Team Columbia/Highroad 2009 Presentation
"Reaching Even Higher" - Bold Plans for 2009, “We have made a few strategic
changes. The aim is to build on our strengths and eleviate our weaknesses,” Bob
Columbia/Highroad in 2009 - Reaching Even Higher
Team Columbia-Highroad officially launched the 2009 season at their team
presentation today in Mallorca, Spain, promising an impressive sequel to the
team’s hugely successful run of victories in 2008.
The half-hour presentation of Team Columbia-Highroad’s 36 athletes started
with a brief overview of the winning 2008 season, in which the men’s team won 85
races, and the women’s squad notched up 68--more than any other.
In the comments that followed, Team Columbia-Highroad owner
Bob Stapleton and team manager
Rolf Aldag said they were confident the squad
would raise the bar even higher in 2009. Working as a team and winning fairly
remain the cornerstone of the team’s strategy for success.
“Whether we win or lose, it is done as a team,” Stapleton commented. “I’m not
just proud of our success, I’m proud of the way in which we achieve it. All of
the victories were earned by a good collective effort - by the riders and the
management. We are built around the best practices and the best equipment in the
sport, and we are constantly looking for better methods. The support of our 20
partners brings valuable resources and knowledge to that process.”
“We had high expectations of the squad in 2008 and they were more than
fulfilled,” Director of European Marketing for Columbia Sportswear
Antti Karava said during his speech. “This
truly multi-national team is an enormously valuable asset for Columbia.”
“We are proud to be the co-sponsor of a team and a group of riders that
represent all that is great about getting outdoors and doing what they love,
whether it’s winning a stage of a race, working closely with their teammates to
create an opportunity, or training for the season through other outdoor
activities”, said Tim Boyle, President and Chief Executive Officer, Columbia
Boyle continued, “Our sponsorship is a great way to promote Columbia’s
product technologies, such as Omni-Shade sun-protective apparel, through one of
the most-watched professional sports in the world, and we are excited to be
associated with such a young, exciting team that has received so much
recognition for their success.”
In 2009, Columbia-Highroad will have 25 riders on their men’s team and 11 on
the women’s team. Nine of them are current national champions.
New signings in the men’s squad are
Michael Albasini (28, Italy), Gert Dockx (20, Belgium), Maxime Monfort (25,
Belgium) and Mark Renshaw (26, Australia), while Ellen Van Dijk (21,
Netherlands) and Alex Wrubleski (24, Canada) join the women’s squad.
“We have made a few strategic changes. The aim is to build on our strengths
and eleviate our weaknesses,” Stapleton explained. “Michael Albasini, for
example, is of great importance for the mountain stages.”
Columbia-Highroad is making no secret about their ambitious plans for 2009,
and the team continues to emphasize cycling’s future as well. “Of our 36 riders,
21 of them are 26 or younger, making us the youngest team at the top level of
professional cycling,” Stapleton pointed out. “We hope that future champions
will come out of the this team as well.”
New Jersey - Yellow & White
The new yellow and white team jerseys were also unveiled at the event. The bold
new design is a big departure from the traditional Team Columbia design of 2008.
Featuring a high-tech, bionic-inspired muscle graphic across the abdomen, the
jersey is sure to get attention as Team Columbia-Highroad racers compete in
2009. Stapleton explained that yellow stands for success in cycling, just like
the yellow jersey in the Tour de France, while white represents transparency and
clean racing. Stapleton concluded, “We rode well throughout the whole season
last year, winning from January to October, and the aim is to do the same again
Following the team launch, riders assembled for a two-hour training ride in
the warm sunshine, accompanied by television and print media.
More to come on the team camp in Mallorca...
January 10, 2009 – Mallorca, Spain
Columbia-Highroad 2009 Rosters
Ellen Van Dijk
Linda Melanie Villumsen
Edvald Boasson Hagen
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