Vuelta a España: Quick Step chasing stages with youth and experience
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Vuelta a España: Quick Step chasing stages with youth and experience

by Ben Atkins at 12:51 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
Belgian team hopes to match double stage wins in both Giro and Tour

wouter weylandtThe Quick Step team has announced the nine-rider squad that will line up for the start of the Vuelta a España on Saturday. With no recognised overall contender, the Belgian team will be hunting stage wins, just as it did in the first two Grand Tours of the year.

“We're going to try to interpret the Vuelta like we did the Giro d’Italia and the Tour,” said director sportif Wilfried Peeters, “that is, getting into the breaks and trying always to be in the thick of things.”

In May’s Giro d’Italia the team won two stages though Wouter Weylandt, in a sprint, and Jérôme Pineau, in a breakaway; in the Tour de France Sylvain Chavanel won two breakaway stages, taking the yellow jersey both times. Chavanel was also awarded the Prix de la Combativité in the Tour, the most aggressive rider award; Peeters believes that he has a team for a similar performance.

“There are two riders on the team that are trying their first experience in a great race like [Andreas] Stauff and [Nikolas] Maes but we also have several veteran athletes like [Matteo] Tosatto, [Carlos] Barredo and [Kevin] De Weert who've already proven themselves in past Vueltas. Overall it's a balanced formation who'll be able to play their cards right day by day."

The team is without Belgian road and time trial champion Stijn Devolder; the 30-year-old was originally signed up by the team as a stage race contender after his performance in the 2007 Vuelta. His absence from the team, by his own choice, means that the Tour of Belgium winner will not have ridden either of the Grand Tours in 2010.

Quick Step will also be without its big star sprinter Tom Boonen, who is still affected by the knee injury that he sustained in the Tour of California and exacerbated in the tour de Suisse; Weylandt rides in his place in the hope of matching his Giro result.

Quick Step team for the Vuelta a España:
Carlos Barredo, Dario Cataldo, Kevin De Weert, Nikolas Maes, Davide Malacarne, Branislau Samoilau, Andreas Stauff, Matteo Tosatto, Wouter Weylandt.

Director sportifs: Wilfried Peeters & Rik Van Slycke.


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