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Saunier Duval Team Launch 2007 – Day 3

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The third day of the Saunier Duval Team Launch 2007, and it’s the big one, your actual team launch. I wrote-up my Gianetti and Ventoso interviews in the room first thing then came down for some grub. You can read the interview with Franciso here.

There was big Dutch guy, Remmert Wielinga just finishing breakfast, I asked about an interview, “how about right now?” says he. He didn’t have to say it twice, he’s a nice guy and I love the way he says, “for sure”. That interview was up last night and I let him see it this morning. He was pleased with it – “objective” he said, but told me that he’s had hassle with Dutch journos making-up quotes from him!

Saunier Duval Team Launch 2007
Wee Simoni gets his new gear for 2007.

At 10.00 am I had an interview arranged with Pascal Ducrot, Scott’s main man in Europe.

I won’t re-hash it now. He’s like everyone around Saunier though – passionate.

By this time the Spanish journos were gathering but it didn’t seem to have occured to them to do anything – except talk to each other.

Dave Millar appeared in the lobby, I stalked him for a bit then, when he was on his own, I pounced. It was another, “we can just talk now” job.

He’s not a difficult guy to interview but he has that champion’s matter-of-factness about his own abilities that some may confuse for arrogance.

Since I was there and he was there I asked for an interview with Saunier Duval, Spain main man, Carlos Doria. Looking every inch the Euro-exec, he gave me good answers and plenty of time. Guys like him know the value of cultivating the Press, even if it is just for a bike-specific North American website.

The launch was fun and a bit zany, some riders walked to the stage, some cycled, and some came by canoe through the pool!

It was all good fun though, and if the object is to get the flashguns going then it worked well. There was a ‘bash’ after it; the free wine and beer disappeared – ¡rapidamento!

The guys were wearing their new leisure gear by then – Simoni has a pal who has a clothes shop and it’s way-out kit – pin stripe jackets with fleece “hoodies” added. Again, if the objective is to get people talking, then it worked.

Saunier Duval Team Launch 2007
At last, the presentation.

David Millar sat beside us at dinner, he’s much in demand and very popular. His French is good but he’s just started to learn Spanish. Peter Slater from SIS (Science in Sport) is here, not only do they sponsor Jack Woodward, they are Saunier’s energy bars, drinks, and gel suppliers. I did my last interview of the day, with Pete and stumbled up to my room to word process for an hour.

No sleeping tablets neccessary on this gig…

Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach, and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

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