Crowd favourite Voigt confirms he’ll get his season going with Santos Tour Down Under
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Sunday, January 06, 2013

Crowd favourite Voigt confirms he’ll get his season going with Santos Tour Down Under

by VeloNation Press at 4:24 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour Down Under
 
Says Australian event is ‘perfect and well balanced’

Jens VoigtCertain to be a big hit with the fans. Jens Voigt has confirmed that he will return to the Santos Tour Down Under this year, joining Andy Schleck and others on the RadioShack Leopard team.

The German rider is one of the most aggressive riders in the peloton despite being the oldest in the WorldTour, having turned 41 last September.

He has competed in the race several times in the past decade and has good memories of the event. “Ten years ago, in my Crédit Agricole days, I did my first Tour Down Under and I was immediately charmed by the race,” said Voigt. “It is a nice race, well organised, hard and challenging, but not too hard and that is just what we need at this time of the year.

“On the other hand it is no sprinter’s race. It’s just perfect and well balanced, that’s why I like to come to Adelaide.

In recent years he took part in 2009, 2010 and 2012. His best result came in the first of those years, with twelfth on stage three to Victor Harbor and seventeenth overall reflecting his solid early-season form. However statistics don’t reflect the additional effect he has on a race, between sparking off early attacks, chasing key moves or engaging with the fans and media.

He’s looking forward to getting back to the race, and lists the reasons why he enjoys the first WorldTour event of the season.

“The fact that we can stay a week long in the same hotel makes it comfortable for us, the transfers are not too long, and most important of all, the fans are great,” he explained. “The crowds are enthusiastic and they are in great numbers at all stages.

“That motivates us and I look forward to being in Adelaide again.”

He will be joined by 2010 Tour de France winner Andy Schleck, who is aiming to return to the top after the toughest year of his professional career, plus the Kiwi riders George Bennett and Jesse Sergent, his fellow Luxembourger Laurent Didier, the Belgian Ben Hermans and Portugal’s Tiago Machado.

Voigt has been confirmed as one of those to be honoured at the Legend’s Night dinner on January 26th, four days after the race begins. World road race champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team) and Olympic sprint champion Anna Meares will also appear there.

Race director Mike Turtur knows Voigt’s name will be a draw at the paid event. “Jens Voigt is a crowd favourite and a formidable competitor whose determination is legendary,” said Turtur. “I’m sure there will be plenty of local support for Jens.”

The 2013 Santos Tour Down Under begins on January 22nd. It will be preceded two days earlier by the People’s Choice Classic, a circuit race which will feature the same WorldTour teams and riders.

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