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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

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At the team launch in February
oto ©: Gerard Knapp

Driving it home: The Team DFL-Cyclingnews-Litespeed diary, 2006

Cameron Jennings and some of the 2005 Team Cyclingnews riders made the move to the new DFL-Cyclingnews-Litespeed Continental team. Based in Belgium, they'll teach us about Belgian weather, beer and bike racing in 2006.

Check out the adventures of Cam and the crew - a group of Aussies, Brits (English, Welsh, Scottish), the odd New Zealander and remarkably, even a Belgian - as they tackle a hectic race schedule on three continents this year.

For further reading about the team, visit the DFL-Cyclingnews-Litespeed official site. To check out Team Cyclingnews during 2005 and earlier, visit the 2005 site.

Belgium, April 13, 2006

The excitement builds

By Dean Downing

Hi people,

It’s been six weeks in Belgium now for me, and as we get closer to Easter I am getting a bit, no, a lot excited...normally I get excited for lots of chocolate but this year my girlfriend Katy is coming over to visit me.

The team house is now full to the brim with all nine riders places taken; evening time has been a bit stressful this week in the kitchen for some guys. All the boys will know whom I am referring to. He does too probably, but I reckon he'll love getting a mention. But we have all been saying there are not going to be nine guys in the house 24/7.

It only lasted a few days as six of the boys have jetted off to China for the latest stage race on the calendar, the UCI-ranked 2.2 Tour of Chongming Island. After our first stage race of the season in France, Circuit des Ardennes (UCI 2.2) went pretty average for most of the team, I stopped with a bad back again (poor excuse, I know). Sven stopped with bad everything, Kane stopped 10km into the last stage and Leigh had a tendon problem, David managed the full distance and spent most of the time last man in the peloton in every stage. Bernie looks in good shape after getting a top ten in stage 3 and 23rd overall. I reckon he will come back from china with a few quid or the equivalent Chinese notes.

My brother Russ is back in the house, which Kane loved whilst he was still here; watching him break dance on the garage floor after a few too many was a funny sight to see. Russ also got another trophy for the house (April 12th) and a new set of plastic flowers for the wall with the teams' third win of 2006. Winning the support race for the UCI ranked HC Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen pro race in Schoten.

The next few weeks are going to be hard training to get my back in shape for the coming months, where we have the Tour of Bretagne in France at the end of April and a busy programme running into May too, so keep logging on.

Cheers,
Deano