Gérard Bulens has made no official announcement as yet but the Landbouwkrediet-Colnago team is likely to be:
121 ADYEYEV Sergiy UKR
122 BERNUCCI Lorenzo ITA
123 CAPELLE Ludovic BEL
124 DUMA Vladimir UKR
125 GRYSCHENKO Ruslan UKR
126 MITLUSHENKO Yuri UKR
127 POPOVYCH Yaroslav UKR
128 TIMOCHINE Mikhail RUS
129 VERSTREPEN Johan BEL
Ernesto Colnago, patron of the Colnago-Landbouwkrediet team is of no doubt of Popovych’s talent: “One day he will win the Giro and the Tour," he confidently told the Gazzetto dello Sport. "Popovych has it all, great physique, strong and talented above and beyond the norm. He is a rider who could do equally well in the Great Tours and the Northern Classics.” Comparisons with Merckx? “Yes, Ballerini 2 years ago made that comparison, but I prefer to remain cautious... I have invested heavily in the Landbouwkrediet-Colnago team and make no mistake, it is a team, in part, specifically built for Popocych."
Sergey ADYEYEV The Landbouwkrediet-Colnago team is a rare mix of former Zoccorinese Vellutex riders and Ukraine features strongly in the line up - a very solid young rider in his second season with the team - rode strongly in the 2002 Giro finishing 54th overall.
Lorenzo BERNUCCI Third in the marvellous U23 road race in Plouay behind winner Evgeni Petrov and second placed Yaroslav Popovych - who of course is now his team mate. 9 victories for Zoccorinese-Vellutex in 2001 and 7 victories in the 2002 (3rd in Paris Roubaix Espoirs). Third overall in the 2002 Etoile de Bessèges his best result this year is 8th overall in the same race.
Ludovic CAPELLE Champion of Belgium in 2001 (Halle) and Vice-champion in 2002 (Maldegem), Ludovic rode for the last two years with the French team AG2R, winning Stage One of the Circuit de Sarthe. He was never very happy at AG2R-
"The three times that Vincent Lavenu, the Team manager, did speak to me, it was each time to talk to me in a negative way. Financially and structurally, the French have nothing to learn, but in regard to man management, they have not even begun!"
Ludovic Capelle did gain one thing from his time with AG2R - a great friendship with Estonian sprinter extra-ordinaire Jaan Kirsipuu. Indeed the French journalists, always keen for a pictorial image in their writing, have often described Capelle as the “poisson pilote” (pilot fish) for the prolific Estonian Champion.
Gérard Bulens, however, has brought the best out of Capelle. His great victory in the 1.1 rated Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen 2003. Did his friend Kirsipuu help his friend? It doesn’t matter, Capelle will ride his heart out for the team and has enough talent should the opportunity arise, to go for stage glory himself.
Wladimir DUMA The winner of 2002 GP Industria & Commercio di Prato is, of course, Ukrainian; interesting addition to the team, formerly a Ceramica Panaria - Fiordo rider. Wladimar, born on the 2nd March 1972, is a good climber, and one of the most experienced members of the squad.
Ruslan GRYSHENKO Winner of the Flèche Ardennaise Espoirs in 2002 and 2001, and also winner of the U23 Liege Bastogne Liege in 2001 this talented youngster. His excellent third place in the GP di Lugano 2003 gives a glimpse of his huge potential.
Yuri METLUSHENKO d.o.b - 04/01/1976, another great Ukranian prospect - after 16 victories as an espoir, started his pro career with a great victory in the GP Donoratico (1.3) - solid rider.
Yaroslav POPOVYCH d.o.b 04/01/1980 - 36 victories in 2 seasons with the Zoccorinese-Vellutex team and ranked number 1 for under U23 riders in 2001, his first season as a pro did not disappoint.
Related articles - Yaroslav Popovych 2002. Yaroslav Popovych 2003: click here.
Yaroslav Popovych - Cycling's best climber! Click here.
Still only 23, his early season was damaged by sickness which made him miss the Ardennes Classics he had been training for. His comeback in the Tour de Romandie was a success. An excellent 7th place, in what was an extremely tough race, would indicate that the man from Drogobic is ready for this Giro!
Mikhail TIMOCHINE Big hitter in the Coupe du Monde des Espoirs, and winner of the Paris-Roubaix 2002 Espoirs, great prospect.
Johan VERSTREPEN Very experienced , the former Lampre rider will no doubt be used as a road captain. A pro in 1990-1991 with the Histor team (and Popovych was 10 years old), a tough old pro. Married to Maggy, 2 daughters: Stefanie and Marieke - he won't feature in the headlines but...