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“We've seen that Linus is in shape, he'll be very valuable in the final. Christian Mager is an explosive rider, this race suits him well, and he could show himself. Mads Pedersen is racing well, and it's definitely a race...

Photo: © Team Stölting Service Group / Mario Stiehl

CHRISTIAN MAGER

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FABIAN WEGMANN

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FLECHE WALLONNE

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GERALD CIOLEK

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LASSE NORMAN HANSEN

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LINUS GERDEMANN

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MADS PEDERSEN

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MICHAEL REIHS

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STÖLTING SERVICE GROUP

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18.04.2016 @ 22:24 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Wednesday marks the start of a new chapter in the history of Team Stölting Service Group: for the first time the team will line up for a race in the WorldTour, the highest category in cycling.

The Flèche Wallonne has an 80-year tradition with the first edition being held in 1936. Since 1983 the race finishes in Huy since 1983, with the 1300 m Mur de Huy deciding the race – the 9.6% climb means that only the strongest riders can fight for victory.

The 196 km race starts in Marche-en-Famenne, the first 60 km being relatively flat until the hills start south-west of Huy. After the Côte de Bellaire, Côte de Bohissau, and Côte de Solières, the Mur de Huy has to be climbed for the first time with 95 km to go. A 66 km circuit including the Côte d'Ereffe and the aforementioned climbs follows, and the finish line is crossed for a second time with 29 km to go after another ascent of the Mur de Huy. The final consists of a shorter circuit with Côte d'Ereffe (16 km to go), Côte de Cherave (5.5 km to go), and finally the Mur de Huy, with the finish right at the top of the climb.

Team Stölting Service Group lines up with four experienced riders and four young talents. Linus Gerdemann (GER), Michael Reihs (DEN), Gerald Ciolek (GER), and especially Fabian Wegmann (GER) provide this knowledge. Fabian has raced the Flèche Wallonne twelve times before, his best result being a 10th place in 2005. Christian Mager (GER) and Lasse Norman Hansen (DEN) have participated in WorldTour races before, while Thomas Koep (GER) and Mads Pedersen (DEN) will make their debut on this level of racing.

“The Flèche Wallonne is a race where you have to wait for the final ascent of the Mur de Huy,” says Sports Director André Steensen (DEN). “It's best-suited to explosive climbers. Racing in the WorldTour is a big deal for us, and the riders are looking forward to it. I know that Fabian has been focussing on this race for a while and is well-prepared. Other than that we have several riders who have proven they're in shape in the last weeks. We respect the race, but we feel that we're ready for it.”

“We're starting with a good team,” confirms Fabian Wegmann. “We've seen that Linus is in shape, he'll be very valuable in the final. Christian Mager is an explosive rider, this race suits him well, and he could show himself. Mads Pedersen is racing well, and it's definitely a race for me, too – I was close to winning in 2008. It's a very hard race, the climbs are all at the end, and if you attack too early you'll soon be out of energy. We want to ride aggressively and give a good performance.”

Linus Gerdemann who finished 10th overall in the Vuelta a Castilla y León on Sunday is confident too:“The Flèche Wallonne is one of the biggest races on the calendar, so we do have respect,” he says. “Nonetheless I believe that we can race well, and maybe we'll spring a surprise.”

Mads Pedersen is looking forward to his first WorldTour race: “It will be a great experience to line up for a race like this. It will be hard, but also very exciting to race against the best of the world and see where I am in my development.”

 

Line-up
Gerald Ciolek (GER)
Linus Gerdemann (GER)
Thomas Koep (GER)
Christian Mager (GER)
Lasse Norman Hansen (DEN)
Mads Pedersen (DEN)
Michael Reihs (DEN)
Fabian Wegmann (GER)

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