Columbia-HTC looks forward to the 2010 Vuelta
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Columbia-HTC looks forward to the 2010 Vuelta

by Conal Andrews at 9:26 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
 

Columbia-HTC's sports director Allan Peiper said in a press release from the team that he thinks the Vuelta a Espana route for 2010 will offer plenty of chances for Columbia-HTC's riders to build on their success in the 2009 race. Columbia-HTC won five stages in the 2009 Vuelta, and the team's sprinter André Greipel took home the points competition overall victory. Columbia-HTC was one of only three teams that was able to secure stage victories in all three major Tours last season.

"The Tour of Spain 2010 route is very demanding and the racing will be fast-moving and exciting all the way through, which is how we like it," Peiper pointed out. "In the past we've always done well in those kinds of races. In next year's Vuelta, the mountain stages aren't really concentrated in one or two big blocks like in the Tour de France. So with so much different terrain on offer, we can expect opportunities to come up constantly."

Pieper agreed with other reports coming out of Spain that the race is a good one for the climbers, believing that the race's two time trials won't have a significant impact on the outcome for the overall contenders.

"Overall, the route favors the real climbers, because the opening 16-kilometre team time trial will be won and lost by seconds, not minutes, and there's only one individual time trial afterwards. However, you start to suffer on one of those big climbs in the Pyrenees and you can lose a minute a kilometre. The route is deliberately designed so you can lose or win the Vuelta right up to the second to last day, as has happened in the past. It's going to be a real challenge."

With the team's star sprinter Mark Cavendish already announcing that his focus will be on the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France, Greipel would be the team's obvious choice for the bunch sprints in the Spanish Grand Tour.

"For Columbia-HTC, this is going to be an interesting race, one in which our GC contenders and some of our other riders will have a real chance to shine."

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