|Team Fakta will be at the start of this year's Giro d'Italia in Lecce on the 10th of May. The this year new tradeteam in the first division often felt itself to big for one and to small for the other. Not being allowed to ride some of the springclassics changed in participation in Italy most important race.|
"The message which we have hoped for came after lunch. A fax with the confirmation of the selection rolled out the machine at the office" says a happy Peter Sejer Nielsen, manager of Team Fakta.
"This message we have anticipated so much. It has been very difficult to plan our season until now, as we didn't know if we were going to get a wildcard for the Giro or not. Now we have the possibility to get the riders ready for this three week stage race." continues Peter Sejer.
"We have been trying to animate the races we have ridden until now. And also we have 2 Italian sponsors, Pata Chips and Pasta Montegrappa besides our Italian bike sponsor Opera, for them this selection is fantastic."
Sports director Kim Andersen is delighted to compete in one of the world's biggest races.
"It looks like the Amstel Gold Race will be the only World Cup Race we have on our schedule for the first part of this season. This will be an extra motivation for our riders to make a good presentation in the Giro. Of course, our first three week tour is a big challenge but I am sure on that we can target quite a few of the stages," concludes Kim Andersen.
Fakta will conquer the other teams in this years Giro d'Italia with the following riders:
1999: Riso Scotti-Vinavil
2000: Amica Chips
from 2001: Team fakta
1998: Gan-Credit Agricole
1999-2001: Credit Agricole
2002: Team fakta
Magnus Backstedt finished a very strong second in the opening race of the French cycling season, le GP Marseilles (1.3).
"Maggie" who attacked in the finale of the race was joined by Ludo Diericxksens in the last kilometres and was narrowly beaten by the Belgian rider in an uphill sprint.
According to team director Kim Andersen, Magnus rode very powerful all day. A very uplifting and unexpected result for Magnus indeed, as Magnus was not scheduled to compete in this race and he only replaced Scott Sunderland the evening before.
Lars Ytting Bak
2002: Team fakta (neo prof)
Frank Høj Christensen,
1999: US Postal
2000: La Francaise des Jeux
2001-2002: Team Coast
2003: Team fakta
The second seasons victory so far can be added to the list of Frank Hoj. He succeed in his homecountry. The Danish GP Midtbank is renowned as the Scandinavian version of Paris Roubaix: the Hell of the Really North. In past years, it has been won by some pretty famous Danes: Claus Michael Moller (back in 1992), Bjarne Riis (1996,1997,1998) and Michael Sanstod (1999 and 2000). The 2002 and 2001 winner was accomplished Bankgiroloterij fast man Rudi Kemna - could he make it three in a row over the harsh gravel roads (similar to cobbles) of Denmark?
It was expected to be a Scandinavian duel between CSC and Team Fakta, with maybe Bankgiroloterij having a look in if it came down to a sprint. CSC brought Tafi, Fakta brought Hoj and the two duelled in the later stages, after Lars Bak (Fakta) led a break. With 30km to go, the peloton was all together but this harmonious state didn't last long. A new 10 man group emerged, containing Kemna amongst other people although Tafi was still recovering from a puncture, Hoj attacked with about 17km to go and whilst Andrea Tafi had several more debilitating punctures in a very short space of time, he sped away into a headwind and soloed to an impressive victory, fighting off the chasers and then gaining time as they stopped pursuing him, understanding their victory chances were over.
The Dane won 2 minutes 38 seconds ahead of Brit Jeremy Hunt and another Fakta man Magnus Backstedt, who won the sprint for the two other podium places. It's another good win for Fakta, following their French Cup success with Julian Winn on Thursday and Hoj's first win since March 2000 (though he did have an impressive 2nd in Het Volk in 2002) - his 19th overall in a pro career currently in its 9th year. Through 1993-1995 inclusive, Hoj had top 10 performances here before a 3rd in 1997 and now a well-deserved win. Ahead of the Giro, this is excellent form as both men should be competing.
1998: Home Jack & jones
2000: Memorycard Jack & jones
2002: Team fakta
Jørgen Bo Petersen
1999-2000: Ville Charleroi
2001: Team fakta
1999-2000: Team ELK Østrig (amatør)
2001-2002: Team Nürnberger Tyskland
2001: Team fakta
1999: Linda McCartney
British road race champ Julian Winn, gets his first pro win and his teams first pro win too (Fakta) and has also got himself a place in the giro team too.
race was a round off the french cup hard races. The GP de Villers-Cotterets 2003 had a very surprisingly outcome, but for British race fans a surely much-enjoyed one. British National Road Race Champion Julian Winn (Team Fakta) scored his first ever professional victory in the 1.3 rated Grand Prix de Villers-Cotterêts, the ninth race in the Coupe de France series. Winn was a victim of the infamous Linda McCartney fiasco; when the dust settled he found himself being labelled a pro without ever having turned a wheel in anger! However, great rides in the Tour of Rhodes, the Tour of Serbia and the Milk Ras were enough to convince Fakta to sign him as a pro at the tender age of 30.
At the presentation, Team fakta manager Peter Sejer Nielsen outlined the team's main goals of this season:
1. To get ourselves established amongst the top cycling teams in the world. I hope we will finish in the top 20, which will make me very satisfied, but also a top 25 position can be satisfactory, depending on the circumstances. However, if we do not end up in the top 25, it will be a disappointment.
2. We need to secure the team and the company's survival for 2004. A number of our sponsorships need to be renegotiated, and new strategic ideas should be implemented. This will be an important task for 2003. We feel we have some good ideas, a good concept for those who work together with us, and we can document fantastic exposure - particularly in Scandinavia, but also the rest of the world.
Mr Nielsen added that the team hopes to do most of the spring classics, with Paris-Roubaix, Tour of Flanders and Amstel Gold Race being season targets for several riders. "If we do well in the beginning we also hope to do well in the rest of the World Cups. As a Division I team, we also hope to be invited to either the Giro or the Vuelta, as it would be unusual if a Division I team does not compete in at least one of the grand tours," he said.
Team director Kim Andersen spoke about the team and the riders. "I think we have a very strong team," he said. "We have the right people for the classics and we have people for the stage races. For example, I trust that we will see Scott [Sunderland] back at his 2001 level, he'll be one rider the favourites need to take into account in, for example, the Tour of Flanders or Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and if Allan Johansen continues his strong 2002 season he will also be a guy to look out for in the classics."
"It will be interesting to see how Kurt Asle [Arvesen] can continue his development from last year. If we get a start in Milano - San Remo, it could be interesting to see him at the Poggio as he is now excellent on climbs like that."
"Being an old sprinter it could be fun, and I am looking forward to see Frank Høj and Magnus Bäckstedt in Paris-Roubaix, where they are both aiming for top placings. Frank Høj I believe has an unused potential, he is as strong as an ox, and I hope that he will really settle in our team and show his full potential."
Andersen also discussed the team's prospects in the stage races. "In Jørgen Bo Petersen we have a guy who can go for the GC in Paris-Nice, but it will also be interesting to see him in the Giro, where we hope to get a start," said the director. "A lot of the other guys in the team have strong potential, and I feel certain that we will be capable of picking up where we left off last year. It will be difficult, as our success last year was overwhelming. But I still think we can do it."