Kanstantsin Sivtsov leading HTC-Highroad in Volta a Catalunya
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Kanstantsin Sivtsov leading HTC-Highroad in Volta a Catalunya

by Ben Atkins at 8:30 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Volta a Catalunya
Belarusian at head of young team for Spanish stage race

Kanstantsi SivtsovKanstantsin Sivtsov will lead a young HTC-Highroad team to the Volta a Catalunya, which starts in Lloret de Mar on Monday. The seven-day stage race, which is historically dominated by the home riders and was won by Catalan local Joaquim Rodriguez last year, has a very hilly profile as it tackles the smaller mountains in the north eastern Spanish region.

"It's a very mountainous race this year, and with no time trial, the climbs will be what decides the outcome," said HTC-Highroad sports director Allan Peiper. "This is a good chance for Kanstantsin to show us what he can do in a leader's role, although he'll be able to count on strong support in the hills from his team-mates Caleb Fairly, Craig Lewis and Patrick Gretsch.

"Gatis [Smukulis] is riding really well too,” he added, “this is his stage race in preparation for the Classics and we expect him to get in a few moves."

Slovakian Martin Velits will make his return to racing after crashing heavily out of last week’s Paris-Nice, in the hope that he has recovered from his injuries.

"He's dealing well with the pain, he's been doing up to five and half hours on the rollers, so he want to tests his strength in a race scenario," said Peiper.

"There are plenty of opportunities for breakaways, because none of the stages barring the last is really flat, and our riders will take every chance they can to get in on those moves as well."

HTC-Highroad for Volta a Catalunya:
Caleb Fairly, Patrick Gretsch, Craig Lewis, Frantisek Rabon, Kanstantsin Sivtsov, Gatis Smukulis, Maritn Velits


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