Boonen, Cavendish to get 2014 underway in Tour de San Luis
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Monday, December 30, 2013

Boonen, Cavendish to get 2014 underway in Tour de San Luis

by VeloNation Press at 1:02 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Belgian Classic specialist hoping for return to form after difficult 2013 season

Tom BoonenThe Omega Pharma Quick Step team has selected three of its biggest names to compete in the season-opening Tour de San Luis in Argentina, with former world champions Tom Boonen and Mark Cavendish plus the sprinter Alessandro Petacchi part of the squad.

Both Cavendish and Boonen have won stages in the past; the latter was forced to miss the race last year due to injury, and had a very frustrating season due to several problems. He is aiming for a return to the form which saw him win Paris-Roubaix, the Tour of Flanders, Gent-Wevelgem, the E3 Harelbeke, Paris-Brussels, the Tour of Qatar and the World Ports Classic in 2012.

Cavendish is also hoping to step things up, having been deposed as the fastest sprinter in the Tour de France last July.

“This is a perfect race to start the season," said the team’s directeur sportif Davide Bramati, announcing the lineup. “There is only a four hour time difference, so it won't create any particular problems. It will allow us to get to Argentina just a few days before the race, on January 16th.

“The race will include a time trial, three arrivals suited to sprinters and three climbing arrivals, one more than last year.“

The team will be completed by Stijn Vandenbergh, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck and Gianluca Brambilla. Bramati believes it should be a winning combination.

“We can't deny we have a good team at the starting line. Cav, Tom, and Peta together have garnered more than 400 victories in the years of their careers, a truly incredible number that speaks volumes about the potential of the squad,” he said.

“Cav and Tom have also won in this race and they are familiar with its dynamics. In the stage for sprinters we will be called on to take the initiative. During our next training camp [between January 6th and 14th – ed.] we're going to work more specifically with this group so we will be ready to take advantage of any chance that presents itself.”

The 2014 appearance will be the third consecutive participation by the Belgian team. The Tour de San Luis begins on January 20th and runs until January 26th.

Omega Pharma Quick Step team for the Tour de San Luis:

Tom Boonen (Belgium)
Gianluca Brambilla (Italy)
Mark Cavendish (Great Britain)
Alessandro Petacchi (Italy)
Stijn Vandenbergh (Belgium)
Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Belgium)


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