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Photo ©: Swift

Road Season Preview 2004

February 9, 2004

Vini Calderola - Nobili Rubinetterie

Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie presentation

Pavel Tonkov and Stefano Garzelli
Photo ©: Olympia

Despite losing co-sponsor Saunier Duval, which has formed its own division I team this year, Vini Caldirola will return in 2004 with Stefano Garzelli at the helm again. With water tap manufacturer Nobili Rubinetterie coming on board as a co-sponsor, the squad can still boast a roster of 23 riders with the most notable new signing being Russian strongman Pavel Tonkov (CCC-Polsat). The team has lost the likes of Gianluca Bortolami, Andrej Hauptman, Eddy Mazzoleni, Fred Rodriguez and Romans Vainsteins, and while that will weaken it in the classics it should still be a competitive squad in the Giro d'Italia, which remains Garzelli's main goal.

Tonkov and Garzelli should work well together to achieve their respective goals in 2004, with the Russian pointing to the Vuelta Espaņa as his target and Garzelli wishing to beat Simoni and co. to win the Giro. Oscar Mason, Giampaolo Cheula, Steve Zampieri and ex-pro Roberto Sgambelluri will all be key men in the assaults on these two grand tours.

The team will introduce four neo-professionals: Giulio Tomi, Paolo Longo Borghini, Luca Celli and Stefano Cavallari, while also gaining the talents of Marco Zanotti (Fassa Bortolo), Mauro Zinetti (Amore e Vita), Milan Kadlec (Lampre), Enrico Cassani (Alessio) and Roger Beuchat (Phonak), in addition to Tonkov and Sgambelluri.

Garzelli's first race will be the Giro della Provincia di Lucca (February 24-27).


Images by Olympia Photo

Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie team roster