Tour Down Under runner-up Moreno returning at head of strong Movistar team in 2014 edition
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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tour Down Under runner-up Moreno returning at head of strong Movistar team in 2014 edition

by VeloNation Press at 6:35 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour Down Under
 
Spanish rider will aim for final overall victory after second place in 2013

Javi MorenoLast year’s race runner up and mountains classification winner Javier Moreno is heading back to the Santos Tour Down Under determined to aim higher, with the Spaniard one of several strong riders in the Movistar team for the race.

In January Moreno went closest to beating Tom-Jelte Slagter (Blanco Pro Cycling), netting second and third on stages and ending up just seventeen seconds behind the Dutchman.

He will be fired up by that near miss and with his confidence subsequently boosted by his stage win in the Vuelta a Asturias and victory in the Vuelta a la Comunidad de Madrid, the Santos Tour Down Under will be a major target.

The climber will be joined by three time Italian champion Giovanni Visconti, a double Giro d’Italia stage winner this year, who is also capable of posting a very strong performance.

The sprinter José Joaquín Rojas will represent its hopes on the flatter stages, while Jose Ivan Gutierrez, Imanol Erviti Ollo, Juan José Lobato Del Valle and Ruben Plaza Molina will provide backing and also seize any chances which may fall their way.

Santos Tour Down Under race director Mike Turtur believes the team could factor highly in the results. “Spain has traditionally produced very impressive cyclists, and its climate and terrain are good preparation for the challenges of the Santos Tour Down Under,” he said, announcing the lineup.

“In 2014 we can look forward to seeing the peloton tackle climbs such as Menglers Hill in the Barossa and Corkscrew Hill on Adelaide’s fringe. Movistar Team’s lineup includes Giovanni Visconti, who won two Giro d’Italia stages in 2013 and is set for another strong season.”

He said that Rojas’ strength as a sprinter is in being solid on the climbs, with his 79th place overall in this year’s Tour de France showing that he is more rounded than many of the fastmen. That should stand to him on the tougher stages of the race.

“He’s an impressive sprinter who really knows how to turn on the power. It will be great to see him pushing to the finish alongside top riders from around the world.”

The programme of racing begins with the People’s Choice Classic in Adelaide on January 19th. The WorldTour event starts on January 21st with a 135 kilometre race from Nuriootpa to Angaston. Subsequent finishes will take place in Stirling, Campbelltown, Victor Harbor, Willunga Hill and Adelaide.


Santos Tour Down Under 2014:

Movistar team lineup:

Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spain)
Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Spain)
Juan José Lobato Del Valle (Spain)
Giovanni Visconti (Italy)
Javier Moreno (Spain)
Ruben Plaza Molina (Spain)
Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spain)


Stage details:

Sunday 19 January: People’s Choice Classic, Adelaide (50km)
Monday 20 January: Rest day
Tuesday 21 January: Stage 1, Nuriootpa to Angaston (135km)
Wednesday 22 January: BikeExchange.com.au Stage 2, Prospect to Stirling (150km)
Thursday 23 January: Stage 3, Norwood to Campbelltown (145km)
Friday 24 January: Bupa Stage 4, Unley to Victor Harbor (148.5km)
Saturday 25 January: Stage 5, McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill (151.5km)
Sunday 26 January: Stage 6, Adelaide (95km)

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