Gerald Ciolek heads Omega Pharma Quick-Step squad in Tour Down Under
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Monday, December 19, 2011

Gerald Ciolek heads Omega Pharma Quick-Step squad in Tour Down Under

by VeloNation Press at 8:20 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour Down Under
 
Steegmans, Brammeier and Pauwels also on team

Gerald CiolekFormer Vuelta a España stage victor and 2006 world under 23 champion Gerald Ciolek will have an early chance at success when he leads the Omega Pharma QuickStep team in next month’s Santos Tour Down Under.

The former German national road race champion is the latest big name to be confirmed for the UCI WorldTour event, which begins on January 15th.

He will be joined in Australia by Irish road race and time trial champion Matt Brammeier, who moves across from HTC Highroad, pus fellow team-mates Gert Steegmans, Serge Pauwels, Andrew Fenn, Julien Vermote and Italian national under 23 champion Matteo Trentin.

“Ciolek is a strong lead out man,” said race director Mike Turtur, referring to his past role. “This was evident when he rode for Team Columbia in 2008. At the 2008 Tour de France, he was an instrumental figure in all four of Mark Cavendish's stage wins.”

Ciolek has much greater opportunities now than before, and could get his year off to the perfect start if he can pick up a good result in Australia.

Turtur already knows what Pauwels can do, with the rider winning a major jersey before. “We have seen great performances by Pauwels at our race,” he said. “In 2007, he claimed the overall King of the Mountain victory, making him a contender for ŠKODA King of the Mountain points in January."

He also believes the Irish team member could shine Down Under. “Brammeier is a versatile rider on the road and on the track, bringing invaluable experience and ability to adapt to a racing situation to the team,” he said. Steegmans is another who could shine, given his previous Tour de France stage wins.

The race runs from January 15th to 22nd.


Omega Pharma QuickStep for Santos Tour Down Under:

Gerald Ciolek (GER)
Matthew Brammeier (IRL)
Serge Pauwels (BEL)
Andrew Fenn (GBR)
Gert Steegmans (BEL)
Matteo Trentin (ITA)
Julien Vermote (BEL)

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