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“I’d love to progress into a stage racer. The next step is to get more results. I will be there to help the team when I can and when they need me, but I hope to start to target the one-week stage races.”

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LAWSON CRADDOCK

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06.01.2016 @ 18:19 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Lawson Craddock is looking to deliver on his promise in stage races after strong showings in the USA in past seasons. The 23 year old American will be riding his first year with Cannondale-Garmin, where he will target stage races.

 

“I had two good years with Giant-Alpecin, and I really enjoyed the team, but there comes a time when you want to take that next step,” Craddock told VeloNews in a telephone interview. “When I looked at what would be the best place to progress, that was Cannondale.”

 

The team is in a transitional period, losing ever-presents Dan Martin and Ryder Hesjedal in the offseason, brining in younger riders like Craddock to plug that stage racing gap. This is something the Texan believes he can do.

 

“I’d love to progress into a stage racer,” Craddock continued. “The next step is to get more results. I will be there to help the team when I can and when they need me, but I hope to start to target the one-week stage races. I want to try to get some results the next few years, and if that’s successful, start to focus on the grand tours. I am 24 [in February], so I’ve got some more time ahead of me.”

 

Craddock told VeloNews that he has had contact with Jonathan Vaughters, the team’s manager, almost every season and he has always been keeping tabs on the youngster.

 

“I’ve talked a lot with Jonathan [Vaughters] over the years. Every contract year there was always something going on, and it never worked out at the time. Cannondale had a program that I was interested in since I was a junior. We got on the phone in the mid-to-late part of the season, and it seemed like it would be a good fit for me, for 2016 and beyond.”

 

While he achieved some great results in his short pro career, it was his last few months at Giant-Alpecin that Craddock thinks were his best as a pro.

 

“I think toward the end of 2015, when I went up to altitude to train with the entire team, I got some good form there and could show it. I was third at a stage at the Tour of Poland [stage 6 behind winner Sergio Henao], and I could carry that into the Vuelta. To be there for Tom [Dumoulin], to be his last man in the mountains and almost winning the thing, all that was very special. Riding strong in the whole Vuelta, and finishing my first grand tour, that was a big step. And then racing in the world championships on home roads as an American in front of American fans, that was great.”

 

Craddock has divulged a little of his calendar for 2016, saying he will begin at the Tour de San Luis and his first WorldTour event will be Paris-Nice.

 

“I will start at the Tour de San Luis and then head to Europe. I will race at Haut Var and the Provence Tour, and then some week-long WorldTour stage races like Paris-Nice and the Vuelta al Pais Vasco (Tour of the Basque Country). I have a pretty good schedule for the first half of the season. California is on the schedule, and it’s always fun to head back to race on home roads. I love racing in America, and Cali was the race that got me on the map. I’d love to have some success there.”

 

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