Argos Shimano announces new Under 23 development team
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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Argos Shimano announces new Under 23 development team

by VeloNation Press at 9:28 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Setup will guide young riders and act as a feeder squad for WorldTour team

Marcel KittelTeam Argos Shimano’s chances of future success have been boosted by the decision to establish a Continental under 23 development team, starting in 2014.

The squad will feature riders who have moved up from the junior level plus other competitors up to 22 years of age, and will act as a feeder squad for the WorldTour team.

As was the case with other connected teams in the past, it will enable Argos Shimano to find and develop riders, and thus increase the likelihood that it has first dabs on those talents.

The news is a welcome boost for cycling, particularly after several WorldTour and Pro Continental teams have indicated that they will not continue past the end of the season.

That has put pressure on riders to find slots; while the new setup will only cater for those under 23, it will fill a gap in that category and make up for lost slots that might otherwise have taken those riders.

The new squad will be registered as a UCI Continental team, and joins Argos Shimano’s existing WorldTour and women’s teams.

General manager Iwan Spekenbrink believes that the new project will have a number of benefits.

“The establishment of this team is a reflection of what Team Argos-Shimano stands for: development of young riders through our way of working,” he explained.

“The primary goal of the new team will be the long-term development of cycling talent for the WorldTour. With this team, we can start this process at an early stage, which will benefit these young riders for the rest of their careers.

“We want the riders to adapt to our structure and learn how the WorldTour team functions so that their integration will go smoothly in the future. In addition to providing sporting development support, the team will also help prepare the young riders for life after their cycling careers.”

While the rider lineup is yet to be revealed, the German Jens Lang has been named as the team coach. He previously worked with the Thüringer Energie team, which helped nurture the development of current Argos-Shimano headline riders Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb.”

He said that he is enjoying the new task, while also acknowledging it is a challenge.

“The new team will offer an optimal environment for preparing young riders for the WorldTour, which is something I am eager to be part of,” he said.

Details about the lineup and also the programme of races will be made public at a later date.

The Argos Shimano team had a superb Tour de France this year, with Marcel Kittel taking four stage wins and underlining that he was the quickest sprinter in the race.


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