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"In Roman, Nicolas, Rafal and Chris we have four potential GC riders, with three of them having top-ten finishes in Grand Tours before and Chris finishing just outside a couple of times. They all feel strong before the race, and this n...

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CHRIS ANKER SØRENSEN

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EVGENI PETROV

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MATTEO TOSATTO

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MICHAEL MØRKØV

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NICKI SØRENSEN

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NICOLAS ROCHE

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OLIVER ZAUGG

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RAFAL MAJKA

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ROMAN KREUZIGER

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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15.08.2013 @ 19:17 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Saxo-Tinkoff has selected a very strong roster for the Vuelta a Espana with four riders all capable of finishing in the top 10. Roman Kreuziger leads the squad on the back of his 5th place at the Tour de France while Rafal Majka, Nicolas Roche and Chris Anker Sørensen provide the team with three other GC options.

 

Saxo-Tinkoff will enter this year's Vuelta a Espana with a clear focus on the GC, having selected a roster loaded with riders who all had high overall finishes in grand tours in the past. Making a top 10 result its main goal, the team is well-suited to this year's extremely mountainous course which contains no less than 11 uphill finishes.

 

Going into the race, the leader will Roman Kreuziger who finished 5th in the Tour de France in what was his best ever grand tour. Having originally started that he would not contest the GC at the Spanish grand tour, the Czech has now changed his mind and targets a high overall result. He is an experienced grand tour rider who also finished in the top 10 in the 2009 and 2010 Tours de France and the 2011 Giro d'Italia but he has never raced the Vuelta with the GC on mind.

 

Rafal Majka offers another GC option. The young Pole got his chance to lead his team at the Giro and he didn't disappoint. Taking a 7th place overall, he proved that he has what it takes to compete with the best in three-weeks races and he most recently showed good condition by finishing 4th in the Tour de Pologne.

 

Nicolas Roche also raced the Tour de France as a key support rider for Alberto Contador and Kreuziger. He will get his own chance at the Vuelta and has a strong history of doing the Tour-Vuelta double. He has finished 7th, 16th and 12th in the three most recent editions of the Spanish grand tour and showed some solid condition when he finished 5th in the Clasica San Sebastian.

 

The team's final GC rider is Chris Anker Sørensen who missed out on Tour selection and now has made the Vuelta his main target. The Dane has started a grand tour as GC leader twice, finishing 12th in the 2011 Vuelta and 14th in last year's Tour. Like Majka, he was one of the key protagonists in the Tour de Pologne, finishing 10th overall.

 

"We are entering this year's Vuelta a Espana with a very strong and versatile team which will give us quite some cards to play throughout the three weeks of racing," sports director Tristan Hoffman says. "Therefore we are also focusing on finishing the race with one of our riders well inside the top-ten, and if things play into our hands maybe even having two of our riders up there. With this group of riders I definitely believe it is possible, even though we know the competition will be fierce."

 

"In Roman, Nicolas, Rafal and Chris we have four potential GC riders, with three of them having top-ten finishes in Grand Tours before and Chris finishing just outside a couple of times. They all feel strong before the race, and this naturally gives us some great possibilities in hand."

 

"Going into the Vuelta I see Roman as the natural leader of the team," he added." He has had a fantastic season so far and still feels motivated and ready, but Rafal, Nicolas and Chris will also have the support of the team, and then we will see how the race develops and adjust accordingly. I expect a great race, and I'm sure we will make a significant impact on the Vuelta."

 

Oliver Zaugg and Evgeni Petrov will provide formidable support in the mountains. The former finished 11th overall in the 2008 Vuelta and won the 2011 Giro di Lombardia but has mostly worked as a domestique in recent years. The latter was regarded as a big grand tour talent earlier in his career and finished 7th in the 2007 Giro. Since then he has settled into a support role and played a crucial part in Majka's strong Giro showing.

 

Veteran Nicki Sørensen - a former stage winner in the Vuelta - Matteo Tosatto - who will race his 28th grand tour - and Danish champion Michael Mørkøv will provide able support in the flat stages. The latter two will even give the team a few options in the bunch sprints.

 

The Vuelta starts on August 24 with a team time trial in Galicia.

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