Phonak No. 1 in ProTour Rankings

News & Results

06/21/2005| 0 comments
by Thomas Valentinsen
Andy Rihs and John Lelangue discuss the good news. Photo copyright
Andy Rihs and John Lelangue discuss the good news. Photo copyright

Phonak No. 1 in ProTour Rankings

Phonak will start the 2005 Tour de France as ProTour leaders.

Thanks to the second-place finish at the team time trial in Eindhoven, it?s wins in Dauphine Libere, and the team's sound performance at the Tour de Suisse, the Phonak Hearing Systems team was able to claim the top spot in the UCI ProTour team rankings released on Sunday. In the individual classification, Santiago Botero is in an excellent fifth place.

"This is fantastic, and it's proof that we're a team with quality," commented a happy Andy Rihs, president of the Phonak board, in reference to gaining the first-place spot in the latest UCI ProTour team rankings. But he wasn't the only one who was delighted. Riders, support staff, directeurs sportifs and team management shared in the happiness.



We discussed the news with Phonak team manager John Lelangue ?


When did you learn that Phonak had managed to claim the top spot in the UCI ProTour team rankings?

On Sunday, when I was going home from the team time trial in Eindhoven. I immediately called all the directeurs sportif so that they could congratulate the riders. Hard work was called for in all the races during the entire season thus far, so that in each case three riders could finish as close to the top as possible. The fact that we were able to establish ourselves amongst the five best teams is very important to us. For us, a ranking amongst the Top 5 is the achievement of our main goal. That we've now been able to take the lead is super. It's very important, both for the team as well as the sponsors.


What does the first-place ranking mean for you personally?

For me, it's confirmation that we have a good team - and one without individual competitors. But the most important point is the consistently high level that the team has displayed the entire season.


What are the team?s major goals in the remaining part of the season?

We'll try to win a podium spot at every individual race. In spite of everything, we'll continue to focus on the team classification. We'll make this clear to the riders in the race briefings over and over. We also want to finish the season amongst the Top 3.



Other teams will surely have noticed the Phonak team after it?s performances in Dauphine Libere, the Tour de Suisse, and the Eindhoven team time trial.  Will this make it harder for you to win races?

It certainly won't be easy. But I prefer this challenging starting position compared to being in 11th or 12th position with a points deficit. Things are very close amongst the top four teams. Therefore, it's important that we continue scoring regular points in every race.


How did the Phonak riders react to the news?

The entire team, with our 25 riders and our staff, was extremely happy. It's great motivation to start out the Tour de France as Number 1. We're proud of our accomplishments in the first half of the season.

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