Hushovd, van Garderen opening for BMC Racing in Tour de San Luis
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Friday, January 18, 2013

Hushovd, van Garderen opening for BMC Racing in Tour de San Luis

by Kyle Moore at 1:31 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
UnitedHealthcare, Vini Fantini name rosters for stage race

Thor HushovdBMC Racing springs two of its stars on the Tour de San Luis, which will feature a host of the sport’s biggest names in the seven-day race beginning on January 21st. Thor Hushovd and Tejay van Garderen begin their seasons on vastly different playing fields, as the young van Garderen will try to build on a career year in 2012, and the veteran Hushovd comes off a year lost to illness.

Both riders have a set of goals for the race, and both have been given a few riders on the roster assigned to look after him.

Hushovd lost most of his 2012 season, and performed poorly when he was able to race, due to a virus. The Norwegian powerhouse is just looking forward to getting in some race miles in his build up to another spring campaign.

“I’m in Argentina for training and experience,” Hushovd stated. “I cannot wait to get back to pinning on a race number and riding in the peloton. If the condition allows it, I will immediately try to put down a good result.”

Van Garderen, fifth in the Tour de France last year, has his eyes set on the San Luis time trial. The 19.5km test circles San Luis on stage four, and last year proved decisive when Levi Leipheimer consolidated his overall lead with a 33-second win over Vincenzo Nibali, and went on to take the overall victory. A good climbing performance could put van Garderen in a similar driver’s seat.

“The time trial is perfect early racing kilometres,” the American said. “I see it as intensive training where I can go full out without taking a lot of risks.”

Sporting director John Lelangue spoke of a quality field set to contest in Argentina.

“The field is impressive, with Alberto Contador, Joaquim Rodriguez, Jurgen Van den Broeck, Vincenzo Nibali, Peter Sagan, and even Mark Cavendish for the sprints,” Lelangue added. “So there are some big expectations already for the general classification, because there are five riders who are potential Giro, Tour, and Vuelta winners. But we go there without any pressure.

“Mathias Frank and newcomer Dominik Nerz will assist van Garderen during the mountain stages. Thor Hushovd gets support from Manuel Quinziato and Daniel Oss, who is also new to BMC Racing, in preparation for the Spring Classics. With Frank and van Garderen, we have two potential winners in the general classification.”

UnitedHealthcare, Vini Fantini bringing potential stage winners:

The American squad UnitedHealthcare brings a varied squad capable of taking flat or hilly stages, and director Mike Tamayo will be leading an experienced bunch of eight. Jake Keough nabbed a sprint victory in the Tour of Utah last season, and took a number of runner-up finishes in the Tour de Langkawi and the Tour of Qinghai Lake. Alessandro Bazzana comes over from the former Team Type 1-Sanofi, having won a stage of the Tour of Austria.

Hill climbers Philip Deignan, Lucas Euser, and Marc de Maar will look to play a role in the undulating stages.

The Italian team Vini Fantini sends six men to Argentina, led by 2012 double San Luis stage winner Francesco Chicchi. The Italian sprinter won the first two stages last year, riding for Omega Pharma-Quick Step. Chicchi will team with Oscar Gatto for the flat stages, while Mauro Santambrogio makes his debut with the squad and could figure into the general classification.

For the Tour de San Luis – BMC Racing:
Mathias Frank (SUI), Thor Hushovd (NOR), Dominik Nerz (GER), Daniel Oss (ITA), Manuel Quinziato (ITA), Tejay van Garderen (USA)

Alessandro Bazzana (ITA), Philip Deignan (IRE), Lucas Euser (USA), Robert Förster (GER), Marc de Maar (CUR), Jake Keough (USA), Jeff Louder (USA), John Murphy (USA)

Vini Fantini:
Rafael Andriato (BRA), Ramon Carretero (PAN), Francesco Chicchi (ITA), Mauro Finetto (ITA), Oscar Gatto (ITA), Mauro Santambrogio (ITA)


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