Racing kicks off in Belgium this week for Team Argos-Shimano with the Grand Prix Wallonie (1.1).
This race, which favours the attackers given its undulating parcours, will see all three of the team’s stagiaires take to the start line alongside Ramon Sinkeldam (NED) who returns from racing at La Vuelta, and a line-up of opportunists.
“The race will be decided mostly on the final 3km uphill on the Citadel of Namen,” said coach Addy Engels. “With Tom Dumoulin we have someone who is suited to this type of finish and Roy Curvers is a man who has proved to have a good form of late.
“We will use an attacking approach as we did last weekend in GP Jef Scherens, giving us plenty of opportunities so we can profit from the form and motivation of our riders at the moment.”
Following Wednesday’s race, a team of nine takes to the Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen (1.1).
This one day race is in its 98th edition now and has been won by the team for the past two years.
“This one is a flat race on circuits, so we go there with a sprint team, but we will be prepared to race on the front foot given that last year we saw a successful breakaway here," said Engels. “If it comes to a sprint, than we have Marcel Kittel, who is getting better but also Nikias Arndt, who is coming out of the Vuelta.”
The day after this, Team Argos-Shimano line-up at the GP Impanis – Van Petegem (1.1) in Belgium.
“Last year this race came down to a sprint, although it is a hilly race,” said Engels.” We will be in the mix with riders like Bert De Backer and Roy, but if it comes to a sprint we have some options with Marcel and Nikias.”
The following day, the team takes on the Grand Prix d’Isbergues – Pas de Calais, in France with a couple of riders returning from the Vuelta along with John Degenkolb leading the team.
“Isbergues is a race where we want a result and it will be a good preparation race for our World Championship riders. In John we have a sprinter with us, but will treat the race with an open approach.”
To finish off the week, both the men’s and women’s teams will plan their assault on the world time trial championships on Sunday in Toscana, Italy.
This race kicks off the week of World Championship racing and will be hotly contested as teams line up to go head-to-head against the clock.
Of the men’s race, coach Adriaan Helmantel said ”We will bring a mix of TT specialists and explosive riders that you need for a team time trial. We have some riders from the Vuelta and Canada, so we have to see a bit how they feel, but if everybody is in in good order we can aim for a top 10 placing.
“This is an important event for the future, as we have a young team that can develop themselves even more in this discipline, and it is something we have worked on at training camps so the result will be interesting.”
Grand Prix Wallonie (18.09.2013):
Bert De Backer, Roy Curvers, Tom Dumoulin, Nikodemus Holler, Yann Huguet, Quentin Jauregui, Michael Olsson, Ramon Sinkeldam and Albert Timmer.
Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen (20.09.2013):
Jonas Ahlstrand, Nikias Arndt, Bert De Backer, Marcel Kittel, Nikodemus Holler, Quentin Jauregui, Michael Olsson, Albert Timmer and Tom Veelers.
GP Impanis (21.09.2013):
Jonas Ahlstrand, Nikias Arndt, Bert De Backer, Roy Curvers, Marcel Kittel, Quentin Jauregui, Albert Timmer and Tom Veelers.
Grand Prix d’Isbergues (22.09.2013):
Jonas Ahlstrand, Roy Curvers, Thomas Damuseau, John Degenkolb, Johannes Frohlinger, Simon Geschke, Thierry Hupond and Tom Stamsnijder.
World Team Time Trial Championships, Men (22.09.2013):
William Clarke, Tom Dumoulin, Patrick Gretsch, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Tobias Ludvigsson and Ramon Sinkeldam.
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