Pinarello has decided to return to the sponsoring of the team of their old friend Josč Miguel Echavarri, with whom they won five consecutive Tours De France as bicycle sponsor for Miguel Indurain, leader of the legendary Banesto team.
After four years riding Pinarello's Opera brand, for the 2006 season, the Franco-Spanish team Caisse d’Epargne-Illes Balears will return to Cicli Pinarello.
The powerful team, headed by Spanish sensation Alejandro Valverde (winner of the 10° stage of the '05 Tour de France at Courchevel & silver medal in the '05 World Road Championships in Madrid) will ride Pinarello Paris Carbon FP & Pinarello Dogma FP models in 2006. The Paris Carbon FP has a 46 HM 3K high modulus monocoque unidirectional carbon fibre frame, while the Pinarello Dogma FP has a AK61 magnesium alloy frame. Both models have the MO.s.t. 55mm oversize BB and Pinarello Onda carbon fibre fork and rear triangle. With Caisse d’Epargne as new title sponsor, there are all new colors for the team and for the team bikes, with an attractive and distinctive new red, white and black paint scheme that will stand out in any crowd.
Other key members of the Caisse d’Epargne-Illes Balears are Russian rider Vladimir Karpets (7° at '05 Giro d’Italia), Spanish talents Oscar Pereiro (winner of Stage 6° at '05 Tour de France ) and TT sensation Ivan Gutierrez (Spanish TT champion silver medal in the '05 World TT Championships in Madrid) as well as talented 28 year old Italian climber Marco Fertonani. Already this season, Caisse d’Epargne-Illes Balears has won races on their new Pinarello bicycles at the Trofeo Majorca. (Galvez X 2) and Tour Of the Mediterranean (Gutierrez X 1). First big test of the year for Valverde will be on Saturday March 18th at Milano-Sanremo, where the Spaniard will be one of the favorites for victory.