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Team Flexpoint Women's Team Presentation & Photos
By Staff
Date: 3/20/2007
Team Flexpoint Women's Team Presentation & Photos

Team Flexpoint Women's Team Presentation & Photos
Bart Hazen's photo pictorial report of the 2007 official presentation of the multi-talented Flexpoint Women's team in Landgraaf, Netherlands.

By Bart Hazen

Flexpoint Women's Pro Cycling Team 2007 Photo c. Bart Hazen

Team Flexpointís official presentation
On Monday March 19, Team Flexpoint was officially presented to the press in Landgraaf. The team has 13 riders, with 4 talented new riders joining the successful team. The new girls are multiple Junior World Champion Mie Lacota (Den) recent winner of this years Omloop het Volk where she won her first pro race in her professional debut. Also new to the team: Loes Markerink (Ned)winner of the Tour of Drenthe 2006,  Trine Schmidt (Den) and Iris Slappendel (Ned).

A few of the ladies of Flexpoint. Photo c. Bart Hazen

The goals for this international oriented squad are again the World Cup races and the Championships. Next to that the team hopes to do well again in stage races like the Tour de l'Aude, Giro d'Italia and the Holland Ladies Tour. Thatís not a wonder because the Tour de LíAude was won by Amber Neben twice in the past two years, and in the Holland Ladies Tour the team scored well in the past with the victories of Susanne Ljungskog (twice), Tanja Hennes and Mirjam Melchers. Tanja Hennes left the team this year to Team Bigla.

The name of the team has changed from Buitenpoort-Flexpoint Team to Team Flexpoint, but it has the same familiar quality under the supervision of former top pro sprinter Jean-Paul van Poppel. The team leaders are still Mirjam Melchers- van Poppel, twice World Champion Susanne Ljungskog and Amber Neben.

Van Poppel, Sjeng Schalken and Master of Ceremonies Cees Maas
Photo c. Bart Hazen

The presentation opened with a dramatic dancing show; followed by the opening by Jean-Paul van Poppel and tennis player Sjeng Schalken. The company of Schalken and his wife Ricky Schalken provides the casual clothing for the team as sponsors.

Britt Jochems and Luise Keller Photo c. Bart Hazen

After that was done, the next speaker was the well-known Cees Maas, who presented the riders one by one. The first rider presented was Britt Jochems, dramatically escorted by a motor cycle policeman to the podium. Cees Maas did a brief interview with each of the riders. Amber Neben, who is still in America to participate in the Redlands this week to defend her title of 2006, had time to answer some questions on the phone. Amber said she was happy to ride for such a great team. She hopes to do well in among others the Tour de LíAude again.

Cees Maas interviews Mirjam Melchers-van Poppel Photo c. Bart Hazen

Last but not least, team leader Mirjam Melchers-Van Poppel was presented. Mirjam will make her comeback in Italy this week after her rehabilitation due to a crash in the Euregio Ladies Tour 2006. She hopes to make progress in racing step by step and said she is now at 70% of her maximum level. Further she said: ďIt's hard to say when I will be at top fitness, but in principle the month July will be a test period for me, especially the National Championships, in the road and time-trial events. The World Championships in Stuttgart would normally be my season highlight. Further I hope to stay healthy and get no injuries for the rest of my career."

Loes Markerink  Photo c. Bart Hazen

All in all the team is very motivated for the season, the ambiance was good and they have faith that 2007 is one they will have lots of success. The first big victory is already there, last week Mie Lacota won the 2nd edition of the Omloop het Volk for Woman.

Trine Schmidt, Loes Markerink and Madeline Sandig  Photo c. Bart Hazen

Team Flexpoint Squad for 2007:
Annette Beutler (Swi)
Loes Gunnewijk (Ned)
Luise Keller (Ger)
Mie Lacota (Den)
Susanne Ljungskog (Swe)
Loes Markerink (Ned)
Mirjam Melchers- van Poppel
Amber Neben (USA)
Madeleine Sandig (Ger)
Trine Schmidt (Den)
Iris Slappendel (Ned)
Suzanne van Veen (Ned)

Team Management:
Jean-Paul van Poppel (Ned)
Klas Johansson (Swe)

Mie Lacota and Suzanne van Veen Photo c. Bart Hazen

Cyclocross team:
Mirjam Melchers-Van Poppel and Loes Gunnewijk. Britt Jochems (Ned) the present junior national champion will ride for the Flexpoint Cyclocross team and use the facilities of the team in road training this year.

Loes Gunnewijk Photo c. Bart Hazen

Bart Hazen Gallery of the Flexpoint Presentation

Trine Schmidt, Bart Hazen and Mie Lacota Photo c. Bart Hazen

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