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Road Season Preview 2004

February 17, 2004

TT1 Teams: Ag2r to Landbouwkrediet - Colnago

The racing season is upon us, and Cyclingnews has been there as the major squads have rolled out their line-ups for 2004. In this section we've gathered together all our stories from the team launches to provide an overview of what the teams say they're going for this year - if they all succeed, that top step in Paris is going to be mighty crowded at the end of July.

Below we provide an alphabetical listing of links to stories on all the team presentations that have been covered on Cyclingnews.com.

A2R: AG2r Prévoyance (France)
ALB: Alessio - Bianchi (Italy)
BLB: Brioches La Boulangère (France)
CA: Crédit Agricole (France)
CHO: Chocolade Jacques - Wincor Nixdorf (Belgium)
COF: Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone (France)
CSC: Team CSC (Denmark)
EUS: Euskaltel - Euskadi (Spain)
FAS: Fassa Bortolo (Italy)
FDJ: fdjeux.com (France)
GST: Gerolsteiner (Germany)
IBB: Illes Balears - Banesto (Spain)
LAN: Landbouwkrediet - Colnago (Belgium)
LOT: Lotto - Domo (Belgium)
LST: Liberty Seguros (Spain)
MOB: T-Mobile Team (Germany)
PHO: Phonak Hearing Systems (Switzerland)
QSD: Quickstep - Davitamon (Belgium)
RAB: Rabobank (Netherlands)
RAG: R.A.G.T Semence - MG Rover (France)
REB: Relax - Bodysol (Spain)
SAE: Saeco (Italy)
SDV: Saunier Duval - Prodir (Spain)
USP: US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor (USA)
VIN: Vini Caldirola - Nobili Rubinetterie (Italy)

AG2r Prévoyance (France)

With five new riders and a sponsor eager to see its team grow, Ag2r-Prévoyance presented its 19 man roster at the company's headquarters in Paris Tuesday afternoon, January 27. Team manager Vincent Lavenu, who enters his 13th year at the helm of the French team (which began as Chazal, then Casino, now Ag2r), spoke confidently of the team's mix of experience and young talent, and the two primary goals he has set for 2004.

Click here for the full story.

Alessio - Bianchi (Italy)

The newly dubbed Alessio-Bianchi team was unveiled Friday January 23, 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.

Click here for the full story.

Brioches La Boulangère (France)

Joseba Beloki looks to be settling in well with his new team, the predominantly-French Brioches la Boulangere squad. Beloki and the team are currently training in the Vars region of France before starting the season's racing with the Tour of Qatar (February 2-6). Beloki has signed a two-year contract with the team managed by Jean René Bernaudeau, and while skeptics have remarked on the odd fit between the top Spaniard and the solid but undistinguished team, the combination may surprise us all yet.

Click here for the full story.

Crèdit Agricole (France)

French Division I team Crédit Agricole has presented a substantially revamped roster to tackle the 2004 racing season. 10 new riders have been signed by the team, which has lost big hitters Stuart O'Grady and Jens Voigt, among others. The acquisition of New Zealand sprinter Julian Dean, French all rounder Patrice Halgand, Russian climber Alexandre Botcharov, British track world champion Bradley Wiggins, French sprinter Damien Nazon and Kazakhs Dmitriy Muravyev and Andrey Kashechkin will strengthen the team that already boasts Christophe Moreau and Thor Hushovd in its ranks.

Click here for the full story.

Chocolade Jacques - Wincor Nixdorf (Belgium)

The new Belgian Division I team Chocolade Jacques was presented in Waregem, Belgium on Thursday, January 16. The team, based on the old Marlux-Wincor-Nixdorf squad, is managed by Jef Braeckeveldt with Johan Capiot and Andrei Tchmil as directeurs sportifs. Dave Bruylandts, Bart Voskamp and Jans Koerts will be the team's top riders.

Click here for the full story.

Cofidis - Le Crèdit par Tèlèphone (France)

Cofidis, France's big budget Division I professional team, presented its 2004 line up at the Equinox in Paris on Friday, January 9. Making the most of the three world champions in team colours, Cofidis exuded confidence with a roster that is arguably its strongest ever.

Click here for the full story.

Team CSC (Denmark)

A newly reinforced Team CSC was presented in Lucca, Italy, on Saturday, January 17, where the team has been holding its first training camp of the year. The presentation, held at the Auditorium San Romano, was a chance to show off the 11 new riders in the team, headed by 1996 Tour de France winner Bjarne Riis.

Click here for the full story.

Euskaltel - Euskadi (Spain)

Euskaltel-Euskadi held its 2004 presentation at the Euskalduna Jauregia, the World Heritage listed concert hall in Bilbao on Thursday, January 23, in front of a packed and enthusiastic audience. Amongst the luminaries present where the Basque President, Juan Jose Ibaretxe. The presentation included six new faces in the orange aramada, led by ex-Phonak time trial specialist Iker Camaño along with five neo-pros: Anton Luengo, Aketza Peña, Markel Irizar, Koldo Fernández de Larrea (Orbea-Olarra-Consultec) and Gorka Verdugo (Caja Rural).

Click here for the full story.
Euskaltel-Euskadi profile: A little more clockwork orange

Fassa Bortolo (Italy)

With an impressive hi-tech multimedia presentation on a rainy, windy morning in Treviso, Italy, the world's #1 ranked cycling team Fassa Bortolo unveiled its impressive 2004 squad Saturday, January 17th. Nicknamed the "Silver Team", Fassa Bortolo returns as the UCI's top ranked team on two wheels and unlike 2003, this January, the mood was decidedly brighter.

Click here for the full story.

fdjeux.com (France)

The last of the French team presentations was held Wednesday, January 28 in Paris as FDJeux.com presented its 20 man roster for 2004. Led by the brothers Marc and Yvon Madiot, FDJeux.com is a team of young talent and a camaraderie between the riders that is not easily replicated throughout the professional peloton.

Click here for the full story.

Gerolsteiner (Germany)

German Division I team Gerolsteiner wants to establish itself at the top of the pecking order for 2004, as it revealed at its team presentation in Gerolstein. The team which won 27 races and finished sixth on the world rankings at the end of last year, a performance that impressed team boss Hans Michael Holczer. "After what was for us a certainly surprising tenth placing in the world rankings in the year 2002 and sixth place in the year 2003, we are now counting on maintaining our position," said Holczer at the launch.

Click here for the full story.

Illes Balears - Banesto (Spain)

The newly created Illes Balears-Banesto team was presented Thursday, January 29, in Madrid, Spain. The team is the new incarnation of iBanesto.com, sponsored by the Balearic Islands of Spain as a promotional vehicle for the tourism industry on the islands. The team was formally introduced by Jaume Matas, the president of the Illes Balears. With a number of changes in the team roster from last year, team director Eusebio Unzué declared his ambitions for the coming season.

Click here for the full story.

Landbouwkrediet - Colnago (Belgium)

On a cool, windy Brussels afternoon, the 2004 edition of the 23 rider strong Landbouwkrediet-Colnago team was presented to the media at Vandenstock Stadium, where FC Anderlecht plays. Now in its 16th year of activity, when the team started as S.E.F.B., Landbouwkrediet-Colnago in its present form started in 2001 and is in its second year as a Division I squad. When the team races in Italy, the sponsor name will change to Colnago-Landbouwkrediet.

Click here for the full story.

TT1 Teams part two: Lotto - Domo to Vini Caldirola - Nobili Rubinetterie