Tuesday, August 3, 2021
HomeDiariesSaunier Duval Team Launch - Day 3

Saunier Duval Team Launch – Day 3

-

¡Hola! (You can tell Martin’s been coaching me – upside-down exclamation at the start there…). Saturday, and it’s official Saunier Duval team launch day. The TV cameras are gathering, the cars are being polished and the riders are playing musical clothing with one-another; the full delivery of kit hasn’t arrived from Castelli yet.

On the big run yesterday there were still plenty of “Prodir” logos, despite the fact that the Swiss pen manufacturers are no longer a sponsor.  So, it’s not just those British clothing suppliers who get the deliveries wrong.

Saunier Duval Team Launch
Piepoli wonders who to wind up today.

I’ve been busy with the interviews – Virginie Ducrot, the Saunier PR girl; her husband and vice president of team frame suppliers, Scott and team boss, Mauro Gianetti.

Saunier Duva
Virginie Ducrot-Geinoz, with little Emmylou.

Virginie has her baby with her, she seems very relaxed but she always remembers everyone’s name – and to arrange that interview for you.

Saunier Duva
A young Pascal Ducrot.

Pascal was a pro until 1990 when a bad crash in the last couple of kilometres of Het Volk poked two bones out through the flesh of his arm. He’s really into his job and despite the fact that his private, leisure and business lives are all intertwined, he never gets tired of talking about bikes.

Saunier Duva
Mauro early in his career.

Mauro was a pro for 17 years and has wins in Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Amstel Gold to his credit. He always has time for you, despite the fact that he’s the man behind this giant undertaking.

Saunier Duva
Piepoli’s Saddle.

I was out taking more pictures of the bikes this morning, to support the Pascal interview and also the SRAM interview I did; the Scotts really are crackers.

The all-black look of last year was getting a tad tired and the new colour scheme is of ‘now’ as is the SRAM groupset.

Saunier Duval
Mega graphics.

They’ve been very bold with the graphics and it works well in my opinion, the SRAM logo behind the left hand crank is loud, but I like it.

It’s 9.00 pm – where did the day go?

After my morning pics and interviews, I was writing and emailing photos, up until the afternoon, outdoor photo sesh.

Saunier Duval
Smiling for the “battledress” shots…

There were two lots of shots; in “civilian” clothes and in “battle dress”. Then there were shots in the hotel lobby and individual shots.

Saunier Duval
…and for the civvies shots.

Some of the guys had to wear ‘Medilast’ socks for the shots, these are like the socks you wear on a plane to stop deep vein thrombosis or ladies wear after they have given birth – the theory is that they aid recovery after training too. Don’t start – I’m just repeating what I was told by the sponsors!

Saunier Duval
‘Medilast’ socks – not the best look, but if they work…

It was ‘hang about until the big presentation time’ after that. It was meant to start at 6.00, but this is Spain and it started – eventually. Like Virginie said; “just one time I would like to have a presentation in Switzerland, so it would run on time!”

I’m writing this on the BlackBerry as I email pics from the PC, it’s a solid connection but not the fastest, so there’s time to tap-away between batches.

Saunier Duval
Riccardo Ricco, lovely fellow, preparing for a six hour ride.

I was meant to have an interview with Riccardo Ricco: after the schmoozing – but he vanished. Virginie says she’ll track him down for me and we can do it at dinner, we’ll see…

…Well, I met the ‘great man,’ he looks about 12 and if he fails as a cyclist (unlikely I know, unless something happens…) he’s certainly not going to make it on the ‘X-Factor’ – “you’ll need to work on that personality son, and lose the sneer!”

Enough said, he’s an attacking rider and we need more of those, so I’ll take the blame for the lacklustre interview. At least I sussed why he’s called ‘The Cobra’ – there’s an obvious answer, but we’ll avoid it!

Saunier Duval
Just one more tiny wafer-thin pastry sir?…

Emailing again, I need shots to support all these words, an article on the internet with no pics is no use to man nor beast.

One more batch and ‘I’m done’ as we say in Pezspeak. ‘Later, dudes !’ (sorry).

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.

Related Articles

Saunier Duval Team Launch 2008 – Day 1

The Saunier Duval Team Launch 2008 squad changed a little from last season - the team is made up of 26 riders, and one of its distinctive features will be it's youth: there will be no less than nine men under 24 years of age, and thus the team will be the second youngest in the ProTour peloton. The second distinctive feature of the team this season will be improved training: two personal trainers have been hired: Sergio Gelati, who worked with the team in 2007.

Saunier Duval Team Launch – Day 2

¡Hola! When Matxin, the DS at Saunier says; "six hours today", that's what he means. In fact it was six-and-a-quarter hours after we left the hotel when we returned to Granada. The day is up Pez here, but once again it showed what's involved in being a pro and also what it means to be a top pro. Saunier Duval.

Endura Racing Team Presentation

Endura Racing Team was today unveiled to the UK press, media and special guests at the Porsche Human Performance centre at Silverstone. The launch followed months of hard work and dedication from the whole of the Endura Racing set-up, and culminated with many of the attendees leaving with a sense that this team are on the cusp of a great season in 2010.

Raleigh – Back in the Game

Raleigh - Back in the Game. The all-new British-based Team Raleigh was launched recently. Our pal Dan Fleeman - who together with Tom Barras will lead the squad - kindly sent us some pics from the team's presentation which took place at the Eastwood Hall Conference Centre and Hotel in Nottingham, home of the legendary marque.

Saunier Duval Team Launch – Day 4

I didn't sleep too clever last night at the Saunier Duval camp. I think the café con leche I had just before the presentation had enough caffeine in it to keep even Gianni Bugno happy. The team and personnel all headed off today (Sunday): Virginie and Pascal back to Switzerland; Denis Flahaut rides the Tour Down Under; whilst Leonardo Piepoli goes to Argentina.

Hargroves Cycles sponsor Matrix Fitness-Prendas

In what has been a hugely progressive winter for the Matrix Fitness-Prendas team where new partners have seen the potential of the all female squad, Hargroves Cycles have become the latest addition to the team's list of sponsors.

At Random

The VV View: Just what is the UCI Constitution meant to be about?

The VV View: The UCI constitution is a little bit of a scary document, running to 23 pages with 87 articles, some of which have up to seven sections. We thought we might pick out a few quotes; it's 'a non-profit-making organisation' and should 'encourage friendship between all members of the cycling world' as well as 'promote sportsmanship and fair play' and there should be 'non-interference in the internal affairs of affiliated federations.'

Dirk Dekeyser – Life as a Bike Mechanic

We spoke to circuit spanner man, Dirk Dekeyser at the Grenoble Six Day. Who makes sure the wheels turn smoothly during a Six Day race? The mechanics are the men who change the gears, stick on the tyres, endlessly polish the paintwork and pick up the pieces after crashes.

Froome and Wiggins (TDF 2012 St 17)

Brad Wiggins and Chris Froome have shown that they are by far the best two riders in the Tour de France, being untouchable on both the mountains as well as on the time trials. Liquigas and Vincenzo Nibali set the race up, giving it everything they could to make the race tough in the hope that the Sky boys would crack, but in the end, that just meant they had less work to do and could do more damage in the finale.

Jim Cusick – The New Scottish 100 Mile TT Champion

"Cheers Ed! In pub at Evanton and had a few. Brought up touring bikes and off to Ullapool then Hebrides for a week. Reception poor but give it a try..." That was Jim Cusick's (Glasgow Couriers) reply to our congratulatory text message and interview request after he had just won his first 100 mile title on the familiar roads (if you're involved in Scottish testing) around the Cromarty Firth.

The VV View: That Sprinter Groove Thang

That's 12 days out of 14 or 15 I've been out on the bike; I was getting out regularly before the Giro but life was just so hectic after I came back that I let it go. This time, though, I'm back - I want to ride around the Trossachs with Martin as we do the race report. I spoke to Tyler Farrar tonight, he's always cool to talk to - he proves that you don't necessarily have to be controversial to be a sprinter.

Joe Nally – Signed with Vitus Pro Cycling for 2020

Scottish professional bike riders are a bit thin on the ground so when we heard that 20 year-old Fifer, Joe Nally - who’s the youngest man ever to win the British Elite Points Race Championship - had signed with Vitus Pro Cycling for 2020 we thought we best ‘have a word.’ We caught up with Joe recently at his training base in Tenerife where he was on a two week block of base rides.