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Bos set to lead the team in the sprints while Mollema, Sanchez and Ten Dam will join forces in the mountains

Photo: Cor Vos

BAUKE MOLLEMA

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DAVID TANNER

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GRAEME BROWN

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JUAN MANUEL GARATE

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LAURENS TEN DAM

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LUIS LEÓN SÁNCHEZ

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MARK RENSHAW

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STEF CLEMENT

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TEAM JUMBO-VISMA

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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20.08.2013 @ 14:56 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Belkin bucks the trend of sending a team of climbers to the Vuelta as the team will take a dual approach to the final grand tour of the year. Theo Bos, Mark Renshaw, Graeme Brown and David Tanner will form what is likely to be the strongest sprint team in the race while Bauke Mollema, Laurens Ten Dam and Luis-Leon Sanchez will put the team on the spotlight during the many mountain stages.

 

With no less than 11 uphill finishes, it is no wonder that most teams have preferred to send a team of climbers of the Vuelta a Espana. That leaves the door open to the few sprinters who plan to head to Spain later this week, and that is exactly what Belkin plans to exploit.

 

While many teams have added a single sprinter to their roster, Belkin plans to dominate the few flat stages that are on offer at this year's Spanish grand tour. The hope is to copy the success of Argos-Shimano who benefited from a similar course design last year to take no less than 5 sprint wins with John Degenkolb.

 

Theo Bos is the rider who is set to shine in the sprints and the Dutchman has a reason to be confident. The former track sprinter has already won 6 races during the 2013 season - one of them against Mark Cavendish, Marcel Kittel and Andre Greipel in the Ster ZLM Toer - and now hopes to take his first grand tour win in what will be his third participation in a three-week race.

 

He will join forces with Mark Renshaw who recently won a stage of the Eneco Tour, and the Australian will settle into his role as one of the best lead-out men in the world as he prepares to once again work for Mark Cavendish next season. With Graeme Brown and David Tanner also on hand, the team is likely to control the final kilometres during the sprint stages.

 

There should also be room for the team in the mountains. Laurens Ten Dam finished 8th in the race last year and was also in contention for a top 10 finish at this year's Tour but ultimately faded to 13th. He hopes to contest the GC in the Spanish grand tour and gradually got back his racing legs at last week's Tour des Fjords.

 

Bauke Mollema will also be present on the back on his excellent 6th place finish at the Tour. The young Dutchman has previously indicated that he will mainly use the race to prepare for the world championships while potentially target a stage win along the way.

 

Stage wins will also be the focus for Luis-Leon Sanchez who has a formidable ability to win stages from breakaways. He already has three Tour de France stage wins on his palmares but until now a win in his home race has eluded him. He recently finished 2nd in the Tour d l'Ain - winning a mountainous stage along the way - and is in splendid condition at the moment.

 

Time trial specialist Stef Clement and veteran Juan Manuel Garate will provide their usual reliable support in the mountains. The former may create a surprise in the race, having suddenly emerged as a strong climber with an 11th place finish in the Dauphiné. The stage 11 time trial should also suit him well and he will target a top result on that stage.

 

The Vuelta kicks off on Saturday with a team time trial in Galicia.

 

Belkin for the Vuelta a Espana

Theo Bos, Mark Renshaw, David Tanner, Graeme Brown, Laurens Ten Dam, Bauke Mollema, Juan Manuel Garate, Stef Clement and Luis-Leon Sanchez

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