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"We have a strong team at this race with some fast riders like Andreas, Kristian and Youcef. We will try to place our fast guys in the first group during the final km’s, we believe if our guys are in the finale we can make the po...

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ANDREAS STAUFF

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GRAND PRIX DENAIN

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IGNATAS KONOVALOVAS

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JACOBUS JOHANNES VENTER

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LINUS GERDEMANN

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YOUCEF REGUIGUI

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17.04.2014 @ 11:21 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

MTN-Qhubeka are ready for their first race in France when they line up for today's GP de Denain. The race usually ends in a bunch sprint and with Kristian Sbaragli, Youcef Reguigui and Andreas Stauff on the roster, the team has a number of cards to play.

 

Today will see Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung start its first french race of the season at the GP de Denain. The French UCI 1.1 categorised event is the first of a series of one day events in France that the french cycling fans like to see as the start of their personal “spring classics” campaign. The homeland riders take these races very seriously and obviously a lot of french pride is at stake, making a race like the GP de Denain a fast and furious affair.

 

The weather in France this time of the year is rather unpredictable but rain, wind and cold temperatures are often expected to batter the riders. The route is comprised of a series of circuit loops around Denain, taking the peloton over as many Côtes (short climbs) as the organisers could find in the 197km race distance. Despite these challenges, a large group has always come to finish together in recent years. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will have a strong classics team at the start today as half of the squad that raced at the Brabantse Pijl yesterday made the trip across the border from Belgium.

 

Linus Gerdemann will captain the team for the day and both Ignatas Konovalovas and Andy Stauff have ridden well the last 3 weeks and will provide the team with a few more options. Kristian Sbaragli has shown this week that he too is on form, finishing 20th yesterday and 10th at the GP Cerami last Thursday. The rest of the team will be made up by Bradley Potgieter, Youcef Reguigui and Jaco Venter. A decision will be taken later today as to whether Martin Wesemann will start or not as he suffers from a bout of flu.

 

"This is a very fast race and the wind can split the bunch, but normally it always finishes in a big group sprint," sports director Manel Lacambra says. "We have a strong team at this race with some fast riders like Andreas, Kristian and Youcef. We will try to place our fast guys in the first group during the final km’s, we believe if our guys are in the finale we can make the podium today."

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