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Tour of Georgia - Davitamon/Lotto Team Profile
By Staff
Date: 4/18/2006
Tour of Georgia - Davitamon/Lotto Team Profile

Tour of Georgia - Davitamon/Lotto Team Profile
Fast Freddy Rodriguez is back with Hard Man Henk Vogels, Gates, Kuyckx, and a stable of young talent to challenge for stage wins and...

Davitamon/Lotto is a new team to the Ford Tour de Georgia. The Belgium-based team will showcase speed at this year's Tour, look for American sprinter Fred Rodriguez, returning for what promises to be an exciting follow-up to his 2003 Tour de Georgia visit where he won two stages. The team also has Australian Henk Vogels, who also won a stage in 2003 while riding for an opposing team.

By Bart Hazen

Gates Nick
Ingels Nic
Kaisen Olivier
Kuyckx Jan
Mertens Pieter
Rodriguez Fred
Van Hecke Preben
Vogels Henk

Fred Rodriguez
Fred is born on 3 September 1973. Fast Freddy Rodriguez has been racing since he was 13 years old and collected three US Championship jerseys along with other significant wins as a rider. Not your average Sprinter Fred can climb and get to the finish on mountainous stages. In the 2003 Tour of Georgia Fast Freddie was 2nd to Chris Horner (who came over to Davitamon/Lotto this year) by only 7 seconds with Nathan O'Neil third. That year Dave Zabriskie and Tom Danielson finished 5th and 6th.

3 times in the Stars and Stripes... Fast Freddy Rodriguez
The 2004 US Pro Champion basks in the afterglow
Photo by Jaime Nichols

Itís his 2nd year for Davitamon-Lotto and is part of the strong lead out and sprint duo with Robbie McEwen where Davitamon/Lotto in last years Tour de France Robbie won 3 stages. Fred also won a stage at the Giro in a head to head contest with Ale-Jet Petacchi.
The last victory of Fred Rodriquez was in last year GP Costa Azul. For 2006 he noticed a 2nd and 3rd rank in the 4th and 6th stage of the Tour of California. In the coming Tour of Georgia Fast Freddy will be the go to man for the sprints and G.C.; count on Freddy to collect some stage wins along the way to Rome.† Fast Freddy's website

Henk Vogels
Henk is born on 31 July 1973. He became pro in 1995 with Novell. Further he rode for teams as Rabobank, Gan, Credit Agricole, Mercury and Navigators before joining Davitamon-Lotto in 2005. His last victory is from 2003 where he won the 1st stage in indeed this Tour of Georgia.

Henk Vogels†† photo c. Pro the movie

Henk is no stranger to fans in the USA where he is a very popular rider and rode in the mighty Mercury team of John Worden.† Henk is the consummate all rounder and hard man with victories on three continents and can count victories in Europe against top class riders including an impressive 2nd in Gent Wevelgem while riding with the Navigators Insurance squad.

Further he won amongst other races the Australian Championships, the USPRO Championships, a stage in the Tour de LíAvenir, a stage in Vuelta a Rioja and a stage in the Vuelta a Asturias. Vogels is a rider who could change the race daily with his attacks and if given the slightest opportunity could take a few stages and possibly challenge for the race lead.

Nick Gates
Nick is born on 1 March 1972. He rode his whole career for some smaller German Teams before switching to Lotto in 2003. Robbie McEwen asked for him to join the team. His most important win is the National Championships of Australia 10 years ago. In the Davitamon-Lotto team he is a helper for the first part of the race to help team leader Fred Rodriguez out of the wind.

Nick Ingels
Nick is born on 2 September 1984. For Nick who rode last year for Continental Team Bodysol-Win for Life itís his first year between the professionals. Nic is a rider for the heavier races. Last year he became 3rd in the Tour of Flanders U23 and won the Omloop het Volk U23. He was also 2nd in the Tour of Liege and the Tour of Namur. In the Tour of Georgia he can show his talent and gain valuable experience as a pro tour rider.

Olivier Kaisen
Olivier is born on 30 April 1983. He started as pro with RAGT last year and became 2nd in the Tour de la Region Wallonne. Olivier is an allround rider as a U23 rider he won the Chrono des Herbiers and rode well in races like the Triptique and the Tour of Namur. In the coming Tour of Georgia he can maybe show his talent and ride a good classification if he is in good shape. Olivier Kaisen website

Jan Kuyckx
Jan was born on 20 May 1979. He started his career with the Vlaanderen T-Interim team in 2002 and rode for that team until he joined Davitamon in 2005.
So far he has 4 victories: 2 stages in the Vuelta a Rioja 2004, a stage in the Tour of Austria 2004 and a stage in the Tour of Belgium 2005. In August last year Jan tested positive on a drug for his cold. After some enquiry Jan was found innocent and was free to race again in December. His best result so far in 2006 is a 18th rank in the GP Pino Cerami at 1:31 to youngster Sebastian Langeveld (Skil-Shimano). Jan is a rider who attacks a lot and will be a domestique in the team. Jan Kuyckx website

Pieter Mertens
Pieter is born on 28 August 1980. He started his career with Vlaanderen T-Interim in 2004. In 2005 the team was called Chocolade Jacques T-Interim and since the beginning of this year he is riding for Davitamon-Lotto. Last year he won a stage in Rheinland Pfalz which is his only pro win so far. This year Pieter didnít ride that much in de Tour of California he had to abandon due to back troubles. He suffered a while with it and made his comeback in the GP Pino Cerami (April 6th). In the Tour of Georgia he will try to get some race kilometers and will work for the team.† Pieter Mertens website

Preben van Hecke
Preben is born 9 July 1982. He became pro in 2004 with Relax Bodysol. In 2005 he joined Davitamon where he is still riding. As a pro he has already 2 victories and both in 2004. He won the Noord Nederland Tour and a stage in the Ster Elektro Toer. Preben is an attacking rider just like some others young riders in the team like Van Summeren for example. In 2006 he finished 2nd in a stage and 2nd in the final ranking of the Etoile de Besseges.

2006 Ford Tour of Georgia
Ford Tour de Georgia 2006--Team Rosters and Profiles
Tour of Georgia - Saunier Duval/Prodir Team Profile
Tour of Georgia - Phonak Team Profile
Tour of Georgia - CSC Team Profile
Teams Announced for 2006 Ford Tour de Georgia
Ford Tour de Georgia 2006-Winner's Jerseys
Discovery Channel Announces Team for California Tour
Ford Tour de Georgia 2006--A Look at Stage Six
Ford Tour de Georgia 2006--Stage by Stage Stage 1 & 2
Ford Tour de Georgia--A Look at the Time Trial
Ford Tour de Georgia 2006

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