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"I decided to do more stage races and the Ardennes for 2014. They suit me better. I feel more comfortable in these races. These are better races for me.”

Photo: Sirotti






26.04.2014 @ 15:45 Posted by Joseph Doherty

For the last few seasons, Trek Factory Racing and their previous incarnations had been all about the Schleck brothers in the Ardennes Classics. But with Andy Schleck not looking anywhere near his old self and Franck is only just seeming to be coming into a vein of form although whether he can go well is still unknown.


This is paving the way for other riders on the team to get the chance to shine in the Ardennes such as Julian Arredondo and new Luxembourg star Bob Jungels.


 “I can learn a lot from the Schleck brothers,” 21-year-old Jungels told VeloNews. “They know the Ardennes classics intimately. They’ve raced here many years and won, as well.”


He has won the U23 World TT Championships and the U23 Paris-Roubaix and is one of the peloton’s best young talents along with Peter Sagan and Michal Kwiatkowski. Despite riding the cobbles last year, he has decided to focus solely on the Ardennes in 2014.


“Yeah, but I learned last year that I go better on climbs. I go well in stage races, as well,” said Jungels. “I decided to do more stage races and the Ardennes for 2014. They suit me better. I feel more comfortable in these races. These are better races for me.”


Since the beginning of last year, he has had a remarkable rise in the peloton as he won 4 races in his debut season: GP Nobili Rubinetterie, a stage in the Tour of Luxembourg and the Luxembourg time trial and road race titles. In 2014, he has already finished the opening two Ardennes Classics and been second on a Paris-Nice stage.


“I’m gaining experience this year and I’m racing mostly WorldTour events. I had some good results; a win would be nice but in the end, it’s better just to progress,” Jungels said. “Luca Guercilena [team general manager] and the sports directors told me that was the main goal, getting experience, but keeping the winning spirit by trying to go for stage wins.”


As a result of Franck and Andy’s relatively poor form, it may be left to Jungles to not only carry the baton for Trek in Liege-Bastogne-Liege, but to do so for Luxembourg in the professional peloton.


“It’s special to do these races for the first time. Amstel was the first time for me to race such a long and hard classic. It was such a nervous race, even if team BMC controlled it. In the last 30 kilometers, you are just tired and you didn’t know really why because you hadn’t done anything special,” Jungels said. “The directors, my teammates tell me that I need to do them a few times before I get a result. You have to know the roads. After that distance, after six hours, everyone is just tired. It’s a completely new experience for me.”


There is also a maiden Grand Tour in the pipeline and although he didn’t reveal which one he would do, there is every chance Jungels may be in Yorkshire for the Tour’s start in order to save Trek’s skin if the Schleck brothers fail to perform.




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