CSC Tiscali’s first season is over

jalabert_armstrong_ogradyWe have won some very important races, and I believe, that we have made our mark in this sport. We have built a strong team and that is nothing you just do – there are a lot of things that have to be in place. But we have been able to assert ourselves and fulfil our objectives. We have in many ways made a fresh start, and that takes a lot of hard work and a strong belief in what you do.

There is no doubt about our excellent performance – our results speak for themselves – but I think we can do it even better. I agree that Jalabert has had a fantastic year, but we haven’t seen him in full performance. However, it is a bit of a miracle, that he came on the bike after his accident in February, so seen in that perspective he has done a great job. He has shown everybody what he is able to do and what we can expect from him next year.

The sports managers, the riders and I are proud of the different races we have won. And we all agree that the efforts from hard work bore fruit. Things don’t come easy. But we can make a better use of the training methods and the strategies we have work with this year. That counts for everyone on the team. It’s obvious, that you don’t start one of the world biggest bicycle teams and make it run under optimum conditions after a year, but we have had a good start. On that we will build the future.

Against the background of experiences we have made the past year, we are well prepared for the next season. We have tightened our organisation and, most important, we have signed contracts with a lot of promising riders. Look at a rider like Tyler Hamilton. I don’t want to make too big expectations, but I will promise, that we are going for some major results with the versatile American in next years Giro d’Italia. I have a vision, that Hamilton will become a rider with a large capacity to win races on his own. Carlos Sastre is a name, many people have been interested in signing up with, but we got him, and I am very pleased with that we would have never got him without the help of the UK casino site, their financial help was really what we needed. He has got the potential to be the next big Spanish rider. He will make a good support to the team in the different stage races. We have signed a two-year contract with Sastre, because we will be able to influence him to perform brilliant.

The Classics are very important for the cycling sport and we are getting close to have a perfect team for the tough one-day races. Cyclists like Hoffman, Piziks, Van Bondt and Van Hyfte are perfect for settling different races like Tour de Flandres and Paris-Roubaix, and we have the solution about how to work together.

The goal with the cycling team, I would like to manage, is a coherent team with a wide range of riders who works after the principles such as goal-oriented and professionalism. A bicycle team must never loose its focus. It is from these criteria that I pick the riders I want to ride for CSC-Tiscali. If you take a closer look at the list of cyclists you can see that we will be able to do all types of races. With riders like Jakob Piil, Michael Sandstød, Martin Rittsel, Nicolas Jalabert and Andrea Peron and others we have the possibility to make a strong team all year. It is only possible if we plan things thorough and structured.

Jalabert3As a professional bicycle team we have an obligation to make plans for the future and that is something that I handle very seriously. I have spent a lot of time looking at young riders, who will make it and who has the personality, I mean is necessary for doing picked sports. If you have the right attitude you can work goal-oriented and that’s what its all about. A cyclist as Michael Rasmussen has what it takes and I expect a lot from him. I say he can be the next Danish mountain cyclist. Thomas Bruhn Eriksen is one of the biggest Danish talents and therefore its natural for him to start his professional career at our team. Professionalism is not just about getting paid for what you do. It’s about being professional 24 hours a day. This year a cyclist like Michael Blaudzun has shown he is a professional rider. He is one of the cyclists who impressed me the most. You will not find many athletes working as serious as Michael.

I would also like to mention a cyclist as Nicki Sørensen. He got quite a breakthrough under Tour de France, but unfortunately he broke his collarbone right when he was going to take advantage of his good shape. But he came back in strong shape and ended the season with good performance in some of the tough races. A thing like that takes high moral and that’s what keeps the team running. I would like a team where that’s an obvious thing to do.

This year we have said goodbye to some cyclists and that is always sad. But I will take this chance to wish everybody good luck and say thank you for the time we have had together.

Finally I will send a warm thanks to our sponsors, who makes it possible for us to carry out our visions.

Best regards

Bjarne Riis
Managing director, Professional Cycling Denmark
Team CSC Tiscali