Exciting times around Ridley HQ here in Belgium. Road racing season is nigh upon the horizon with the Tour Down Under beginning next week. We attended the Vacansoleil-DCM team launch this past Monday in Rotterdam along with tons of media, politicians and plenty of bike industry partners.
The team staff provided a wonderful setting, excellent commentary and plenty of access to the athletes - all topped off by an extravagant luncheon and take home goodie bags. The quote of the day was from Matteo Carrara "your bike has to be like your girlfriend you have to love your bike as your girlfriend or even more of course I prefer to share my bed with my girlfriend but immediately after comes my bike" Pretty much says it all right there!
The team has a wonderful international flare with Italians led by Ricco and Carrara, Belgians with Devolder and Leukemans, Dutch dudes with Johnny Hoogerland and Pim Ligthart and of course the Slovenian sprinter Bozic, the French Feillu and the Ukranian Lagutin plus Spain, Russia and other countries. Lots of difficult names to spell and pronounce luckily the official team language is English.
This is a great image of Riccardo Ricco - he's super motivated this year and seems to very comfortable with the his new team surroundings.
A few media outlets are making a big deal about a brewing rivalry between the two Belgian strongmen Devolder and Leukmans. Pretty funny actually since they seem to be very much at ease with each other and will certainly be a formidable force when other teams are on the attack.