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Vacansoleil-DCM will be looking for stage victories at the 2013 Tour of Beijing, naming an attacking line-up, headlined by Thomas De Gendt and the retiring Juan Antonio Flecha.

Photo: Sirotti

JUAN ANTONIO FLECHA GIANNONI

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TOUR OF BEIJING

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VACANSOLEIL-DCM PRO CYCLING TEAM

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09.10.2013 @ 10:17 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

Spaniard Flecha is a breakaway specialist admired for his aggressive riding and ability to hold off a chasing peloton. He won a stage of the 2003 Tour de France in this very manner and also has a tendency to thrive under the tough conditions, finishing in the top-10 of the Paris-Roubaix on eight occasions. Earlier this week, he announced that the Tour of Beijing will be the final race of his 13-year professional career.

 

De Gendt, third overall in the Giro d’Italia in 2012, has struggled to find the form of last season, where he also claimed a stage in Paris-Nice, but will be keen to put his stamp on what will be the last race for the Vacansoleil-DCM team before dissolving.

 

In sprinter Kenny van Hummel, Vacansoleil-DCM has a fast finisher who should be challenging for stage victories on the flat stages.

 

Pim Ligthart, who finished runner-up in the mountains classification at the Tour of Beijing last year returns, Belgian rider Willem Wauters and Dutch domestiques Barry Markus, Maurits Lammertink and Wouter Mol round out the squad. Twenty-two year-old Markus has impressed this season, with a number of podium finishes in Qatar, the Scheldeprijs, and most-recently at the Arctic Tour of Norway where he finished 10th overall.

 

Vacansoleil-DCM sport director Michel Cornelisse said the team will be targeting the victory on every stage.

“This is the last big race for our team so it is important to leave the bunch the way began - as a team which races aggressively and tries to get results in each stage,” Cornelisse said.

 

“With van Hummel, Ligthart and Markus we have three fast guys to do something in the bunch sprints. Flecha, Mol and De Gendt will aim for the more difficult stages.”

 

Vacansoleil-DCM line-up 2013 Tour of Beijing:

 

Juan Antonio Flecha (ESP, 35)
A breakaway specialist, he is one of the strongest individual riders in world cycling and is able to individually hold off a fast-closing peloton. This style of racing has delivered him victory at the 2003 Tour de France. Highly respected for his leadership, he also favours the tough one-day classics having finishing inside the top-10 of the Paris-Roubaix on eight occasions.

 

Thomas De Gendt (NED, 26)
Grand Tour rider who finished 4th in the 20112 Giro.  A stage winner at Paris-Nice in 2011, who also has strong time trial credentials. Will move to Omega Pharma-Quick Step in 2014.

 

Maurits Lammertink (NED, 23)
Young rider in his second year with the team, he made his Grand Tour debut at the 2013 Giro. Best results in 2013 include 5th on GC at the Ster ZLM Toer GP Jan van Heeswijk  and 8th at the Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt.

 

Pim Ligthart (NED, 25)
The sprinter targeted two races in 2011, the Dutch national championships and the Hel van het Mergelland, and managed to win both. As a result of this the team like his ability to read the tactics and deliver good results. He also finished runner-up in the mountains classification at the Tour of Beijing last year.

 

Barry Markus (NED, 22)
An elite junior track rider he has switched to the road to become a rider suited both to sprints and the breakaway. Is still a neo-pro so is still developing but he has made his debut in 2013 at the Vuelta a España and finished tenth overall at the Arctic Tour of Norway.

 

Wouter Mol (NED, 22)
Normally considered a domestique and admired for his ability to work for the team, Mol produced the breakthrough victory of his career in 2012 by winning the Tour of Qatar overall. Became a fan favourite at the 2012 Tour Down Under, the same year in which he made his debut at the Vuelta a España.

 

Kenny Van Hummel (NED, 31)
A sprinter who is starting to gel with his teammates, providing promising results in 2013. He rode aggressively at the Arctic Tour of Norway, taking a stage victory and finishing runner-up overall. He also has stage victories at the Tour of Belgium, Tour of Turkey and made his debut at the Tour de France.

 

Willem Wauters (BEL, 23)
The 23-year-old Belgian progressed to the pro squad in 2013 and made his WorldTour debut at the Tour Down Under in January. Progressed to makes his Grand Tour debut at the Giro and will play a supporting role in Beijing, but like all young riders he will also get space to go for his own chances.

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