Vacansoleil-DCM sending multinational team to Giro d’Italia
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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Vacansoleil-DCM sending multinational team to Giro d’Italia

by Ben Atkins at 3:39 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
Eight countries represented in Dutch WorldTour team; no place for hometown Dane Martin Mortensen

thomas de gendtVacansoleil-DCM has named an international line up for the Giro d’Italia, which starts in less than two weeks time. The Corsa Rosa, the year’s first Grand Tour, starts on May 5th in Herning, Denmark, and the Dutch WorldTour team will be hoping to get something of everything from its nine riders, who represent eight different countries.

“Early in the year we spoke with riders about aiming on the Giro,” explained directeur sportif Jean-Paul van Poppel. “This means that those riders had a long time to prepare. The current selection seems well balanced and ready for the adventure.

“We have got a sprinter, time trial specialists, climbers and possible general classification riders,” he continued. “A real team to go for a stage win which is hopefully able to continue the growth the team showed in 2012 stage races.”

Frenchman Romain Feillu will be the team’s sprinter who, while he wore the Tour de France’s maillot jaune for a day in 2008, is still seeking his first Grand Tour stage victory. Swede Gustav Larsson will doubtless be confident ahead of the 8.7km opening time trial, following his victory on a course of similar distance in Paris-Nice.

Belgian Thomas De Gendt was one of three Vacansoleil-DCM riders to take a stage in the Race to the Sun. As a strong climber that can also race against the clock, the 25-year-old took third in the penultimate day’s time trial in last year’s Tour, and has been tipped by many at home as a potential Grand Tour contender. The eyes of Belgium will be on De Gendt as he rides his first Giro.

With Matteo Carrara and Mirko Selvaggi, two of the team’s four Italians will be present, but there is sadly no room in the team for Danish Herning native Martin Mortensen, who is heartbroken to be missing the race that starts in his home town. There is some hope for the 27-year-old, who has yet to ride a Grand Tour, as he is named as the team’s first reserve.

“The decision for the last spot was very hard and it is a pity for Martin that he is not there,” van Poppel explained. “He knows our reasons and took the loss like a sportsman.”

Vacansoleil-DCM team for the Giro d’Italia (with nationalities)
Martijn Keizer (Netherlands), Thomas De Gendt (Belgium), Mirko Selvaggi, Matteo Carrara (both Italy), Stefan Denifl (Austria), Tomasz Marczynski (Poland), Sergey Lagutin (Uzbekistan), Gustav-Erik Larsson (Sweden) and Romain Feillu (France).

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