Argos-Shimano extends the contracts of five of its young riders
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Monday, October 14, 2013

Argos-Shimano extends the contracts of five of its young riders

by Ben Atkins at 4:30 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Ludvigsson, Preidler, Sinkeldam, Mezgec and Damuseau all renew with Dutch team

luka mezgecArgos-Shimano has extended the contracts of five of its young riders, in the hope that they will show their potential in the coming years. The multinational team, registered in the Netherlands, joined the WorldTour as a ProTeam this year, having, been at Professional Continental level since 2005. The team also recently announced the creation of a Continental under-23 team in 2014, alongside its UCI women’s team.

The new contracts will see 22-year-old Swede Tobias Ludvigsson, 23-year-old Austrian Georg Preidler - whose contracts were due to expire at the end of this year - 24-year-old Dutchman Ramon Sinkeldam and 25-year-old Slovenian Luka Mezgec (pictured) remain with the team through 2015, while 24-year-old Frenchman Thomas Damuseau - whose contract was also up at the end of 2013 - will be with the team at least until the end of next year.

“We are very happy with the extension of the contracts of these talented riders,” said general manager Iwan Spekenbrink, “as these riders represent what our organisation is all about: developing young riders into world-class specialists. It is crucial to enter into a long-term commitment in order to see them progress further and contribute to the team’s success.”

Each of the five riders has shown significant improvement in 2013, in different specialisations, taking several podium places between them as well as contributing to the success of the team’s two German sprinters Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb.

“Tobias has made some big steps in his development as a GC rider and showed this with strong results in races like the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe and Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen this year,” said coach Rudi Kemna.

“Ramon has also had his best season as a pro this year; he stood out in Paris-Roubaix, but he also came in third in the GC of the 4 Jours de Dunkerque and sprinted to second place in the Ronde Van Zeeland Seaports.

“Both Georg and Luka made an impact in their first Grand Tours, with Luka sprinting to multiple third places in the Giro d’Italia and Georg being in the breaks in tough stages in La Vuelta a España – as he was at the world championships as well.

“Thomas has shown his good all-round abilities during the entire season and won the polka dot jersey in Critérium du Dauphiné.

“This next season will be important in helping these riders grow further and take the next step to the top level of the sport. The guidance of our experts and coaches will be critical in this. Ramon and Luka will be focusing on developing their sprints and classic skills, and Tobias on his all-round abilities in order to progress as a GC rider. Georg and Thomas will be focused on improving their performance in hilly races.

“I am happy that we can work with these riders on a long-term basis, as it is important to have the time to develop their specialities. This year we saw the breakthrough of Warren Barguil [who won two stages of the Vuelta a España - ed], and next year we will hopefully see the same with these diamonds in the rough.”


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