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"It will of course be our aim to take the sprint opportunities with Marcel in the team, but there aren't that many sprints. With Simon Geschke (GER) we have someone with us for the tougher stages," manager Addy Engels says

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JOHANNES FRÖHLINGER

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KOEN DE KORT

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MARCEL KITTEL

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NIKIAS ARNDT

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SIMON GESCHKE

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TEAM SUNWEB

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THIERRY HUPOND

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THOMAS PETERSON

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TOUR DOWN UNDER

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20.12.2013 @ 15:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Marcel Kittel will make his debut in the Tour Down Under when the Australian race kicks off the 2014 WorldTour in January. The German will be supported by a strong lead-out train while Simon Geschke, Johannes Fröhlinger, Tom Peterson and Thierry Hupond will defend the team's colours on the harder stages.

 

Since the Tour Down Under became a ProTour/WorldTour event in 2008, Andre Greipel has been the dominant sprinter in the Australian event, with the German taking no less than 14 stages, 2 overall victories and three wins in the opening criterium during the first 6 years. However, he may face stiffer competition than ever before when the 2014 edition of the race kicks off in January.

 

Marcel Kittel who took over the sprinting throne by winning four stages in the 2013 Tour de France, will do the Australian for the first time in his career as he heads to Australia surrounded by a solid lead-out train. With Nikias Arndt and Koen De Kort at his disposal, he will have a team that is able to go up against the mighty Lotto Belisol squad.

 

The German has enjoyed a remarkable year on the bike, with his first victory of 2013 coming in the opening stage of the Tour of Oman. He shone at the hundredth edition of the Tour de France, claiming the first yellow jersey of the race after prevailing in a tight finish on the island of Corsica.

 

Kittel won a total of four Tour de France stages including edging out rival Mark Cavendish to win the final stage on the Champs Élysées. He placed fourth overall in the green jersey points standings.

 

Santos Tour Down Under race director Mike Turtur said fans could look forward to seeing the 25-year-old power to the finish of city and regional stages.

 

“There’s nothing like seeing the power generated by the fastest men in road cycling and Marcel Kittel is certainly in that group,” Turtur said. “Along with wins at the Tour of Oman and Tour de France Marcel took out three stages at the Tour of Turkey and won the Tour de Picardie.

 

“He’s in great shape and we look forward to seeing him go up against other powerful sprinters in the first UCI WorldTour event of the year.”

 

In the past, the Tour Down Under was known as a sprinters' race. However, times have changed and with an uphill finish on the Willunga Hill, it is now one for the punchy climbers.

 

With Simon Geschke, Johannes Fröhlinger, Thierry Hupond and Tom Peterson, Argos-Shimano will bring riders to Australia that are able to fight for the win in hillier stages as well.

 

"It will of course be our aim to take the sprint opportunities with Marcel in the team, but there aren't that many sprints," sports manager Addy Engels said. "With Simon Geschke (GER) we have someone with us for the tougher stages. Some of the stage profiles are perfect for him and if they come down to a small group sprint he is fast."

 

The Santos Tour Down Under is Australia's premier international cycling race. It will be staged in and around Adelaide, South Australia from 19 to 26 January 2014. On Sunday 19 January the world's cycling elite will contest an exciting 50km circuit race, the People’s Choice Classic, as the curtain raiser for the six-stage Santos Tour Down Under being raced over a total distance of 875km.

 

Argos-Shimano for the Tour Down Under

  • Nikias Arndt (Germany)
  • Johannes Martin Fröhlinger (Germany)
  • Simon Geschke (Germany)
  • Thierry Hupond (France)
  • Marcel Kittel (Germany)
  • Koen de Kort (Netherlands)
  • Thomas Peterson (United States)

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