Cavendish and Degenkolb chase Vuelta sprint glory for HTC Highroad
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cavendish and Degenkolb chase Vuelta sprint glory for HTC Highroad

by VeloNation Press at 9:52 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
 
Velits, Martin and Sivtsov represent GC hopes

Mark CavendishConfirming a very strong team for what will be the team’s final-ever Grand Tour, the HTC Highroad team has put forward an impressive list of names for the upcoming Vuelta a España.

All going to plan, spring stars Mark Cavendish and John Degenkolb will most likely pick up several stage wins between them. They have both had excellent seasons and will be joined by riders such as Matt Goss and Leigh Howard, who will help the other two in the big bunch gallops and may have opportunities themselves.

Crucially, the team also features riders who could put in a very solid general classification performance. Tony Martin won Paris-Nice and the Volta ao Algarve this year and while his GC aspirations in the Tour de France didn’t work out, he did win the final time trial and has the potential to ride strongly.

Ditto for Kanstantsin Sivtsov, who has ridden well in hilly races before. Martin Velits will also line out, taking the place occupied last year by his brother Peter Velits, who placed an unexpected third overall.

Each of the riders will be motivated by the thoughts of putting in a strong ride in what is the farewell three week assignment for HTC Highroad. Directeur sportif Jens Zemke said that the squad will be fully focussed. “It's not easy for us to think of this as the last Grand Tour for the team, given it's our history,” he explained.

“But all of us, riders and staff are professionals and we have kept the motivation high.”

In terms of specific goals, he has several in mind. “We have a lot of sprinters in our line-up so we'll be going for stage wins over the GC, but if any of our guys wind up with a good position we'll support him,” he said. “We want a good result in the team time trial. It's thirteen and a half kilometres long and the guys are in good form so we're confident to make a good result there.”

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HTC-Highroad for the Vuelta a España: Michael Albasini (Swi) Mark Cavendish (GB) John Degenkolb (Ger) Matthew Goss (Aus) Bert Grabsch (Ger) Leigh Howard (Aus) Tony Martin (Ger) Kanstantsin Sivtsov (Byl) Martin Velits (Slv)

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