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“We have a very strong team but really for me Algarve is my first race of the season."

Photo: Sirotti

ANDRÉ FERNANDO MARTINS CARDOSO

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CANNONDALE-DRAPAC PRO CYCLING TEAM

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DYLAN VAN BAARLE

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KRISTJAN KOREN

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MORENO MOSER

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RAMUNAS NAVARDAUSKAS

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RIGOBERTO URAN

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SEBASTIAN LANGEVELD

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VOLTA AO ALGARVE

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WOUTER WIPPERT

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16.02.2016 @ 13:22 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Volta ao Algarve, beginning this Wednesday in Portugal, signals the season start for Rigoberto Uran, who was a key signing for Cannondale Pro Cycling Team ahead of the 2016 season. 

 

The Volta ao Algarve begins this Wednesday in Portugal and signals the first race of the season for Rigoberto Uran — and the first in argyle for the Colombian all-rounder.

 
“I really want to compete again,” Uran said a few days prior to the race.
 
“We have a very strong team but really for me Algarve is my first race of the season,” he added, noting his build toward the Giro d’Italia.
 
“From what I’ve seen of him — since he started working with us and over the last years, he’s not somebody who’s going to come in half-cocked. He’s going to come and race and he’ll be at the front,” Cannondale Pro Cycling Team director Charly Wegelius said. “And that comes from him. That’s just the way he is. There’s no great pressure from us or great expectations. That’s just how he rolls.”
 
Algarve marks another debut for the team - that of sport director Juan Manuel Garate. With stage wins at each grand tour to his name — including up Mt. Ventoux at the Tour de France — and a win at San Sebastian, Garate brings a depth of knowledge to the team. He’s finished in the top 10 at the Giro d’Italia on two occasions. 
 
Cannondale brings a deep squad to the season’s first true gauge of those with early season ambitions. Joining Uran will be Andre Cardoso, Kristijan Koren, Sebastian Langeveld, Moreno Moser, Ramunas Navardauskas, Dylan Van Baarle and Wouter Wippert. 

Wegelius taps Navardauskas, a Tour de France stage winner and bronze-medalist at the 2015 UCI Road World Championships, as one to watch.
 
“If he can freelance, he can win very hard sprints, or he could clip off and go his own way,” Wegelius said.
 
Wippert gives the team a second sprint card.
 
Over the course of five stages, Algarve offers a test for those with stage-race ambitions and riders looking for one-day success in the coming months. There’s a mid-race individual time trial of 18 kilometers and two uphill finishes (stages two, five).  
 
“It’s sort of the first race of the season that is challenging enough on all fronts that it can give you a real indication of who’s going to be a force to be reckoned with early in the season,” Cannondale Pro Cycling Team CEO Jonathan Vaughters said. “People who have performed at Algarve are the people who’ve performed well at Paris-Nice, Tirreno and even through to the spring classics.”
 
Cannondale Pro Cycling Team Roster, 2016 Volta ao Algarve 
Andre Cardoso
Kristijan Koren
Sebastian Langeveld
Moreno Moser
Ramunas Navardauskas
Rigoberto Uran
Dylan Van Baarle
Wouter Wippert

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