Twenty-five year old trio Lund, Mortensen and Stamsnijder join Schleck brothers
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Friday, November 05, 2010

Twenty-five year old trio Lund, Mortensen and Stamsnijder join Schleck brothers

by Conal Andrews at 4:03 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Three new signings add long-term potential to Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project

Anders LundAs speculation continues about the possible signing of Fabian Cancellara to the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project, the team today announced the latest three signings; none of those were the Swiss time trial specialist but, rather, were three promising 25 year olds that it hopes will form part of the long-term future of the squad.

Danish duo Anders Lund and Martin Mortensen plus the Dutch rider Tom Stamsnijder are the newest confirmed additions to the would-be ProTour team, which has targeted winning the Tour de France as its clear goal for 2011.

Of those, Lund has already spent time working closely with the Schleck brothers, having been part of the Saxo Bank team for the past four seasons. His top personal results this year were third in the Danish road race championships, sixth in the Tour of Slovenia and eighth in the Japan Cup, but it was his performances in the services of others which really showed his strength.

“Anders Lund is a great rider who just keeps improving,” said team manager Kim Andersen. “We debated a long time about where his strengths lay, but judging by his impressive climbing in the Giro and the stupendous support he gave to Frank Schleck in the Spanish mountains during the 2010 Vuelta, I honestly think Anders will become a great Grand Tour climber.”

The rider described himself as ‘extremely excited’ to be joining the team, and while he didn’t speculate on how well he could perform in the three-week races, he said that he was looking forward to making further progression.

“During this past year I really felt a big improvement on the bike, and I am sure that the new team is the perfect place for me to become even better,” Lund explained. “I am looking forward to working with some very competent people and I hope that I will be an important part of many great wins.”

Competing in the Tour de France is of course a target, but he’s taking nothing for granted. “Every bike rider wants to do the Tour and to be strong there, myself included,” he said. “But it is going to be an extremely strong team next year and therefore really difficult to be selected for the Tour squad. What I hope is to continue my development and then we can see where I stand in July next year.”


New team-mates for former Saxo Bank riders:

Lund is a familiar face to the Schlecks, Jakob Fuglsand, Jens Voigt, Stuart O’Grady, Dominic Klemme and whoever else may or may not be moving from Team Saxo Bank – in other words, Cancellara – but Mortensen and Stamsnijder are less well known. It’s clear they have potential, but they have yet to work closely with those who were previously with the Danish team.

Andersen doesn’t envisage any problems in them settling in. He initially sees them more as riders for big one day races rather than the Grand Tours. “Martin is a good strong rider in the Classics and has made a lot of progress this past season,” he explained. “He is only 25 and is already a good rider with a lot of room for growth.”

He also sees a similar career path for Stamsnijder. “Tom loves the Classics and I think he can develop into a great Classics rider. He is only 25 and is most definitely on his way up, but he is also a team player so his ambitions will certainly coincide with the goals of the team.”

Luxembourg-resident Mortensen is looking forward to the chance of working with Andersen, who he is convinced will help him become a better rider. He also emphasises a Classics role, but doesn’t rule out a future in three week races. “I like to pull hard all day at the front of the peloton and in so doing open up the chance for one of the leaders to win,” Mortensen said. “I think races like the Spring Classics are where I can get some personal results, but riding for a winning team in a Grand Tour is also a big goal for me; with the general classification riders that we have, I feel that it is something we will be able to accomplish.”

As for Stamsnijder, he too emphasises Andersen’s presence as a deciding factor. “I’m super excited to be working with Kim Andersen and the rest of the management since I think they can help me become a better racer,” Stamsnijder said. “I want to grow as a professional and improve things like my time trialling, but most importantly I want to prove my worth to the team by helping out throughout the season.”

The team has yet to announce its full roster, as well as the identity of its title sponsor. More details are therefore expected to follow in the near future. A certain multiple world time trial champion may or may not be added then but, either way, the squad is already impressively strong heading towards the 2011 season.

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