With only two weeks remaining till the start of this year’s Tour of Britain race begins the Mr.Bookmaker Team have signaled their intentions of going one better than last year, by winning the Yellow Jersey. The Belgian cycling specialists, who last year won the Overall Team Competition accolade, are not resting on their laurels but instead understand the importance of striking their opposition from the very first start.
The six-man team of riders includes former British World Champion, Jeremy Hunt and last years King of the Mountains winner Ben Day. Both riders have the skill and intent too stir this year’s Tour melting pot, to boiling point.
Day, who has just returned from a training camp in Spain in preparation for the Tour is enthusiastic about his team’s chances in this year’s race; “The whole team is very motivated and positive about our chances of regaining success on the Tour of Britain. The race is an important event and I personally really enjoyed the atmosphere that surrounds the race, from the organisation to the support of the spectators it is a good race of the cycling calendar.”
The Australian went on to highlight the opportunity team-mate Jeremy Hunt has in snatching the coveted the ‘Yellow Jersey’; “Jezza is the best form I have ever seen him in. I spoke to him last night and he is really up for the Tour, he has put a lot of preparation in and both us along with the rest of the team are looking forward to the start in Glasgow.”
Accompanying Day and Hunt on this year’s crusade of the British roads are Belgium riders Davy Commeyne, Christoph Roodhooht, Tom Vannoppen and Erwin Thijs who have all excelled in recent competitions.
Mr.Bookmaker Team for the 2005 Tour of Britain:
1. Ben Day
2. Jeremy Hunt
3. Davy Commeyne
4. Christoph Roodhooft
5. Tom Vannoppen
6. Erwin Thijs
Team Barloworld-Valsir are prepared to lay down the gauntlet and take on every challenge to win this year’s Tour of Britain. Team Manager John Robertson who will be joining the team in Britain said the team is in fine form this season and they have big intentions. “We are coming to the Tour with great expectations, especially after wining the last stage in 2004. The team includes last year’s stage winner Enrico Degano, who wants to go one better this year as well as British rider Tom Southam who intends on doing well on his home soil and David George who is a Time Trial specialist, I have a good feeling about the Tour.”
British rider Tom Southam, who has recovered from a terrible year of injuries, is just one of the six-man team eager for the start in Glasgow on the 30th August. “I really believe that the whole team has a great chance of winning this years Tour of Britain,” the British rider went on to say; “the motivation within the team is brilliant, we are fortunate to have a core of riders who can all win the race. This is an important race in our calendar and for me; personally I would love to give the British fans a reason to cheer.”
Southam will be allied in his quest for victory with a selection of riders who have all impressed on the professional tour. None more so than Italian rider Luca Celli who recently notched up the overall Tour victory in the Regione Wallone race held in Belgium. Celli though is not the only rider in the Barloworld Team who can boast championship credentials. Ryan Cox is the South African National Champion and Tour of Malaysian Overall Winner this year and Enrico Degano is looking forward to returning to London where he had such success following his stage triumph in last years Tour.
However, two riders who have strongly indicated that they are up to the winning task are Australian, Sean Sullivan and South African David George. As Southam commented; “David is a very good rider and has been going very well this year, but also has Sean. He is such a strong individual both physically and mentally he will certainly be in the hunt.”
Barloworld-Valsir Team for the 2005 Tour of Britain:
1. Tom Southam
2. Luca Celli
3. Ryan Cox
4. Enrico Degano
5. David George
6. Sean Sullivan