PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling : Giant-Shimano: Race Preview 1st – 8th April

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Giant-Shimano: Race Preview 1st – 8th April
logogiantshimano VDK-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde (2.HC)
The Three Days of De Panne gets underway at the start of April in the run up to the Tour of Flanders.
This three-day mid-week stage race heavily favours the those strong against the clock with its closing individual time trial often proving to be the deciding factor for the overall classification.

The three stages prior to this are generally suited to the fast men however the wind and other weather conditions, together with typical twisty, technical Belgian roads can all play their part.

Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE) will head to the race with an eye on the overall with a focus on the time trial, while Marcel Kittel (GER) will have the support of lead-out man, Tom Veelers (NED) and others for the sprints.

“We have two main goals for this this race, a good overall position with Ludvigsson and then the sprints with Kittel,” said coach Rudi Kemna (NED).

“It is a technical race and we will have to race from the front to stay in control and out of trouble. It will also be a good race for Sea Keong Loh (MAL) to test himself in a classics-type race.”

RACE
VDK-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde (2.HC)

DATE
01-03/04/2014

WEBSITE
http://www.veloclub-depanne.be/

LINE-UP
Jonas Ahlstrand (SWE)
Bert De Backer (BEL)
Marcel Kittel (GER)
Sea Keong Loh (MAL)
Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE)
Tom Stamsnijder (NED)
Albert Timmer (NED)
Tom Veelers (NED)

COACH
Rudi Kemna (NED).


RACE PREVIEW: Volta Limburg Classic (1.1)
Team Giant-Shimano head to the Volta Limburg Classic this coming weekend with a young line-up looking to go on the attack.
Thomas Damuseau (FRA) and Cheng Ji (CHN) come to the race off the back of a big week of successful racing at the Volta Catalunya, while Jonas Ahlstrand (SWE) and Sea Keong Loh (MAL) come straight from VDK-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde.

Limburg is a 196km race based on an up and down circuit. Last year the race split into several groups, with Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE) finishing 15th and first rider from the team.

“At Limburg we will go out with the goal to attack and see what that brings,” said coach, Rudi Kemna. “We have an opportunistic team of talented young riders here and the race is perfect for going on the front foot.”

RACE
Volta Limburg Classic (1.1)

DATE
05/04/2014

WEBSITE
http://www.voltalimburgclassic.nl/

LINE-UP
Jonas Ahlstrand (SWE)
Lawson Craddock (USA)
Thomas Damuseau (FRA)
Chad Haga (USA)
Thierry Hupond (FRA)
Cheng Ji (CHN)
Sea Keong Loh (MAL)

COACH
Rudi Kemna (NED).


RACE PREVIEW: Ronde Van Vlaanderen (WT)
After Team Giant-Shimano’s success at Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday, the next classic on the horizon is the Tour of Flanders, or Ronde Van Vlaanderen.
The team is unchanged from that which took victory in Gent-Wevelgem and after this win, John Degenkolb (GER) will be one to watch.

Flanders is one of the toughest one-day classics and requires concentration from start to finish as well as strong legs and head as the route takes in 17 energy-sapping bergs as well as six flat cobbled sections over the course of the 259km route.

Last year Degenkolb finished ninth and with the reinforcement of an on-form Dries Devenyns (BEL) both he and the team will be looking to better this result.

Team Giant-Shimano coach, Marc Reef (NED) said: “The way the team have ridden in both E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem gives us a lot of confidence for Sunday and the coming classics.

“However, the Tour of Flanders is a different race altogether, the highest level you get in the Flemish classics. We will focus on a result with John and to have Dries there to support him at the end.

“If we continue to work like we have been recently we will be there challenging at the end.”

RACE
Ronde Van Vlaanderen (WT)

DATE
06/04/2014

WEBSITE
http://www.rondevanvlaanderen.be/en

LINE-UP
Nikias Arndt (GER)
Roy Curvers (NED)
John Degenkolb (GER)
Dries Devenyns (BEL)
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA)
Koen De Kort (NED)
Ramon Sinkeldam (NED)
Albert Timmer (NED)

COACH
Marc Reef (NED)-


RACE PREVIEW: Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco (WT)
The WorldTour stage racing continues next week with the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco starting next Monday.
Following a strong showing in Catalunya, Warren Barguil (FRA) returns to the hills to once again test himself against some of the world’s best climbers as he continues to prove that he can be regarded in the same category.

Road-captian, Johannes Fröhlinger (GER) who rode a consistent race supporting the team in Catalunya will again be guiding a young team here which also includes recent yellow jersey wearer at Critérium International, Tom Dumoulin (NED).

“We will have a good idea of what sort of GC focus we will take after the opening stage which will already shake the overall up a lot,” said coach Addy Engels (NED).

“We have Tom D and Simon Geschke (GER) here too who are also building towards the Ardennes Classics, and they will look to target a stage to test their form.

“And then we have Daan Olivier (NED) in just his second race back after injury so for him we will just see how it goes and let him get his confidence and experience back. In general we will take it day-by-day and take each stage as it comes.”

RACE
Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco (WT)

DATE
07-12/04/2014

WEBSITE
http://vueltapaisvasco.diariovasco.com/index.php

LINE-UP
Warren Barguil (FRA)
Thomas Damuseau (FRA)
Tom Dumoulin (NED)
Johannes Fröhlinger (GER)
Simon Geschke (GER)
Daan Olivier (NED)
Tom Peterson (USA)
Georg Preidler (AUT)

COACH
Addy Engels (NED).


RACE PREVIEW: Circuit Cycliste Sarthe – Pays de la Loire (2.1)
Team Giant-Shimano heads to the four-day Circuit Cycliste Sarthe in France with a young team including three strong time triallists.
The race is often decided on the individual time trial on stage three and with Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE), Chad Haga (USA) and Lawson Craddock (USA) here the team stands a good chance of performing well against the clock on their Giant Trinity Advanced SL bikes.

Ludvigsson finished third overall here last year and will be looking to improve on this after already having taken a time trial win and overall victory in France this season.

“Much like in Critérium International, we have a young team here looking to learn and also to support Tobias for the overall,” said coach Christian Guiberteau (FRA).

“Having finished third here last year he knows what it takes to win it, but with a short time trial the gaps won’t be large and differences may come from other stages too like the tough final stage.”

RACE
Circuit Cycliste Sarthe – Pays de la Loire (2.1)

DATE
08-11/04/2014

WEBSITE
http://circuitcycliste.sarthe.com/

LINE-UP
Jonas Ahlstrand (SWE)
Lawson Craddock (USA)
Chad Haga (USA)
Thierry Hupond (FRA)
Sea Keong Loh (MAL)
Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE)

COACH
Christian Guiberteau (FRA).


RACE PREVIEW: Ronde Van Vlaanderen Women (CDM)
The Team Giant-Shimano women are also in action at the Tour of Flanders on Sunday, the third World Cup race of the season.
Kirsten Wild (NED) has gone close in this race before and she returns together with a strong team around her including Claudia Häsler (GER) who showed well at the last World Cup race on Sunday, and Amy Pieters (NED), winner of Omloop het Nieuwsblad.

Team Giant-Shimano coach, Ruud Verhagen (NED) said: “Flanders is a very difficult World Cup race and anything can happen. If the team are riding strong on the day as a whole we can hopefully play a role in this race.

“With Maaike Polspoel (BEL), Amy and Kirsten we have at least three women who have the experience and strength to reach the finish at the front.”

RACE
Ronde Van Vlaanderen Women (CDM)

DATE
06/04/2014

WEBSITE
http://www.rondevanvlaanderen.be/en/elite-women

LINE-UP
Claudia Häusler (GER)
Floortje Mackaij (NED)
Amy Pieters (NED)
Maaike Polspoel (BEL)
Marijn de Vries (NED)
Kirsten Wild (NED)

COACH
Ruud Verhagen (NED).


RACE PREVIEW: GP Dottignies (1.2)
The day after Flanders, Team Giant-Shimano women’s team will line up at the one-day Grand Prix Dottignies in Belgium.
The 131.3km race starts with a large 59.2km loop followed by five laps of a 14.4km smaller circuit.

Only Marijn de Vries (NED) starts here after having raced in Flanders the day before, and she is joined by Lucy Garner (GBR), who has shown well in March with a second place at Drentse 8, and four others.

Team Giant-Shimano coach, Ruud Verhagen (NED) said: “GP Dottignies is a very open race where anything is possible. Breakaways can make it but there have also been a few bunch sprints over the past few years.

“Given that it is Flanders the day before the race will also depend on who the opponents are and for those that have raced the previous day whether they are still fresh.”

RACE
GP Dottignies (1.2)

DATE
07/04/2014

LINE-UP
Lucy Garner (GBR)
Willeke Knol (NED)
Sara Mustonen (SWE)
Maaike Polspoel (BEL)
Julia Soek (NED)
Kyara Stijns (NED)

COACH
Ruud Verhagen (NED).


RACE PREVIEW: Triptyque des Monts et Chateaux (2.2)
The Team Giant-Shimano Development team are back in stage race action in Belgium this week.
Tom Dumoulin (NED) won the race back in 2011 as a 20-year-old before joining the team and last year Lawson Craddock (USA) took a stage and finished second overall which shows what a big result in a race like this can lead to.

The raceconsists of an opening road stage on day one before two stages, including an individual time trial, on day two and then a concluding road stage on day three.

It will be a good test after the tough Tour de Normandie where the team rode well as a unit and built well on their teamwork and communications despite a hard, testing race.

Team Giant-Shimano coach, Dirk Reuling (NED) said: “This is an important race for us and with Fredrik Ludvigsson (SWE) and Kristian Haugaard (DEN) we can look to go for a good result on GC.

“The first stage will be important for the overall and we will look to support these two and make sure they don’t lose any time here. The next day is the TT where hopefully both the guys can do a good job and move up in the overall.”

RACE
Triptyque des Monts et Chateaux (2.2)

DATE
04-06/04/2014

WEBSITE
http://www.petitereinefrasnoise.be/

LINE-UP
Jenthe Biermans (GER)
Alex Frame (NZL)
Kristian Haugaard (DEN)
Fredrik Ludvigsson (SWE)
Robert Pölder (SWE)
Mathias Rask (DEN)
Maximilian Schachmann (GER)

COACH
Dirk Reuling (NED).

 

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