(Hackettstown, NJ), February 14, 2003 – The Navigators Cycling Team began their spring training and early season racing campaign in the quiet town of Castegneto Carducci, near Donoratico, Italy this week. With the days filled with training, tweaking bike positions, photo sessions and getting settled into the routine with new teammates, there's been little time for fun and games. However, the boys and Eva (Barabas), a new team mechanic, did have the opportunity to celebrate the birthdays of Marty Nothstein, Oleg Grichkine and Sergey Davidenko, which all occur on the same date: February 10th.
With most of the formalities now out of the way, the team started to bond as a unit with the usual characters trying to one-up the “new” characters, and a brand new selection of nicknames, hairstyles, and cycling stories. By the end of today's photography session, which included rides through the beautiful hills, vineyards and olive groves of Northwestern Italy, the boys in blue had already conspired to overthrow management and hijack the team's van for a fun trip to Livorno. It must have been a good break as the guys were still celebrating their afternoon of freedom long after dinner had finished.
With a full squad of seasoned riders coming together this quickly, it is a favorable indicator for the racing action, which begins next week, one day earlier than originally planned. The season-opener for the Navigators squad will now be the Tropheo Lagueglia on February, 18th, instead of the Giro Dellai Liguoria.