Busy start for Team Milram
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Friday, November 13, 2009

Busy start for Team Milram

by Conal Andrews at 9:37 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

ProTour squad Team Milram has announced a good programme of early-season races and will use these to help its riders get in shape for a much-needed strong season in 2010.

It will get things underway in the Tour Down Under (January 19-24), then the Mallorca Challenge (February 7-11). Other riders will head to the Near East in order to do the Tour of Qatar (February 7-12). The team states that it will also ride the ASO-organised Tour of Oman, a new event planned to take place from St. Valentine’s day until February 19th.

However there is uncertainty about the status of the latter event, as the bikeworldnews.com website reported recently that it had been postponed for a year due to swine flu. Velonation is seeking confirmation from ASO if it will indeed take place.

Either way, Milram’s general manager Gerry van Gerwen is pleased with the busy start. “We are happy to have this recognition from the international race organizers,” he stated. “We are competing with the other ProTour teams, in terms of participating in these attractive smaller races. In addition, the number of participating teams has been reduced in some races due to the financial problems of the organizers. Therefore it is a nice compliment to our work that they have an interest in our team.”

The Milram team had a somewhat-disappointing year in 2009, finishing 18th in the world rankings. This put it behind several Pro Continental teams and means that it will have to rely on wildcard invites to get into some major events such as Paris-Nice, Paris-Roubaix and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. It is however guaranteed a start in the Tour de France.

Strong performances are required of the riders for two main reasons. The first is that the ProTour licence held by the team is due for renewal at the end of next year. The second is that the title sponsor will end its backing of the team at the close of the 2010 season, making it essential that the squad can find a replacement.

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