Leopard-Trek announces excellent line-up for Ruta del Sol
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Monday, January 10, 2011

Leopard-Trek announces excellent line-up for Ruta del Sol

by Jered Gruber at 11:50 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Luxembourg's team will head to Andalucia with a squad full of potential winners

The freshly presented Leopard-Trek team announced its roster for February's Vuelta Ciclista a Andalucia-Ruta del Sol (February 20-24), and it's a squad capable of riding for the win.

According to EsCiclismo.es, Andy Schleck, Frank Schleck, Linus Gerdemann, Maxime Monfort, Jens Voigt, Anders Lund, and Stefan Denifl will represent the first year team in the hotly contested early season Spanish stage race.

Just how good is this selection? Looking at the 2010 Ruta del Sol final general classification specifically, Jens Voigt finished 4th, Maxime Monfort 6th, Linus Gerdemann 9th, and Frank Schleck was 13th.

There will be no absence in firepower in the team. The only question will be who will have the hot form so early in the season. If it's a typical early season tough stage race, you can bet that Jens Voigt will be a major factor in the race, and the Ruta del Sol fits the bill perfectly. The likes of Monfort and Gerdemann will likely have a rare race where they can ride for themselves as well, so it will be an opportunity for them to show their wares if they're on form.

Outside of how well Voigt, Gerdemann, and Monfort will be racing, one has to wonder if the Schlecks will show up to race for a result, or just to make up the numbers. 2010 Tour de Suisse winner, Frank Schleck, has a better history of smaller race performances than his younger brother, Andy, who is notorious for only coming good for the big races, so it will be interesting to see what kind of rides they offer up in Andalucia. Even without a solid Schleck presence, the team will be formidable to say the least though.

Michael Rogers took overall honors at last year's Ruta del Sol by 19 seconds over Jurgen van den Broeck.

The five day race, which includes a mountaintop finish and a time trial expects a classy field this year - with the likes of Levi Leipheimer, Haimar Zubeldia, Janez Brajkovic (all Radio Shack), Sammy Sanchez, Romain Sicard (Euskaltel), and Oscar Freire (Rabobank) are also confirmed to ride at this point.


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