Project1t4i completes lineup for 2012 with signing of Roger Kluge
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Friday, October 28, 2011

Project1t4i completes lineup for 2012 with signing of Roger Kluge

by Shane Stokes at 10:58 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Dutch squad will feature 26 men and ten women next season

Roger KlugeOn the same day that it clocked up its 30th victory of the year with Kenny Van Hummel’s stage win in the Tour of Hainan, the Project 1t4i (formerly Skil-Shimano) team has finalised its lineup for 2012. The 26th and final rider to be confirmed is the German Roger Kluge, who competed with Milram in 2010 and Skil-Shimano this season.

The 25 year old Kluge has signed up for an additional year, although he will have an option to continue into 2014. “Kluge is a cyclist with a strong sprint, as he proved during the mass sprints in the Tour of Qatar and the Tour of Austria,” the team stated. “Additionally, he is a very valuable man as last link in the sprint train. With these capacities, Kluge is of great importance to the team that is developing the sprint train into a strong weapon.”

He will back up the team’s star sprinter Marcel Kittel next season. The big German clocked up a superb 17 victories this year, including a stage of the Vuelta a España, and smashed the debut-season tally of eleven wins clocked up by Mark Cavendish.

Despite working for Kittel and others, Kluge has also clocked up some solid results. He took top five placings in in the German road race championship and on stages of the Tour of Oman and Bayern Rundfarht, and also finished fourth overall in the Delta Tour Zeeland. Earlier this month he was fifth in the Binche – Tournai – Binche race, otherwise known as the Memorial Frank Vandenbroucke.

“For 2012, the cyclist aims to develop himself further,” said the team, “and also to obtain a medal during the Olympics in London. There, Kluge expects to compete in the omnium, the discipline in which he became European Champion in 2010.”

He finished second in the points race during the 2008 Olympic Games.

The 26 riders who will compete for Project 1t4i next season are Alexandre Geniez, Matthieu Sprick, Thierry Hupond, Thomas Damuseau, Yann Huguet, Thomas Bonnin (all France), Simon Geschke, Marcel Kittel, Roger Kluge, John Degenkolb, Patrick Gretsch, Johannes Fröhlinger, Dominic Klemme (all Germany), Ronan van Zandbeek, Tom Veelers, Roy Curvers, Koen de Kort, Albert Timmer, Tom Dumoulin, Ramon Sinkeldam, Tom Stamsnijder (Netherlands), Feng Han, Ji Cheng (China), Bert de Backer (Belgium), Yukihiro Doi (Japan) and Tobias Ludvigsson (Sweden).

Degenkolb is another very strong sprinter and with Kittel showing great speed, the duo are likely to clock up many wins between them.

The squad of Iwan Spekenbrink had hoped to get a ProTeam licence for 2012. However Project 1t4i missed out by one place on being in the top twenty teams. Although it is uncertain if Geox-TMC will secure the necessary backing it needs to remain in the fight for one of the eighteen licences up for grabs, the UCI told VeloNation this week that 1t4i won’t be considered if the Spanish team drops out. While the news is a disappointment, the strong lineup makes it likely the Dutch squad will get invites to top races including, it hopes, the Tour de France.

The team will also feature a women’s squad. This lineup was also made clear today, with ten Dutch riders being named. These are Regina Bruins, Suzanne de Goede, Amy Pieters, Kelly Markus, Anne de Wildt, Adrie Visser, Esra Tromp, Janneke Kanis, Monique van de Ree and Linda van Rijen.

A new title sponsor for both squads will be unveiled next spring.

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