Liberty Seguros Würth: A newcomer with a long tradition
The former Spanish ONCE team of professional cyclists was renamed in the season 2005, and is now called Liberty Seguros Würth. As the main sponsor of the traditional cycling team stopped its commitment in the fall of 2003, the insurance company Liberty Seguros in 2004 and the Würth Group in 2005 took over the former ONCE team as main sponsors.
Rapidly, the way for the continuation of the successful work of the past few years was paved. Most cyclists of the top team could be kept, well-known and ambitious young cyclists could be hired for the new Spanish cycling team. One of the reasons for this achievement was surely the fact that Manuel "Manolo" Saiz, one of the most famous and well-established team managers of the cycling scene continues to be the technical director of Liberty Seguros Würth.
Further Great Successes
In the first season, some top athletes could be “dragged” to the Basque Country. With Roberto Heras’s transfer the team achieved probably the most spectacular change in the cycling sport in the season of 2004. Mr. Heras, who used to be one of the most important supporters of Lance Armstrong in the US Postal team, immediately became captain of the new team. He justified the confidence put in him by an overall victory at the Spanish Vuelta in 2004, which he won for the third time after 2000 and 2003. In addition, Australian cyclist Allan Davis, who is one of the biggest sprinting hopes, was signed on. Apart from the Vuelta victory the team also won several important day victories, such as the Milan-Turin race. In other great classics such as the Amstel Gold Race or the Liège-Bastogne-Liège race the cyclists reached top places.
Team Successes are in the Focus
This year, Liberty Seguros Würth wants to continue the long tradition of the former ONCE team and be as successful as last year. In the 2005 season, the former captain of the team Joseba Beloki, David Extebarria as well as the German Jörg Jaksche returned to the team, which they had left in 2003. Alberto Contador has also developed excellently. Mr. Contador managed to win five races in the current season.
Captain Heras now has an extremely powerful and well-balanced team. As early as in ONCE times the team was extremely good at time trials. With the professional environment and the further support in the 2005 season the Liberty Seguros Würth team is one of the big candidates for the team victory in the Tour de France.
Promising Start in 2005
The main focus in the 2005 season is on the Tour de France and the Spanish Vuelta. In addition, the team is going to be at the start at every ProTour race as well as at the “HEW Cyclassic” in Hamburg and the “Deutschland-Tour”.
Since the current and intensive preparatory phase for the Tour de France started in February 2005, has already achieved a series of top places. Alberto Valeasco won a stage each in the Tour of the Basque Country and the Tour de Normandie. Koldo Gil Perez won a stage of the Giro d'Italia, and Allan Davis won two stages in the Vuelta a Murcia and a day victory in the Tour of Aragon.