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Footon-Servetto-Fuji Team Roster 2010
By Lee Rodgers
Date: 1/22/2010
Footon-Servetto-Fuji Team Roster 2010

Footon-Servetto-Fuji Team Roster 2010
The Footon-Fuji team management (Fuji-Servetto in 2009) has decided to make a bold move and to trust in youth over experience for the 2010 season.

Incredibly, only four riders remain from the squad that had a not very successful 2009. Managers Mauro Gianetti and Joxean Fernández Matxin realized that financial constraints meant that the team would have to drastically cut its operating budget.

"There was a lot of skepticism about the team… But cycling is like life. There are good moments when you are up and offers when you are down. The 2009 season was difficult, complicated, but we’re still here," Matxin told El Diario Vasco, a Spanish newspaper.

The Footon-Fuji team has experienced two years of drug scandals, first as the Saunier-Duval team and then as Fuji-Servetto. The management are hoping that by bringing in new, young riders, they can change the attitude and culture of the team. Two riders that had to leave are Vuelta stage winner Juan José Cobo and David De La Fuente, both strong, experienced pros. Many of the new riders are new to the top level of the sport.

Maxtin however has high hopes for the new group - in particular Italian Eros Capecchi, Spain’s Arkaitz Durán, Austrian Markus Eibegger and Dane Martin Pedersen, winner of the 2006 Tour of Britain.

"Some of them are not well known but we will see in time. They are going to have the unique opportunity to be in the best races in the world alongside the best riders. We’ve always got four speedy sprinters: [Manuel] Cardoso, [Felix] Celis, [Enrique] Mata and [Michele] Merlo." Merlo (ex-Barloworld) is a decent sprinter, who won the final stage of the 2009 Tour of Britain in London.

Matxin recognizes that the team is in a season of transition, and they hope that the 2010 season will lay a solid foundation for later.

The team has also taken the interesting decision not to allow any medicine or vitamins to be administered by syringe. Instead, everything will be taken orally. "We’ve taken the decision … that we will not use syringes for the administration of products that are permitted. We want to change a lot of things."

Footon is a healthcare product company, Fuji a major bicycle brand. The team started in the Tour Down Under this week and Mauel Cardoso delivered a stage win in Australia the day after Rafael Valls won a stage and took the leaders jersey in the Tour de San Luis in Argentina. Though Valls lost the leaders jersey on the following days time trial in San Luis he remains in contention with two days remaining in the Argentine tour.

One could say that Maxtin has gotten his lads off to a good start for 2010 so his strategic plan has met with almost instant excellent results and validation which hopefully translates into a successful year for the Spanish team.
Footen/Servetto Website

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