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Skil-Shimano cycling team presented in Vaals

Skil-Shimano presented its professional team Wednesday in Vaals in the south of the Netherlands. For 2007, the team counts 25 riders for a total of four more than last year. The internationally oriented team has more or less the same ambitions as last year, according to team managers Arend Scheppink and Iwan Spekenbrink.

"We hope that we can continue the progression we made last season, when we had some excellent results in the form of wins in the Tour of Belgium and the Tour of Qinghai Lake. On top of that our aim is to take part in some prestigious races and to continue with our up-front racing style, while we will also be focusing on the development of talented riders," said the managers.

Seven newcomers add to the international mix: Fabien Bacquet (France), Maarten den Bakker (NL), Ji Cheng (China), David Deroo (France), Clément Lhotellerie (France), Christian Müller (Germany), and Albert Timmer (NL). Just like in 2006, the team will retain a number of Asian riders as part of its efforts to grow racing in Japan and China. Five Japanese riders (Hidenori Nodera, Tomayo Kano, Yoshimasa Hirose, Yukihiro Doi and Masahiro Shinagawa) and three Chinese riders (Fang Xu, Jin Long and Ji Cheng) will ride a primarily European program; while the other Japanese riders will focus on racing in Asia

For a complete team roster, please see Cyclingnews' team database.