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Tinkoff names 15 and rides Colnago

By Gregor Brown

Tinkoff Credit Systems has sent out its first official press release, naming the riders that are confirmed for the 2007 season and its bike supplier, Colnago. The new Italian professional continental team will be directed by the current Team LPR Manager Omar Piscina, and will be backed by Russian millionaire and bike enthusiast, Oleg Tinkov.

Cyclingnews spoke with Ernesto Colnago a week ago, who at the time could only confirm that they were "discussing this with Tinkoff," but yesterday, the new Italian-Russian team announced it will in fact be riding on framed produced by Milano's famed bike maker. Colnago, in addition to supplying bikes to ProTour teams Rabobank and Milram, will now be the supplier of Tinkov's team.

Colnago and Piscina started negotiations in the middle of September at Italy's bicycle trade show, EICMA. Since EICMA, the two have ironed out the details, with the formal contract being signed today, that will see Colnago furnish carbon frames to the newly formed squad for 2007 and 2008.

In addition to confirming its bike supplier, Tinkoff Credit Systems announced 15 riders that have already been signed for 2007. "The team will be soon complete with three more members, of which will be one of top-level, with whom there are ongoing negotiations," read the Tinkoff press release. The team is said to be courting American Tyler Hamilton.

The confirmed 15 riders are: Elia Aggiano, Pavel Brutt, Ilya Chernetsky, Mikhail Ignatyev, Anton Mindlin, Ivan Rovny, Alexander Serov, Nikolay Trusov and Sergey Klimov (all Russian); Salvatore Commesso, Daniele Contrini and Ruggero Marzoli (Italian); Danilo Hondo and Steffen Weigold (Germans); and Spaniard Ricardo Serrano.

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