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"For the first two stages we can count on Gianni Meersman, Matteo Trentin and Julian Alaphilippe, while the uphill stages will be a good test for riders like Michal Kwiatkowski, Thomas De Gendt and Rigoberto Uran," DS Steels says

Photo: OPQS / Tim De Waele

CHALLENGE MALLORCA

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DECEUNINCK - QUICK-STEP

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GIANLUCA BRAMBILLA

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GIANNI MEERSMAN

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JULIAN ALAPHILIPPE

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MATTEO TRENTIN

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MICHAL GOLAS

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MICHAL KWIATKOWSKI

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PIETER SERRY

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RIGOBERTO URAN

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SERGE PAUWELS

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THOMAS DE GENDT

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ZDENEK STYBAR

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08.02.2014 @ 15:17 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Omega Pharma-Quick Step have selected their roster for the four one-day races that make up the Challenge Mallorca. They will mostly field their climbers in the Spanish event, with Thomas De Gendt and Rigoberto Uran both set for their debut with the team.

 

Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team has announced the selection that will participate in the Challenge Mallorca, a race that runs from February 9th until February 12th.  It consists of a series of back-to-back one-day races and kicks off with the 116km Trofeo Palma, which leaves the possibility for a sprint with only two Category 4 climbs in the earlier part of the race.

 

Trofeo Ses Salines (183km) is a more undulating race, with four category 4 climbs but often ends in a sprint. Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana, which is 152.9km, will certainly favor the climbers. The race includes two category 2 and category 3 climbs as well as category 1 Col de Puig Major late in the race.

 

Finally, 162km Trofeo Platja de Muro ends with a descent into a flat finish, but there are four category 2 climbs in the middle of the race that will likely cause some chaos in the peloton.

 

The racing comes on the heels of a solid training camp.

 

"We've been here in Mallorca with a group of athletes since January 29th," explains Sport Director Tom Steels. "Here there are perfect roads for training on flats and in the mountains. For the moment the training has been going really well, and the weather has been cooperating. We also took advantage of the presence of some athletes to carry out specific tests with Specialized regarding the position of our athletes on the time trial bikes.

 

Steels is convinced that the team will have riders that can be in the mix in all four races.

 

"As far as the race, it will be a perfect test to verify the work we've been doing to speed up the legs after an important training block," he said. "The first two stages are fairly flat and suited to sprinters, while the last two are more complicated from an altimetry profile.

 

"Here we have a group of athletes that can do well in all four fractions. For the first two stages we can count on Gianni Meersman, Matteo Trentin and Julian Alaphilippe, while the uphill stages will be a good test for riders like Michal Kwiatkowski, Thomas De Gendt and Rigoberto Uran. Rigoberto has just arrived from Columbia and so he will have to find his rhythm. At this race we arrive with 12 riders, as we will have some turnover in the 10 we choose for each race depending on the parcours. Collectively we're a good squad, we can do well."

 

Zdenek Stybar will do his first road race of the season, having recently won the World Cyclo-Cross Championships.

 

Omega Pharma-Quick Step for the Challenge Mallorca:

Gianluca Brambilla, Gianni Meersman, Julian Alaphilippe, Matteo Trentin, Michal Golas, Michal Kwiatkowski, Petr Vakoc, Pieter Serry, Rigoberto Uran, Serge Pauwels, Thomas De Gendt and Zdenek Stybar

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