Team Barloworld Team Spirit High
Two weeks before Team Barloworld start their 2009 season at the Trofeo Costa degli Etruschi race in Tuscany, Italy on Saturday February 7, Team Barloworld directeur sportif Alberto Volpi talks about the season ahead and concludes that team spirit is high.
"The start of every new season is a bit like the first day at school to me and every time it's almost like starting from scratch all over again," Volpi says. "I think the secret of Team Barloworld's success is that everybody gives their best and works hard to create a good team spirit. I'm convinced we can be competitive and do well in 2009. We've got some talented young riders that are keen to grow and succeed. We're also optimistic that we can give them a excellent calendar of important races, both one-day classics and major stage races."
Alberto Volpi does not hide his hopes that Colombian climber Mauricio Soler can again impress in the mountains and have a successful 2009. "We're optimistic about his comeback. As a directeur sportif I've seen few riders who can climb as well as Mauricio," Volpi says.
He also reveals that South Africa's Robert Hunter will have a special role on the team this year. "We hope Robert can win sprints yet again but his role within the team is also important. Along with Felix Cardenas we expect him to be the road captain of the team, both in and out of competition," Volpi continues.
"We're also excited about talented young riders such as Chris Froome and John Lee Augustyn after their impressive performances in last year's Tour de France, and about British riders Steve Cummings and Geraint Thomas : they're both strong riders, fast finishers and good in time trials."
Volpi's final words are regarding the new professional rider Michele Merlo. "He's quickly shown he's willing to help the rest of the team but will also know how to take his own chances in some races," Volpi finds.