Rotterdam is readying itself for the Tour de France start this summer, and the Skil Shimano Team used it’s 2010 presentation last weekend in the city to recce the route which will be used for the Prologue.
The team is largely the same as last season, but has been bolstered by the addition of six riders; Dutchmen Job Vissers and Robin Chaigneau, Frenchmen Alexandre Geniez and Yann Huguet, Belgian Dominique Cornu, and Norwegian Frederik Wilmann.
As General Manager Iwan Spekenbrink told the assembled press;
“Both the team and the organisation have been strengthened, in terms of quality and quantity – we have a good set of riders for this season, which we, the staff, have every confidence in.
“We’ve three Chinese riders in the team again this year, and we work on their development intensively. They have come on in great strides in all areas over the last two years, and we’re expecting them to be ready to take part in more international races for us this season.”
The team reaffirmed it’s 6-point policy that it first introduced last year:
- development of riders with an international focus (such as the strong links with Japan, naturally, and China).
- a great team spirit (as DS Rudy Kemna told VeloVeritas at the Tour last year, he wants his riders to race with panache).
- innovation (they’ll be using Shimano prototypes this year in certain key races).
- ethics (racing in accordance with the strictest guidelines and with Shimano insisting on absolute and zero tolerance of positive controls).
- investment in rider and staff development.
- an enhanced responsibility in the stewardship of the environment (for example, the team vehicle fleet is going to be entirely carbon-neutral in 2010, and a new role taken on by the team is to be an ambassador for “‘Trees for Travel’ – a foundation that helps the (re)planting of forests and the use of sustainable energy in developing countries).
The new Koga team bike is stunning. The team were quoting a retail value of an astonishing 14.500 euros! Note the Shimano Dura Ace DI2 (electronic shifting) cables running through the inside of the frame.
Skil Shimano Team – the full roster
Netherlands – Piet Rooijakkers, Albert Timmer, Tom Veelers, Roy Curvers, Kenny van Hummel, Koen de Kort, Floris Goesinnen, Robin Chaigneau, Job Vissers
Norway – Frederik Wilmann
France – Thierry Huppond, David Deroo, Steve Houanard, Yann Huguet, Alexandre Geniez
Germany – Robert Wagner, Simon Geschke
Belgium – Bert De Backer, Dominique Cornu
Australia – Mitchell Docker
Japan – Yukihiro Doi
China – Feng Hang, Long Jin, Cheng Ji
Iwan Spekenbrink (Netherlands)
Rudie Kemna, Piet Hoekstra, Merijn Zeeman (Netherlands)
With thanks to Cees van Keulen-Gerwen for the photos.