Kittel to lead Argos Shimano’s push for stage wins in Presidential Tour of Turkey
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Kittel to lead Argos Shimano’s push for stage wins in Presidential Tour of Turkey

by VeloNation Press at 6:11 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Liège-Bastogne-Liège , Flèche Wallonne, Presidential Tour of Turkey
Geschke amongst protected riders for Ardennes Classics, but team also wants long range attacks

Marcel KittelSecond on stage seven to Izmir twelve months ago, Marcel Kittel will target at least one stage victory in the upcoming Presidential Tour of Turkey, which starts on Sunday in Alanya and runs for a week.

The German sprinter showed his form with three wins thus far this season; he too one stage apiece in the Tour of Oman and Paris-Nice, and more recently beat Mark Cavendish to win Scheldeprijs.

Argos-Shimano sport manager Marc Reef believes he can be a big factor in a race which features four likely sprint finishes. “Marcel Kittel is in the lineup, and we have built a strong sprint train around him,” he said. “He had some bad luck last year, with multiple crashes and a second place, so he is eager for revenge.

“After his win in the Scheldeprijs he has done some good effort training at our training base in Spain.”

Kittel is one of the best sprinters in the peloton and will be supported by a solid Argos-Shimano team. The squad also has an eye on the overall, wishing to see how one of its French riders fares.

“Warren Barguil will be given the freedom to excel in the general classification. He hasn’t fully regained the form he had before his crash in Paris-Nice, but he showed improvement during the last races,” said Reef.

“If he could achieve a top ten result that would be another good step in his development and towards the direction we are working with him on.”

They will be joined by the Dutch riders Bert de Backer, Koen de Kort and Albert Timmer, the German Nikias Arndt, France’s Thomas Damuseau and the Chinese rider Cheng Ji.

The men’s team is also aiming for good results in the Ardennes Classics although Christian Guiberteau, who will direct the team for both races, seems a little guarded about his expectations for Wednesday’s Flèche Wallonne.

The 205 kilometre race scales the wall-like Mur de Huy three times and the gradient of the finish suits a particular type of rider.

“This is one of the hardest classics. In addition to three climbs up the famous Mur de Huy, the riders have multiple difficult hills to tackle,” he said. “Simon Geschke proved in the Brabantse Pijl and Amstel Gold Race that he has good form, but the Mur de Huy might be too steep for him. It is possible that he will achieve a good result, but we cannot count on it.”

As a result, he wants the team to try something from further out. “The most important thing is to have good teamwork and one of our riders in the break.”

Geschke will be part of an eight man squad; also present will be Barguil, who will compete in the Belgian event before travelling to Turkey. The other riders will be Johannes Fröhlinger (Germany), French duo Yann Huguet and Thierry Hupond, the Australian Tom Peterson, South Africa’s Reinardt Janse van Rensburg and Georg Preidler of Austria.

Of those, Geschke, Huguet, Hupond and Peterson will also race in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, along with Will Clarke (Australia), Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands), Patrick Gretsch (Germany) and the Canadian François Parisien.

Guiberteau wants a similarly aggressive approach for Sunday’s race. “The tactics for Liège-Bastogne-Liège will be the same as Fléche Wallone. It will be another very hard race,” he said. “We hope to show some good teamwork and to have somebody in the break. If one of our leaders can excel that would be great, but we will have an aggressive strategy and see how far we can get with it.”


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