Voigt beginning retirement tour with Trek Factory Racing at Santos Tour Down Under
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Sunday, December 08, 2013

Voigt beginning retirement tour with Trek Factory Racing at Santos Tour Down Under

by Kyle Moore at 4:06 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour Down Under
 
Van Poppel brothers, Frank Schleck in roster of team veterans and new faces

Jens VoigtIt seems almost unthinkable, but at the Santos Tour Down Under, Jens Voigt will begin what he says will likely be his last season. The affable German will be making his 11th start at the Australian stage race, leading a team that will be able to compete in both the sprint finishes and possibly for the overall title.

Competing for the first time as Trek Factory Racing, the former Radioshack-Leopard team will trot out a roster with three familiar Radioshack names as well as four new faces in the team.

Able to compete for a top position in the overall will be Frank Schleck, who is making his debut in the Santos Tour Down Under, as well as Laurent Didier.

Riding their first races with the organization will be new signees Boy Van Poppel and Danny Van Poppel, the brothers over from Vacansoleil-DCM. Danny begins his second full season in the professional ranks. He was brought along slowly but steadily in his Vacansoleil year, taking third place in his first ever Tour de France stage before being withdrawn by his team after 15 stages. He took fifth in the RideLondon Classic later in the season.

Fabio Felline will start his fourth pro season after coming over from Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela. And Trek’s lone Australian in his home race will be neo-pro Calvin Watson, who will have turned 21 years old by the time the flag drops in Adelaide.

But as they go for stage wins, and a third consecutive team classification prize, most of the Trek Factory Racing focus will be on Voigt.

The 42-year-old reflected on beginning his 17th season in Australia, where it has begun many times before.

“The Tour Down Under has almost become like a ritual for me,” Voigt acknowledged. “Adelaide was the starting point of every season in the recent past. As it looks like 2014 will be my last season, it’s going to be extra special.”

Some may not choose to believe Voigt is going to retire until he is no longer racing a bike in the peloton. But for now, the Aussie public will want to enjoy the racing in January, as Voigt indicated it is likely to be it for him.

“I'll start my ‘farewell tour’ at the TDU. I'm really looking forward to racing there again and meeting with the fans in Australia, who are all very enthusiastic about cycling. I feel honoured that I am again invited to the Legends’ Night Dinner, which is always a highlight of my stay in Australia and where I always have great people at my table.”

“With Jens’ wealth of experience and reputation for attacking and Frank’s climbing abilities, the crowds can expect some fantastic racing action,” said Santos Tour Down Under director Mike Turtur.

“After a decade of racing here in Adelaide, Jens is an icon of the Santos Tour Down Under and is always a favourite with cycling fans. His team won the [team classification] in 2012 and 2013 and they will be looking to defend their title next year.”

Trek Factory Racing for the Santos Tour Down Under:
Laurent Didier, Fabio Felline, Frank Schleck, Boy Van Poppel, Danny Van Poppel, Jens Voigt, Calvin Watson

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