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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

2005 Team rosters

Team Mälarenergi gets a new Look

By Gabriella Ekström

Team Mälarenergi
Photo ©: Team Mälarenergi
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Swedish based amateur cycling club Team Mälarenergi announced its new line up of cyclists simultaneously with the start of its winter training period in November. During the past year, the team consisted mostly of young and untried cyclists, but despite this they were able to bring home five national championship medals, two of them gold.

"We are very happy with the development of the team this year," the team's directeur sportif Patrick Serra tells Cyclingnews. "We've gone for young and fresh blood, both when it comes to the riders, as well as the leaders, and I think it has proved a success. We have kept all the riders we wanted, and we have also signed new deals with a handful of riders."

Although life as a pro with Team Mälarenergi means no economical additions at all, the team has never experienced any problems recruiting new riders. "We have around 20 new riders who express serious interest in riding with us ever year," Serra says. "Our only problem is to find those who are willing to commit to us in the way we require."

Having said that, it appears that life with the team is no bed of roses. "Whoever wants to ride for us must be 100 percent motivated, and prepared to put in 1000-1200 training hours a year." In addition to all the physical training, there's also education in diet, psychology and language awaiting the pros-to-be.

Winter training
Photo ©: Team Mälarenergi
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Winter training in Västerås starts November 1, and from then on there's training seven days a week. "We ride outside all during the winter, if the temperature doesn't go below -16 degrees," says the team's coach David Johansson. "On top of that we do a lot of individual special training like weights and stationary bikes. During the off season that means an additional 25 hours a week. Training nowadays is very advanced, and includes a lot of tests and heart-rate based exercise."

For this reason, Team Mälarenergi has engaged a physical trainer who has developed personal training programs for the riders. It is former cyclist Pasi Hokkanen who is in charge of the training programs, but in total there are half a dozen people engaged with each and every cyclist in order to get the best result possible. "They say that cycling is the hardest sport in the world, and add some Swedish winter to that, and you'll quickly come to the conclusion that this is nothing for the faint hearted," David Johansson says with a clever smile.

New Look
Photo ©: Team Mälarenergi
Click for larger image

Next year, the team will get a new look as Cyclecomponents, Scandinavia's biggest online shop for cyclists recently signed a two year deal with the team. The eleven riders will race on Look's new 585 carbon frame (Weight including the fork is 1285 grams). The frame, which is the same that Credit Agricole will ride in 2005, will be equipped with Shimano Dura-Ace groups and wheels. In total, the bike will weigh around seven kilos. Except for the bikes, Cyclecomponents will also equip the team with spare parts, tyres, clothing, helmets, glasses, shoes and everything else needed to be competitive at the highest level.

Cyclecomponents wishes to market itself and its subcontractors to elite and recreational riders in the Nordic countries, and was therefore attracted to Team Mälarenergi, which arranges big TV and Internet broadcast races open to riders of all levels. "We had our own team a couple of years ago, but it proved too time demanding to be both the sponsor and the club," says Anders Moberg, vice president of "Now, we can focus on what we do best, and leave the rest to the team. Today, we only sell our products over the Internet, and we are convinced that Team Mälarenergi is the right choice to expose our products to a broader range of riders."

"To feel that we have access to the best equipment possible is a psychological boost for us," team coach David Johansson adds. "Neither are we locked to one single brand or manufacturer, since we are sponsored by a shop. That means we can change the equipment according to our needs, without being controlled by the manufacturer."

"We have been trying to find an alert, interested partner to support us with material for a long time," says Patrick Serra. "The development of materials is fast, and sometimes it can be a tough job keeping up. It's a relief to us to leave all the negotiations with subcontractors to Cyclecomponents, who we absolutely trust will pick out and supply the best material to us. It lies in their interest to expose the top products they sell, through our team. We can help them reach out to the masses, and our reward is their top equipment."

Representing the women in the team is Madeleine Lindberg, who recently also re-signed her contract with one of the top pro teams for women, Team Nürnberger. She will represent Team Mälarenergi in all the Swedish races she'll take part in, and her aims on the international calendar are primarily World Cup races, the Tour and the big championships. Madeleine is also a part of the group of Swedish riders aiming at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Former professional rider Fredrik Modin will stay focused on his MTB career, also he aiming for the 2008 Olympics, but will also be a serious contender in mountainous road races in Europe during the spring.

22 year-old Andreas Johansson has had his breakthrough as a rider this year, and has been a part of the national team as well as winning two Swedish championship medals. Having represented Sweden at both the European and World championships, Andreas is the captain of the team.

Dennis Persson
Photo ©: Team Mälarenergi
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At only 20 years of age, Dennis Persson is seen as the most promising of the non-professional riders in his age group in Sweden. This year he has won seven elite races, and is also a part of the national team. Last year he had to give up part of the season because of a car accident, but has been able to come back to a high level this year.

Lucas Persson is also a rider for the future, having won his first races for Team Mälarenergi this year. Just like his brother Dennis, he is part of the national team, and can also address himself double Swedish champion.

22 year-old Martin Nyman has committed himself to the mountains, and has come back after a working related accident to be the rider who will closely assist Fredrik Modin in the mountains.

Also 22 years of age, Rickard Almkvist used to race in Italy before an injured hip required surgery. That proved unsuccessful and Rickard has been forced to several periods of rest during the season. During the fall, he has undergone another operation, this time in France. The prognosis is now good and he has already showed promising results.

18 year-old Fredrik Johansson who is the double Swedish junior champion has also signed a contract for the team. He is currently studying at the cycling senior high school in Skara, but will move to the team's base in Västerås in June next year. He is already training with the team, and will be representing them in all the races he participates in.

David Johansson welcomes Fredrik, who was one of the riders he wished the team should sign. "He has been one of the best junior riders this year, and it feels good to work with a rider who seems to have such a bright future."

The more famous and older Fredrik Johansson, who has been riding for CCI Differdange this year, is likely to still represent Team Mälarenergi in 2005, although his professional team will be Konica-Minolta. "My year in Luxembourg has been very successful," Johansson says. "I have over 25 top three placings, five of those victories in Luxembourg, one Swedish team time trial championship and one time trial bronze in the national championships.

"I've worked hard to earn a place in one of the bigger teams for next year. Konica-Minolta might not be one of the biggest, but it's a clear step forward for me. I will be able to race several of the more important races, and thereby show myself to the bigger teams. I was also offered a place as stagiaire in Barloworld at the end of 2005 if I signed for Konica-Minolta, and that made me sign."

Two more brothers conclude the line up. Christofer and Michael Stevenson from Säffle have both been racing in international teams during 2004. Michael has been racing in Danish team Kronoborg Pro and Christofer has been representing the national team and French team VC Aixios. "I need the kind of competitive racing that only Team Mälarenergi can offer me in Sweden," Christofer says. With his sprint as his main strength, he will aim for the flatter international one day races, and admits that he will focus on helping his mates on a hilly day.

"I'm pleased with our team for next year," Patrick Serra concludes. "I think David has put together a really good group of riders. It looks like our team is full now, and we have pretty much closed the door on new additions. Although...I guess exceptions could always be made!"

Team roster

Rickard Almkvist, 23
Andreas Johansson, 22
Fredrik Johansson, 19
Fredrik Modin, 24
Martin Nyman, 22
Dennis Persson, 20
Lucas Persson, 20
Christofer Stevenson, 22
Michael Stevenson, 20

Madeleine Lindberg will represent the team in Swedish races.

2005 team rosters