Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung are back in action this week as they start the Post Danmark Rundt – Tour of Denmark on Wednesday.
The 6 stage, 2.HC category event includes 5 road stages and a decisive 15km time trial on the penultimate day, Saturday. This will be the first participation for Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung in Denmark’s national tour and the team is excited at the opportunities that await, particularly because most riders have 1 eye on the final Vuelta a Espana selection.
With the majority of the stages rather flat and a number key sprinters present at this years edition of the race, we could expect a number of sprint finishes this week. The weather could play a vital role in deciding the overall victor though as strong winds and rain are expected at some stage during the race. Being a 2.HC event, Africa’s team will be up against some stiff competition from numerous teams coming fresh off their Tour de France participation.
With the parcours and weather in mind it is no surprise that Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung have sent a strong classics type team to Denmark. Gerald Ciolek will lead the team with stage wins being his and the teams main focus. Ciolek will find support from our 4 South Africans, Martin Wesemann, Jaco Venter, Johann van Zyl and Jay Thomson. Completing the team will be 3 of experienced internationals, Andreas Stauff, Martin Reimer and Ignatas Konovalovas.
Rider – Jay Thomson
The motivation is super high among the team, especially for us guys wanting to do the Vuelta. We wont be racing each other here trying to make the Vuelta team, but will do the job that needs to be done to get the best result we can. The rest will then follow. That is the most important thing for us at this race. It would also give the team a lot of confidence leading into the Vuelta if we could walk away with a stage win through a great leadout for Gerald. He is really looking good and super motivated at the moment. After rooming with him at our training camp i’ve got no doubt that this week and the Vuelta are going to be great and a lot of fun.
Directeur Sportif – Jens Zemke
Our team had a mid- year break after a tough first part. They took a couple of days off to see their families and they have been back in training for a couple of weeks already. The boys are fresh and hungry to race again and our calendar for the final 3 month has lots of opportunities to offer. The Vuelta will be our highlight and Danmark will be a good test to see where we are standing now. The riders from our long list for the Tour of Spain can also show that they deserve a spot. Tour of Danmark is a race for our Classic group and we estimate some big sprints. The GC is mostly decided in the time trial but that depends also on some other aspects like weather and the strategy of other teams. Our team would like to get some confidence as we Qhubeka (move forward).
Post Danmark Rundt – Tour of Denmark (Denmark) – (6-10 Aug/UCI 2.HC) Team Lineup
Gerald Ciolek (GER)
Andreas Stauff (GER)
Martin Reimer (GER)
Ignatas Konovalovas (LTU)
Jaco Venter (RSA)
Jay Thomson (RSA)
Martin Wesemann (RSA)
Johann van Zyl (RSA)
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