|The team has a Belgian name, an Italian as well, but in Italia’s finest amongst the nine riders that will take start in Genua for Landbouwkrediet-Colnago there is just one Italian and two Belgians. The rest of the squad is filled with Ukrainians, one French good oldie and one guy from Lithuania.
The team in short:
First years pro Volodymyr Bileka was born on 6 February 1979. He did perform well in the 2002 in the Porec Trophy 1. He will be accompanied by Vladimir Duma. Born in Dust, in the former USSR on 2nd March 1972 he raced since he started as pro for Scrigno, Navigare-Gaerne, Panaria-Gaerne, Ceramiche-Panaria and now Landbouwkrediet-Colnago. His main results:
1998: 7th stage Tour de Suisse
1998: Ukranian championships Road
1999: 5th stage Giro d'Abruzzo (Ita)
2000: Ukranian championships Road
2000: 2nd stage Giro d'Abruzzo (Ita)
2002: GP Industria & Commercio di Prato
2003: 4th stage Regio-Tour International, Neuenburg.
Good old Jacky Durand is starting yet another great tour. Dudu swerved around Europe, around teams. He started out in 1990 with Castorama, did ride in Agrigel and Casino colors, wore the Lotto and Francaise des Jeux tricot and spending this year in Belgian service. Over the years he has won a lot, twice he was French national champion and he won three stages in the Tour de France. Winning in 1995 the slippery prologue of la grande boucle he wore yellow as well.
Cristian Gasperoni was born on 15-10-1970 in Lugo (RA) in Italy. After two season with Cantina Tollo and one qith Acqua e Sapone he now is a Landbouwkrediet-boy. His teammate Yaroslav Popovitch at the age of 12 for the first time came into contact with cycling. Before that he was a boxer, without succes though. In cycling he did succeed and soon he moved to Kiev. He was considered the biggest timetrailtalent and moved to Italy. In 1999 with the ukranian team he competed in a race in Italy and Olivano Locatelli, DS of the Vellutex-Zoccorinese team saw his talent and offered him a contract. In 2001/ 2002 he booked no less than 36 wins. Amongst those wins was Paris-Roubaix for Espoirs.
in 2002 he switched ranks to the professionals. In his first year he won the Throphy Porec. In the Giro he went with a break in the sixth stage, which in the end paid of with an 12th place in the overall final ranking.
Belgians Nico Sijmens got his share of tv-minutes and attention this season so far. He won the GP Pino Cerami and finished third in both the Fleche Brabanconne and the GP De Denain. Zolders worldchampion timetrial Tomas Vaitkus got his 4 (professional) wins so far merely in timetrials. In 2002 he won the GP des Nations (Espoirs) and the worldtitle in the same category. 2003 was his year to won the national championships in the saem discipline and the fifth stage in the Tour of Denmark.
Another good old in the team is Johan Verstrepen. Via Histor
(1992) M.G. Bianchi, (1993-1994) Collstrop, (1995-1998) Vlaanderen 2002 and
(1999-2002) Lampre – Daikin he ended up with Landbouwkrediet-Colnago. His most important results are:
1992: Desselgem (Bel)
1994: Dentergem (Bel)
1994: Westrozebeke (Bel)
1995: Moorsele (Bel)
1997: GP Wingene (Bel)
1997: GP Houtem - Vilvoorde (Bel)
1998: GP Geetbets
1999: 1 stage Etoile de Bessèges.
To complete the team there is Sergiy Adyeyev. He is in the Landbouwkrediet-team since 2002 and was born on the 24th of September 1976 in Stakhanov, Ukraine. And as his teammate Popovych says on the eve before this Giro: “Crédit Agricole (Landbouwkrediet in French/acr)-Colnago is very ambitious for the start of the Tour of Italy. This ambition consists in a place on the podium with Yaroslav Popovych like last year. The young (24) cyclist knows what he has to do.
"Please do not forget that I’m still rather young and last year I was a kind of revelation and a surprise," says Popovych. "I was 3rd after Simoni and Garzelli. Those 2 italians are favorite again this year.
"The 3rd place of last year really opened my eyes. The Tour of Italy is now my priority. Also the Olympic Games and the World Championsip.
"You may not expect to much from me. I still have time to confirm myself and I don’t want to force things. Please don’t see me as a favorite, with my team mates I want to make something nice from this Giro. And then we’ll see…”