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Road Season Preview 2004

January 23, 2004

Alessio - Bianchi

Alessio-Bianchi team presentation

Team stars
Photo ©: Sirotti

The newly dubbed Alessio-Bianchi team was unveiled Friday in Milan, Italy at the famous Martini Terrace. Italian legend Felice Gimondi was on hand, along with Giampiero Galeazzi, to introduce the team and its sponsors. Bianchi takes over as cosponsor and bicycle provider after its own team- a bailout of the failed Team Coast- came to pieces following Jan Ullrich's return to T-Mobile.

"I have always been a great cycling fan, and ever since I was a little boy the Bianchi bicycles have attracted and fascinated me in a special way, for the reason that all the greatest cycling champions competed on Bianchi bikes," said team sponsor Celeste Alessio. "So, the possibility to see my name, my brother's name and the company name side by side with the great Bianchi logo was an exceptional opportunity."

Galeazzi and Gimondi presented returning riders and new recruits including classics specialist Andrea Tafi, who returns to Italy after a year with the Danish Team CSC. Other team members present included Fabio Baldato, Pietro Caucchioli, Franco Pellizotti and Andrea Noé.

"I am deeply convinced that the new Alessio-Bianchi pairing will turn out to be a competitive and winning team," said longtime Bianchi associate Felice Gimondi. "One of the reasons for this is that [team manager] Bruno Cenghialta has done a great job in putting together a very strong group, signing up, among others, the champion Andrea Tafi, who will make it possible for the Alessio-Bianchi team to play a leading role in the northern classics."

The Division I team will aim for top performances in the classics and the three major grand tours. Leaders for the Giro d'Italia will be Pietro Caucchioli, Andrea Noé and Franco Pellizotti, targeting both high placement in the general classification as well as stage wins. The team also includes several members of the now defunct Team fakta of Denmark, including Cyclingnews diarist Scott Sunderland and Magnus Bäckstedt.

Alessio-Bianchi roster for 2004


Images by Fotoreporter Sirotti