Argos-Shimano taking strong lineup to Santos Tour Down Under debut
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Sunday, January 06, 2013

Argos-Shimano taking strong lineup to Santos Tour Down Under debut

by Kyle Moore at 9:07 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour Down Under
 
Kittel making his season start along with returning stage winner Clarke

Marcel KittelThe Dutch squad Argos-Shimano gets to flash its World Tour license at the door for the first time in 2013 in the Santos Tour Down Under, in the team’s first appearance at the race, which begins on January 20th.

The team is celebrating by dispatching its biggest star, Marcel Kittel, who will make his season debut at the warm sprinters race. Kittel won’t have the full compliment of his lead-out, but he will have experienced helpers Koen de Kort and Albert Timmer at his side as the German looks to get his year off to a winning start.

Argos-Shimano will also carry several new riders in its Tour Down Under roster, and like many other teams will be looking to oil up some new working parts in the early season race.

Team manager Iwan Spekenbrink believes that his team should be more than ready to spring Kittel, and perhaps even De Kort or another all-rounder to some success.

“A strong group of riders will represent our team in Australia and they can form a good sprint train to lead out our sprinter,” Spekenbrink stated. “They are riders with good attacking qualities and have prepared well for the Santos Tour Down Under at our team base at Altea Hills near Alicante in Spain.”

Argos-Shimano’s lone Australian, Will Clarke, makes his first appearance for the team after transferring over from Champion System. Clarke soloed to his biggest victory of the season in stage two of the Tour Down Under last season, surprising the sprinters by over a minute.

With an increasingly multinational roster, Argos-Shimano also counts a Swede, a Frenchman, a South African, and a German, along with the Dutchmen De Kort and Timmer amongst its squad in Australia.

“Two of our riders have a special connection with Australia and want to impress the thousands of fans,” Spekenbrink added. “Will Clarke comes from Australia and won a stage of last year’s Santos Tour Down Under, and Koen de Kort, whose girlfriend is Australian, has stayed in Australia during the European winter for many years now. Both riders have special sentiments for the Santos Tour Down Under.”

The Swedish rider Jonas Ahlstrand starts his neo-pro season with Argos-Shimano in Australia, along with MTN-Qhubeka transfer Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, the South African national time trial champion.

“Van Rensburg is a new addition to the Argos-Shimano roster and can certainly produce plenty of power on demand,” said Santos Tour Down Under director Mike Turtur. “This month’s race route features stages to suit sprinters and all-rounders, and we’re expecting close finishes as the world’s top riders battle for points in 2013.”

Argos-Shimano for the Santos Tour Down Under:
Jonas Ahlstrand (SWE), William Clarke (AUS), Yann Huguet (FRA), Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA), Marcel Kittel (GER), Koen de Kort (NED), Albert Timmer (NED)

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