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“They are so long and super hard. For me personally the climbs are perfect and I like the type of roads we race on. I really enjoy racing in this area.” 

Photo: Sirotti

ALBERTO BETTIOL

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AMSTEL GOLD RACE

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EF EDUCATION - NIPPO

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KRISTJAN KOREN

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NATHAN BROWN

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SIMON CLARKE

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TOM-JELTE SLAGTER

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TOMS SKUJINŠ

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15.04.2016 @ 12:12 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The Cannondale Pro Cycling Team turns its attention from the bumpy northern classics to those of the hilly Ardennes region this weekend, with the first of the three classics on tap in the form of the Amstel Gold Race.
 
Two riders will make debuts for the Cannondale Pro Cycling Team at a classic — Nathan Brown and Toms Skujins. Tom-Jelte Slagter will lead the team through the Ardennes races, terrain the Dutchman favors, and for good reason. Slagter has finished in the top 10 at both Flèche Wallonne (5th in 2014, 9th in 2015) and Liège-Bastogne-Liège (6th in 2014).
 
“The major objective of the year remains the Giro, but in the Ardennes races, our team is more adaptable to the terrain than the cobbled classics,” said Slipstream Sports CEO Jonathan Vaughters.

“We’ve got a number of different options from Tom-Jelte Slagter, who should be the de facto leader, to an up-and-comer like Mike Woods, in for Flèche and Liege.”
 
Slagter finished ninth in this week’s Brabanste Pijl, a clear indication of good form moving toward Amstel Gold and the rest of the Ardennes contests.
 
“They are so long and super hard,” Slagter said of the upcoming races. “For me personally the climbs are perfect and I like the type of roads we race on. I really enjoy racing in this area.”
 
The Ardennes mark a change in the season with one day races that favor those with climbing prowess over raw power.
 
“It’s almost like a season shift within the season” said Cannondale Pro Cycling Team’s DS Charly Wegelius. “This is the first time you see these kinds of climbs come into the one day races. It’s a really exciting week.”
 
Skujins is excited to make his debut.
 
“I'll be up against big boys. I've prepared the best I can and these races are the ones I aspire to do really well in and hopefully to podium in later in my career,” Skujins said. “These are the special one-days that everyone knows about and everyone watches. On the start line everyone is in the same situation. You get one chance, one shot at glory and you better make the best out of it — that's the beauty of one days. They are aggressive, unpredictable and much less scripted then stage racing. It's what I live for.”
 
Cannondale Pro Cycling for Amstel Gold Race
Alberto Bettiol
Nathan Brown
Simon Clarke
Alex Howes
Benjamin King
Kristijan Koren
Toms Skujins
Tom-Jelte Slagter

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