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“When I took over I just managed what I had. I proved that I was able to manage the riders. This year and the next there will be more of my imprint because the make-up of the team is different," Luca Guercilena said.

Photo: Trek Factory Racing

ANDY SCHLECK

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BAUKE MOLLEMA

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BOB JUNGELS

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FRANK SCHLECK

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GIACOMO NIZZOLO

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JULIAN DAVID ARREDONDO

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KRISTOF VANDEWALLE

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RICCARDO ZOIDL

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TREK - SEGAFREDO

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21.08.2014 @ 09:00 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Trek Factory Racing manager Luca Guercilena continues on reconstructing the core of the American squad which was once built around consequently fading Schleck brothers. After signing Bauke Mollema as major grand tour contender for next season, he sets realistic goals and reveals intentions to invest in development of their youngest stars.

 

In regards to one of the most anticipated transfer announced this month, alongside Peter Sagan’s arrival at Tinkoff-Saxo, Guercilena explained that despite being aware of some limitations of Mollema’s ability to stand against the likes of Nairo Quintana (Movistar), signing a young yet developed and consistent Grand Tour contender was their biggest priority.  

 

“It’s not a secret that we were looking for a GC rider. Bauke has shown in the last few years that he’s able to ride at a high level and on a consistent basis, whether it’s at the Tour, the Vuelta or week long races. He’s not turned 28 yet either so we felt that he has room for improvement too, as he’s entering that age where he should be in his peak. We also wanted a rider who was ready, not someone younger who can be a little bit inconsistent from year to year.”

 

“So we sat down with him and discussed his goals and whether he was interested in moving. He was in a safe environment at Belkin, but made the case that a change of environment could help him develop as a rider.”

 

“We have Zubeldia, Arredondo, Frank Schleck and a good mix of riders who can ride well and support a GC leader in a three-week race. Okay, it’s going to be tough to compete against someone like Quintana for the yellow jersey at the Tour but we believe that we can protect Bauke on the flats and in the mountains.”

 

“The goal is to be competitive at the Tour de France but as usual each season is different.”

 

When it comes to the Schleck brothers, expected to be the core of the American squad in their former incarnation  - squad’s as much as Luxembourgers’, the situation appears to be unclear and Trek Factory Racing manager was slightly reluctant to give direct answers, especially in Andy’s case.

 

“They needed to prove their capacity,”Guercilena told Cyclingnews.

 

“Frank has proved his level and we’re talking to him to find a common solution. For Andy, it’s difficult to say something because he’s still not back and he’s not shown that much or shown the level he’s supposed to be at. That’s the situation.”

 

Asked if there would still be a spot kept open for Andy should he return to health, Guercilena replied. “I don’t have an answer for this. It’s not a no comment it’s just that it’s really difficult to make a realistic view. For sure at the moment he’s not reached the level we wanted. It’s going to be tough for him because as a manager you analyse the rider, the performance and the trend. The general picture of the team is more important than an individual.”

 

“Is there space? That will be discussed by the team but it’s no longer enough to say ‘I’m fit and I’m ready and good’. I think that a pro rider has to prove it with performance and not just with words.”

 

Whille Guercilenia confirmed their ambitions to sign an already formed Grand Tour contender for the coming season, he also pointed out that their rising stars in likes of Julian Arredondo, Riccardo Ziold or Bob Jungels wouldn’t be forgotten and that developing their talents is another key objective for the American squad.

 

“Let’s just say that I expect a lot from the young talent on our team. I hope Arredondo continues to improve. The same goes for Zoidl and Vandewalle, who is solid but I think can do more. We have Fabian as usual and someone like Nizzolo has to be more prominent and consistent.”

 

“When I took over I just managed what I had. I proved that I was able to manage the riders. This year and next year I think there will be more of my imprint on the team because the make-up of the team is different. We know our goals and our limits and I like to remain realistic. When I discussed the team with Trek I made it clear that realism was important because we can’t just live on dreams.” 

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