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"The team has had a good preparation leading up to the classics and guys like Degenkolb and Devenyns have shown themselves," Visbeek says

Photo: A.S.O.

ALBERT TIMMER

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BERT DE BACKER

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CRITÉRIUM INTERNATIONAL

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DRIEDAAGSE DE PANNE

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DRIES DEVENYNS

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E3 HARELBEKE

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GENT-WEVELGEM

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GEORG PREIDLER

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JOHANNES FRÖHLINGER

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JOHN DEGENKOLB

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JONAS AHLSTRAND

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KOEN DE KORT

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LOH SEA KEONG

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LUKA MEZGEC

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MARCEL KITTEL

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NIKIAS ARNDT

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RAMON SINKELDAM

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REINARDT JANSE VAN RENSBURG

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ROY CURVERS

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TEAM SUNWEB

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THIERRY HUPOND

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THOMAS DAMUSEAU

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THOMAS PETERSON

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TOBIAS LUDVIGSSON

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TOM DUMOULIN

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TOM STAMSNIJDER

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TOM VEELERS

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VOLTA A CATALUNYA

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WARREN BARGUIL

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24.03.2014 @ 13:56 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Team Giant-Shimano go into a busy week of racing where they will be active in three different countries. Luka Mezgec and Warren Barguil lead the team in the Volta a Catalunya, John Degenkolb and Dries Devenyns chase success in the Belgian classics, and Tom Dumoulin targets the GC in the Criterium Internation while Marcel Kittel and Tobias Ludvigsson will be protagonists in next week's 3 Days of De Panne.

 

Team Giant-Shimano line up in Spain this week for the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, starting today.


The week long WorldTour stage race will see Warren Barguil return to racing along with Luka Mezgec who recently notched up his first win of the season in Belgium.


Over the seven road stages there are opportunities for the sprinters, climbers and attacking opportunists and as a result Team Giant-Shimano head to Spain with eight riders to cover most possibilities.

"We will look to go for a good GC positioning with Barguil and also for stage results, for most of which we will focus on Mezgec.

"It is quite a young line-up and it will be a good opportunity for some of them to race a WorldTour stage race, with the guidance of road captain, Johannes Fröhlinger."

 

The Spring Classics got underway in earnest yesterday with Milan-Sanremo and the one-day races continue with E3 Harelbeke this Friday.


The Team Giant-Shimano classics squad will be looking to test thier legs again in this tough one-day race which features no less than 17 bergs along its 211km route.

Dries Devenyns showed in Paris - Nice that he is coming into some good form for the coming races and he will be racing alongside John Degenkolb and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg amongst others.

Coach, Aike Visbeek said: "The team has had a good preparation leading up to the classics and guys like Degenkolb and Devenyns have shown themselves.

"But the team has shown as well that they are at a high level as a whole too which is vital as teamwork is very important in these tough races.

"Our goal here will be to aim for the podium and we have several guys who can do something here."

 

The racing comes thick and fast this week with the WorldTour team racing in Spain, Belgium and France at the two-day Critérium International.


Critérium International will be the first time that Team Giant-Shimano return to Corsica since their successful start to last year's Tour de France. The race features two stages on Saturday, a road stage in the morning followed by an individual time trial in the afternoon.

This is then followed by a second road stage on Sunday that finishes with a tough finish atop the Col de l'Ospedale.

Daan Olivier returns to action here in France after a period of time off after suffering a broken collarbone in February. He is joined by Tom Dumoulin who will be looking to make his mark on the 7km time trial on day one.

"We have Dumoulin here as our protected rider for the overall and with the time trial I think he is capable of a nice result," said coach Christian Guiberteau.

"Olivier returns to racing at Critérium International and he is really motivated to get racing again. It will be a nice test for him to see where he is at after a bit of time off the bike."

 

The same Team Giant-Shimano line-up that race E3 on Friday will head to Gent - Wevelgem on Sunday, with the exception of Nikias Arndt coming in to replace Bert De Backer.


The race features 10 bergs along the 238km route from Deinze to Wevelgem, with two ascensions of the well known Kemmelberg. But the last of the 'Hellingen' comes with still over 30km to race.

Team Giant-Shimano coach, Aike Visbeek said: "The line-up doesn't change much between these races now as we stick to a core of riders.

"The team has a mix of experience with riders like Dries Devenyns and road captain Roy Curvers together with young talented riders who are quickly progressing and challenging in these races.

"We will once again be aiming for a podium spot in this race and we have riders to cover several possibilities. Nikias Arndt has shown his speed already this season with placings in Spain and John Degenkolb already has a handful of wins to his name so the guys are confident and will look to work well together for the best possible outcome."

 

The Three Days of De Panne gets underway at the start of April in the run up to the Tour of Flanders.


This three-day mid-week stage race heavily favours the those strong against the clock with its closing individual time trial often proving to be the deciding factor for the overall classification.

The three stages prior to this are generally sprinters stages however the wind and other weather conditions, together with typical twisty, technical Belgian roads can all play their part.

Tobias Ludvigsson will head to the race with an eye on the overall with a focus on the time trial, while Marcel Kittel will have the support of lead-out man, Tom Veelers  and others for the sprints.

"We have two main goals for this this race, a good overall position with Ludvigsson and then the sprints with Kittel," said coach Rudi Kemna.

"It is a technical race and we will have to race from the front to stay in control and out of trouble. It will also be a good race for Sea Keong Loh to test himself in a classics-type race."

 

Volta a Catalunya:

Warren Barguil (FRA)
Thomas Damuseau (FRA)
Johannes Fröhlinger (GER)
Chad Haga (USA)
Cheng Ji (CHN)
Luka Mezgec (SLO)
Tom Peterson (USA)
Georg Preidler (AUT)

 

E3 Harelbeke:

Bert De Backer (BEL)
Roy Curvers (NED)
John Degenkolb (GER)
Dries Devenyns (BEL)
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA)
Koen De Kort (NED)
Ramon Sinkeldam (NED) 
Albert Timmer (NED)

 

Criterium International:

Jonas Ahlstrand (SWE)
Lawson Craddock (USA)
Tom Dumoulin (NED)
Thierry Hupond (FRA)
Sea Keong Loh (MAL)
Daan Olivier (NED)
Tom Stamsnijder (NED)

 

Gent-Wevelgem:

Nikias Arndt (GER)
Roy Curvers (NED)
John Degenkolb (GER)
Dries Devenyns (BEL)
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA)
Koen De Kort (NED)
Ramon Sinkeldam (NED) 
Albert Timmer (NED)

 

3 Days of De Panne:

Jonas Ahlstrand (SWE)
Bert De Backer (BEL)
Marcel Kittel (GER)
Sea Keong Loh (MAL)
Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE)
Tom Stamsnijder (NED)
Albert Timmer (NED)
Tom Veelers (NED)

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