Sprinter Stauff to Quick Step
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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sprinter Stauff to Quick Step

by Bjorn Haake at 9:14 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Sprinter Andreas Stauff has received his Christmas present from the Quick Step team, which signed the young German up for two years. Stauff will not have much time to acquaint himself to the team in training camps, as he is scheduled to race the Tour Down Under in January.

Stauff had a good season, particularly shining at the Tour de l'Avenir, where he won one stage and the points classification. "After my good Tour de l'Avenir I was hoping for a professional contract. That it immediately was with Quick Step is incredible," Stauff told Radsport News.

It was a difficult way though. "At the end of the season I had send resumes to almost all the teams, but did not receive much feedback." He then went to an agency for help. "Without an agent it is difficult today to get a contract, especially as a neo pro. It is almost impossible if you don't happen to be World Champion or something like that."

Belgian agency Celios Sport & Image was negotiating successfully on behalf of the Kuota-Indeland rider. "I can only advise any young rider to get together with an agent as soon as possible."

His first race will be the Tour Down Under (Jan 19-24), where he is the sprinter for the team. "Boonen and Co do a different preparation for the Classics. On flat stages there usually is a sprint and as the sole sprinter, you can go for it," Stauff said about the chance to not have to work for others.

But the 22-year-old is well aware that he is mainly learning. "In the U23 I was one of the best sprinters, but with the pros this is a different ballgame entirely. Quick Step is also the best Classics team of the world, so it will be difficult for me to start the most important races." He is still looking forward to the season. "In the first year my goal is mainly to get some experience, to grow with the race program and to develop as a rider."

Stauff was a trainee for the professional Continental team Wiesenhof in the fall of 2006, but a contract didn't work out. He rode the amateur program with AKUD Rose (2007), the Continental Milram team (2008), then for FC Rheinland-Pfalz/Saar Mainz (until March 2009) and spent the rest of the 2009 season with Kuota - Indeland.

At the Tour de l'Avenir he won stage seven from Gérardmer to Ornans. That secured him the points classification in the end, with seven points over Yannick Martinez and eight points over Dennis van Winden.

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