sponsor contracts will last three years. This gives us plenty of opportunities to look ahead,” he said in a statement issued by the team.

Sport director Hilaire Van Der Schueren is confident the team can be competitive in the major World Tour races.

“Our 2011 squad must be able to compete in all sort of races. With the WorldTour license, our riders we can show ourselves in all big races and riders like Devolder, Leukemans, Riccò, Hoogerland and Bozic can aim for a specific goal,” he said.

“Last year we aimed for a top-three spot in a classic and we just missed out with Leukemans at Flanders, now we want to win a classic and finish top-three in the GC of a grand tour.”

Vacansoleil-DCM will ride the Tour Down Under, while the rest of the squad will head to Calpe for a training camp.

The Vacansoleil-DCM roster: Santo Anzà (Italy), Borut Bozic (Slovenia), Maxim Belkov (Russia), Matteo Carrara(Italy), Thomas De Gendt (Belgium), Stijn Devolder (Belgium), Romain Feillu(France), Gorik Gardeyn (Belgium), Michal Golas (Poland), Johnny Hoogerland (Netherlands), Martijn Keizer (Netherlands), Sergey Lagutin(Uzbekistan), Björn Leukemans (Belgium), Pim Ligthart (Netherlands), Marco Marcato (Italy), Wouter Mol (Netherlands), Ezequiel Mosquera (Spain), Jens Mouris (Netherlands), Alberto Ongarato (Italy), Marcello Pavarin (Italy), Ruslan Pidgornyy (Ukraine), Wout Poels (Netherlands), Riccardo Riccò (Italy), Rob Ruygh (Netherlands), Mirko Selvaggi (Italy), Joost van Leijen (Netherlands), Frederik Veuchelen (Belgium) and Lieuwe Westra (Netherlands).