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“Degenkolb has shown his strength and confidence over the last two races now and we also have Roy Curvers as road captain here bringing a wealth of experience. We can be optimistic after the past few races here in France," Marie...

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ALBERT TIMMER

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BERT DE BACKER

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JOHN DEGENKOLB

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LUKA MEZGEC

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MARCEL KITTEL

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NIKIAS ARNDT

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RAMON SINKELDAM

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REINARDT JANSE VAN RENSBURG

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ROY CURVERS

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SIMON GESCHKE

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TEAM SUNWEB

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TOM DUMOULIN

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TOM STAMSNIJDER

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TOM VEELERS

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TOUR DU HAUT VAR

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VUELTA A ANDALUCIA

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18.02.2014 @ 13:13 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Giant-Shimano will be in search of more success for their two in-form sprinters Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb when they line up in the Ruta del Sol and the Tour du Haut Var later in the week. While Kittel will only have few opportunities in the mountainous Spanish race, Degenkolb will be targeting more success in France on a course that suits him perfectly.

 

Morale and confidence in the Team Giant-Shimano camp are high at the moment thanks to the successful start to this 2014 season. So far the WorldTour team has notched up eight victories, with two ‘trebles’ already from Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb, both of whom will be in action this week.
 
The first race of the week is the Ruta del Sol (2.1) in Spain where the team will be looking to build form and take any opportunities that arise. Tom Dumoulin is one of four riders starting his season here and the opening time trial will be a good test of form after a good training camp in Spain with the team, including some innovative downhill training from descending expert, Oscar Saiz.

Following this there are four road stages, most of which suit the climbers, including a summit finish on stage 2. Stage 3 is much calmer than the others in terms of gradients and this could be an opportunity for the fast men.
 
"Although it looks like a sprinter’s line up, opportunities for Kittel will be very limited, maybe a bunch sprint on stage 3 but we will see," coach Christian Guiberteau said.
 “We will be more looking at how the guys starting their seasons are going, and also to get Dumoulin and Simon Geschke to take their chances with the breakaways.

"There isn't any real pressure on the team here, it's more about the guys starting here to find their feet and about taking opportunities and seeing how we are set after the opening time trial."

 

Starting a few days after the Ruta del Sol is the Tour du Haut Var (2.1) in France. The race profiles are varied and tough, and it will be another good test for the team.

John Degenkolb starts here in France and showed last week that he is coming into some good form and should be competitive once again here.

The first stage should suit the sprinters and the team showed then can control a race like this in Bessèges and Tour Méd. Then the second and final stage is much tougher with some steep gradients to tackle, including the climb of La Côte des Tuilières in the final 20km of the stage.
 

“The parcours here at Haut Var are quite testing and the field is also a strong one," coach Lionel Marie said. "Together with Degenkolb we also have Reinardt Janse van Rensburg who is capable of a good sprint result on the opening stage.
 
“On paper it should come down to a sprint on Saturday and then on Sunday it will probably be a smaller group at the finish given the difficulty of the circuit, so we will make a plan for Sunday after stage 1.
 
“Degenkolb has shown his strength and confidence over the last two races now and we also have Roy Curvers as road captain here bringing a wealth of experience. We can be optimistic after the past few races here in France.”

 

Giant-Shimano for the Ruta del Sol

Marcel Kittel, Tom Dumoulin, Simon Geschke, Tom Veelers, Luka Mezgec, Daan Olivier and Nikias Arndt

 

Giant-Shimano for the Tour du Haut-Var

John Degenkolb, Lawson Craddock, Reinhardt Van Rensburg, Bert De Backer, Albert Timmer, Roy Curvers, Ramon Sinkeldam, and Tom Stamsnijder

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