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"On the other side we have Julián and we know how he can do in the uphill finishes - especially in the second week, but on the sixth day is one that’s already good for him."

Photo: Sirotti

BOB JUNGELS

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FABIAN CANCELLARA

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FABIO FELLINE

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HAIMAR ZUBELDIA

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JESSE SERGENT

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JULIAN DAVID ARREDONDO

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KRISTOF VANDEWALLE

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TREK - SEGAFREDO

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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YAROSLAV POPOVYCH

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19.08.2014 @ 18:18 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Even though Haimar Zubeldia will keep an eye on the GC, Trek will line up at the Vuelta a Espana with a focus on stage wins. Julian Arredondo is ready to strike in the mountains while the Bob Jungels, Fabian Cancellara, Kristof Vandewalle and Jesse Sergent will provide the team with firepower for the team and individual time trials.

 

Trek Factory Racing has named its nine riders who will compete at the 2014 Vuelta a España, which is scheduled to take place between 23 August and 14 September:

 

Fabian Cancellara, Julián Arredondo, Haimar Zubeldia, Kristof Vandewalle, Bob Jungels, Jasper Stuyven, Yaroslav Popovych, Jesse Sergent and Fabio Felline.

 

The team has opted to showcase a youth-focused roster backed with a few hardened veterans. Bob Jungels and Jasper Stuyven will start their first ever Grand Tour, while Fabian Cancellara, Haimar Zubeldia and Yaroslav Popovych together provide years of experience the younger members will draw upon.

 

Haimar Zubeldia, who had a stellar Tour de France finishing eighth overall, will still slot into the role as the team’s GC leader, but without any pressure weighing on his shoulders: the emphasis for third and final Grand Tour will be on stage wins, viewing the three-week race as a new opportunity each day.

 

“When you do the Tour [de France] full gas everyday like Haimar did, you need to be careful about the last week of the Vuelta," sports director Jose Larrazabal said. "But Haimar has experience, he has the ability and condition, his training between the Tour and Vuelta has gone very well, and he will try. I am really confident he can do a really good race, but knowing what he did at the Tour we are not putting any pressure on him. He can take it day by day.

 

"For Bob, it is his second year at WorldTour level, and although it will be a good learning and growing experience for the future, we already can expect good results from him. For Jasper it is his first year on the WorldTour, so for him it will be about learning and gaining experience. But we also know his talent, and he can make a surprise, but we don’t put any pressure on him.”

 

What the Vuelta a España lacks in distance (only one stage is over 200 kilometers) it makes up with plenty of climbing: it will feature eight mountain stages, five hill stages, five flat stages, and three time trials (one team and two individual).

 

Although the number of mountain summit finishes has been listed as eight (reduced from 12 in 2013) three additional stages will have uphill finishes. These uphill finishes, as well as the two individual time trials, are noteworthy for Trek Factory Racing who is targeting stage victories over a high placing in the overall classification.

 

“This time in the Vuelta the main goal will be stage wins," Larrazabal said. "We will race a three-week race as single day races. On one hand we have a really strong team for the TTT with Fabian, Jesse, Kristof and Bob, and we hope to be fighting for the win. These guys can also fight to be in breaks and also target the two individual time trials.

 

"On the other side we have Julián and we know how he can do in the uphill finishes - especially in the second week, but on the sixth day is one that’s already good for him. I have checked out all the uphill finishes, and have videoed them all.  We know that he is not starting the Vuelta in his maximum form, but we also know that even like this he will be strong in the first part, and even be better by the second part.”

 

The team will not have a pure sprinter in Spain but the fast legs of Fabio Felline and Jasper Stuyven are capable of results, albeit from alternate means than mass bunch sprints, explained director Adriano Baffi:

 

“We don’t have a big sprinter for the three or four opportunities that are pure sprint stages, but we brought two young sprinters, Stuyven and Felline, that can handle a sprint after a climb, or on a climb, for these type of parcours," Larrazabal said. "I believe we cannot compete with the sprinters like [Mark] Cavendish, but we can sprint out of a group of 50-60 riders, or from a breakaway.”

 

Breaking a little from tradition the final day in Santiago de Compostela is the first time in 21 years that the race has finished outside Madrid. In place of the usual, mostly ceremonious progression into Spain’s capital city will be a 10-kilometer individual time trial, short enough to be called an epilogue (a word, perhaps, to add to the cycling glossary if such finishes become customary).

 

The time trial will probably be too short to be decisive in determining the final GC, but it will provide one last chance for Trek Factory Racing to go for victory on the Vuelta’s final day.

 

There is no doubt Trek Factory Racing is bringing a talented squad to Spain.

 

“Honestly, I believe we can do better than we did at the Giro [d’Italia]," sports director Adriano Baffi said. "In the Giro everything went well for us, and I believe in Spain we will have the same focus, and the same team spirit, and so why not even better results? We have brought riders here who already have a victory this year, and other’s who are knocking on the door. We must fight every day to find a result in every stage. That is our medium.”

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