Vuelta a España: Terpstra and Fothen to head Milram squad in farewell Grand Tour
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Vuelta a España: Terpstra and Fothen to head Milram squad in farewell Grand Tour

by Conal Andrews at 5:54 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
 
Aggressive racing by riders likely as new contracts sought

Thomas FothenDutch road race champion Niki Terpstra and former Tour de France white jersey holder Markus Fothen will head what is almost certainly the final Grand Tour squad of the German Milram team, which is facing dissolution at the end of the season.

The two will aim for stage wins in the Vuelta a España, which begins with an evening team time trial in Seville this Saturday. The team will field seven other riders who will have the shared ambition of either helping the duo or, if opportunity presents itself, of snatching a result themselves. The team does not have backer next year and while it seems highly unlikely to find something at this late stage, good performances represent the only remaining hope.

“Our riders have trained specifically for the Vuelta,” said the team manager Gerry van Gerwen, who has yet to admit defeat in his search. “There were training camps on Mallorca before and after the Tour of Poland. The guys used that to get used to the heat. Our goal is a stage win. In addition we want to be at the front in a number of stages. Last year we did that quite well. Our riders are highly motivated and we hope to do well.”

The best performance by the team last year was the stage win by Gerald Ciolek. The former world under 23 champion is not however riding the race this season. Instead, the team will be comprised of Terpsra and Fothen, plus the Germans Markus Eichler, Robert Förster, Dominik Roels, Johannes Fröhlinger, Björn Schröder, Roy Sentjens and Paul Voß.

With many of those riders seeking deals for next year, expect an aggressive performance during the three week, 2,424.9 kilometre race to Madrid.

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