While part of Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will be racing in Oman this week, another part of the team will head to the Spanish Ruta del Sol as well. The Ruta del Sol runs from 18-22 February and incorporates 6 stages over the 5 days, the opening day consists of a morning road stage and an afternoon time trial.
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung happily return to the Ruta del Sol this year after picking up a stage victory at last years edition of the race through Gerald Ciolek. This year Gerald will not be racing but Tyler Farrar will be our sprinting option for the Ruta del Sol. Tyler has shown some good early season form and will be looking to open his win account for the year, this week.
Tyler will be able to count on support from Matt Brammeier, Nic Dougall, Songezo Jim and Jay Thomson. Steve Cummings could find the short lumpy stage 1B individual time trial to his liking and Merhawi Kudus will certainly be targeting the stage 3 and 4 mountaintop finishes.
With a well rounded team, MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung head into the racing this week with much confidence. The race startlist includes some of the biggest names which will be starting the Tour de France this year as well, so it will be good early season gauge of where our competitors are before our debut Grand Depart in July.
Merhawi Kudus – Rider
I am feeling good after the African champs in South Africa and I look forward to my next appointment in Europe. There are some options for me in this race so I will see if I can get a decent result on one of the stages.
Alex Sans Vega – Sports Director
We have brought a well balanced team to this race with Farrar for the sprints, Cummings for the TT and Kudus for the 2 climbing stages, where he will have the opportunity to race against the big names of Froome and Contador.