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Acevedo and Poels set to join forces with Uran in an attempt to strengthen the Belgian squad's possibilities in hillier races

Photo: Vacansoleil-DCM

JANIER ACEVEDO

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02.09.2013 @ 13:19 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Janier Acevedo and Wout Poels will join Omega Pharma-Quick Step at the beginning of the 2014 season. The two climbers are set to strengthen the team's possibilities in the hillier races where the team has so far has less of an impact.

 

Omega Pharma-Quick Step has had a hugely successful season but most of their results have been obtained by their classics specialists and sprinters. In the grand tours and most of the week-long stage races on the WorldTour, the team has failed to have much of an impact.

 

Team manager Patrick Lefevre has decided that he will turn things around and the rider set to fulfill the team's GC ambitions in the grand tours is Colombian Rigoberto Uran who signed a contract with the team earlier this year. Yesterday the team confirmed the signing of two other climbers that are set to support Uran in the mountains.

 

Janier Acevedo has set the North American racing scene on fire this season and will now get his chance in the WorldTour. As part of the Jamis-Hagens Bermans team, he has finished in the top 4 in all three major American stage races, the Tours of California and Utah and the USA Pro Challenge. He even won a mountain stage both in the Tour of California and the USA Pro Challenge while he finished 2nd on the final stage of the Tour of Utah.

 

Acevedo is set to be the key support rider for Uran in the mountains.

 

"Acevedo is a further step in the development of our group of athletes for the grand tours," Lefevere said. "Acevedo will stand with Rigoberto Urán in the races in which Rigoberto will be the leader, and he also has the possibility to play his cards as he did this year."

 

Wout Poels is the team's second signing. The Dutchman has long been regarded as a big stage race talent but his progress has stalled since he had a terrible crash in last year's Tour de France. He still managed to finish 10th in the Tirreno-Adriatico and 9th in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco after his comeback but he failed to make an impact in the Tour de France and has also had a difficult start to the Vuelta. In between those two grand tours, he won the queen stage of the Tour de l'Ain to prove that he gradually finding back to his best form.

 

Poels has been part of the Vacansoleil team during the first part of his career and has had the chance to lead that team in grand tours. However, Lefevre has different plans with his new signing.

 

"Poels will be important to reinforce our team for the Ardennes Classics like Liege, Fleche and Amstel," he said. "He also has the ability to shine in short stage races. We believe in his quality and that he can further grow and develop, finding his possibilities within our team."

 

Igor Anton has also been rumoured to be joining the team. On the other hand, the team will lose Peter Velits who has signed a contract with BMC for the coming season.

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