Rohregger signs up to Leopard Trek, aiming to ride Giro d’Italia
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rohregger signs up to Leopard Trek, aiming to ride Giro d’Italia

by Conal Andrews at 8:34 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Austrian climber gets lifeline after Pegasus Sports team stops

Thomas RohreggerThe riders from the ill-fated Pegasus Sports team are still finding places with other teams, with the 28 year old Austrian climber Thomas Rohregger being signed up by Leopard Trek and aiming to make his debut in the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya.

He had been left high and dry when the Australian would-be UCI ProTeam collapsed, but now has a chance to ride some of the world’s biggest races in 2011.

“I couldn't be happier about having the opportunity to race with such a strong team,” he stated. “Since there are several of my friends from my days at Milram and Elk House here already, I know that I will enjoy the atmosphere and camaraderie.”

The 28 year old from Innsbruck won the King of the Mountains title at last year’s Santos Tour Down Under and won the Österreich Rundfahrt in 2008. He finished ninth on a stage in last year’s Giro and would like a chance to improve on that showing in Italy.

“Though the details of my program and role on the team are still under discussion, I’m hoping to ride the Giro again”, he explained. “There is a lot of climbing, and two of the stages even run through my home region. I have had good days in the Giro, so I hope to build on those experiences.”

Fortunately he continued to train hard after it became clear that Pegasus would not continue, and so he is understood to be in solid shape heading into the season. Leopard Trek general manager Brian Nygaard is confident he’ll slot in well.

“Thomas comes to us a little late in the signing process and through the misfortune of another team's license application,” he stated. “But we are really glad to have him at any time. I am sure he will add greatly to our team.”

Leopard Trek was set up with many of the riders from last year’s Saxo Bank team. It features the likes of the Schleck brothers Frank and Andy, world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara, promising Danish rider Jakob Fuglsang, as well as veteran warriors Jens Voigt and Stuart O’Grady. Strong riders have also come from other teams, including the all-rounder Linus Gerdemann and the sprinter Daniele Bennati.

The squad is still trying to land its first win of the season. It has been banging on the door this month, with Cancellara taking second behind Lars Boom in the prologue of the Tour of Qatar, and Bennati taking double runner-up slots in both the Tour of Qatar and the Tour of Oman.

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