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Rabo Rollout Day: Menchov Skipping Giro

[Damn, I sure wish Getty Images Sport had one of those pictures of Denis Menchov from November posing next to the map of the 2010 Giro course at the gala in Milan. I would SOOOO love to post that right now.]

Anyway, team rollouts aren't always newsworthy, but if you're looking for Rabo news, CN has Menchov's news from Rotterdam today -- that he's skipping the Giro d'Italia a year after winning the Centennial edition to focus on the Tour de France. Rabo Sport is a font of info today too. Some highlights:

  • Menchov and Robert Gesink will focus on the Tour, and at least Gesink has already said he's attending the Tour de Suisse as his primary pre-Tour tuneup. Gesink cites the proximity of the TdS to the Tour -- more important in a year when the Tour is so back-loaded. Doesn't hurt that the TdS will be horribly difficult.
  • Bauke Mollema will be among Rabo's designated Giro threats, possibly the captain. Pretty green for a Dutch team in a grand tour starting in Amsterdam, but that's the Giro for you. Regardless, I know several of us are anxious to see what he can do in the big show.
  • Sadder news: Pedro Horrillo is calling it quits. The reason? Doodsmak.
  • General Manager Harold Knebel chats a bit about the significance of the Rabo Development Program [a/k/a Rabo Continental Team], which has produced 13 of the senior squad's current members. Knebel thinks the day of reckoning for the rest of cycling is fast approaching, and that the cycling world is jealous of Gesink and Lars Boom.
  • Internal changes abound: Erik Breukink was kicked upstairs to technical director last fall, and Development guru Nico Verhoeven is now the DS. Arthur van Dongen and Piet Kuijs are now in charge of the Dev Prog.

Don't ask me who any of these kids are, but the 2010 Rabo Continental Team roster is: Brian Bulgac, Mark Barry, Jasper Bovenhuis, Moreno Hofland, Nick van der call, Remco Broers, Tom Jelte Slagter, Wesley Kreder and Wilco Kelderman, Jetse Bol, Boy Van Poppel, Joeri Adams, Ramon Sinkeldam, Coen Vermeltfoort, Jasper Ockeloen, Martijn Keizer, Mats Boeve, Maurice Vrijmoed and Niek van Geffen. [OK, we know about Boy Van Poppel.]

Hm, need some sort of visual. What shall I use? Ah, the assault vehicle, seems a propos.