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"Actually I think I had a really good winter," Stybar said. "I could do almost my whole training that was scheduled, except in January due to my tooth implantations."

Photo: Etixx - Quick-Step/Tim De Waele

CARLOS VERONA QUINTANILLA

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DAVID DE LA CRUZ

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DECEUNINCK - QUICK-STEP

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GIANLUCA BRAMBILLA

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JULIAN ALAPHILIPPE

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MARK CAVENDISH

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MARK RENSHAW

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VUELTA A MURCIA

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ZDENEK STYBAR

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12.02.2015 @ 20:37 Posted by Andy Pedersen

Etixx - Quick-Step has announced the selections that will participate in Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia and Clasica de Almeria on February 14th and February 15th.

 

Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia is a 198.1km race which was once a stage race. However, it has become a one-day race with four categorized climbs. Category 3 climb, Alto Fortaleza del Sol, is the finale. There are two Category 1, and two Category 3 climbs in the race.  The two Category 1 climbs include summits at kilometer 142.7 and kilometer 150.8 of the race. The previous winner was Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).

 

Clasica de Almeria, a 183.3km one-day race, appears to be far more sprinter friendly. While there are two Category 3 climbs and one Category 2 climb, they all are completed with more than 60 kilometers to go. The race descends into a flat finish. Mark Renshaw won the 2013 edition of the race.

 

Riders of note in the Etixx - Quick-Step selection include Mark Cavendish, and also Zdenek Stybar. Cavendish already has four victories in 2015, including the overall at Dubai Tour. He will be unable to count on Fabio Sabatini in his leadout, however, as Sabatini is ill with gastroenteritis and unable to participate. Sabatini will be replaced by Carlos Verona, who showed good condition in his previous race. 

 

Stybar is making his 2015 race debut after terrible luck toward the end of his 2014 season, which he was forced to end early after he crashed at a cyclocross race in Hoogerheide. He also crashed in Hoogerheide not much earlier in the season at Eneco Tour on the road. Both crashes resulted in the need for significant recovery time. But the Czech rider worked hard during the off-season to recover and rebuild his condition.

 

"Actually I think I had a really good winter," Stybar said. "I could do almost my whole training that was scheduled, except in January due to my tooth implantations. But this was anticipated and my training was already organized around the surgery for my teeth implants. So I took the time during that period to take it easy and recover from training. I training in Mallorca after that, and at the end of January I did another camp with the team in Calpe. So to be honest, everything is going well. I'm curious to see where I stand with my condition at the moment.”

 

”I didn't race cyclocross, so all my training was on the road. I am anxious to see how my body reacts to this. I am really excited to get back to racing regardless. I crashed at Eneco Tour, and my first cyclocross race back I crashed, so I haven't raced in several months. I've never been on the bench so long in my career. So I am really looking forward to getting back into competitions."

 

Riders for the Vuelta a Murcia and Clasica de Almeria:
Julian Alaphilippe, Gianluca Brambilla, Mark Cavendish, David De La Cruz Melgarejo, Mark Renshaw, Zdenek Stybar  and Carlos Verona .

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