Team DFL-Cyclingnews-Litespeed is a interesting outfit. Made up with of some of the UK’s leading road talent and added to with some Australians, a Scotsman, a Kiwi, a Tasmanian and one Belgian, it promises to be a very solid British and Australian backed team on the continent. Sponsored by UK company DFL and Australian website cyclingnews.com there is a definite sense that this team will make some big noises this season.
Team captain and British champion Russell Downing will have some strong legs to help him reach the finale. Riders like Tom Barras, Matt Brammier and Yanto Barker are backed by a very strong core of last year’s Cyclingnews team that has been racing in Belgium for a couple of years already. Dean Downing tells us that they’re all ready to move into the team house and he’s been training really hard, saying that:
“I’ve done about 7000kms since November and I just can’t wait to get racing now!”
After already winning their first excursion onto the boards at the Revolution 12 track meet last Saturday, he and brother Russell will be keen to get some early results in Belgium.
The top ‘statto’ fact of the evening was from Directeur Sportif Daniel Willems as the Belgian ex-4 time Tour stage winner has a pretty respectable claim to fame – He is the only person to have won the prologue and the following six (yes 6) stages of the Tour of Switzerland. Wow, I guess they’ll be listening to what he has to say in the team briefings then.
The team is an eclectic mix, and there was certainly a relaxed buzz about the place as the whole team was very professionally presented, by Eurosport commentator David Harmon, to a packed room of guests and press.
We were also treated to massage and bike preparations demonstrations and interviews with the key sponsors, including:
Litespeed, Schwalbe, Easton (bars, stems, posts and wheels), Shimano and Bio Racer team clothing.
Team DFL-Cyclingnews-Litespeed – Team Roster 2006
Managing Director: Nick Collins
Performance Director:Gilbert de Weerdt
Commercial Director: Rudi Dubois
Directeur Sportif: Daniel Willems
Russell Downing (GB)
Yanto Barker (GB)
Con Jennings (Aus)
Sven de Weerdt (Bel)
Dean Downing (GB)
Leigh Palmer (Aus)
Jeremy Vennell (NZ)
Kane Oakley (Aus)
Tom Barras (GB)
Alex Coutts (GB)
Bernie Sulzberger (Taz)
Matt Brammier (GB)
David Harrigan (Aus)
Eddy de Weerdt
Wim de Vrier
More details will follow soon on the DFL website and we’ll have all the latest team news on RCUK…