Belkin aims to extend Asian run
Michiel Elijzen will begin 2014 where he finished 2013, in Asia. He directed the Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM in China late in the season at the Tour of Hainan, which turned out to be an extremely successful race. The team won all nine stages and the overall classification. Elijzen plans to extend the Asian run in the Tour de Langkawi, February 27 to March 8.
“I expect at least another ten victories,” said Elijzen with a big smile. “I’m kidding, of course, the level is quite high in Langkawi but the goal remains to win again. Theo Bos will be our man for the flat stages and Steven Kruijswijk will focus on the overall.”
Graeme Brown will assist Bos in quest for sprint wins. The experienced Australian took nine stage victories in Langkawi over the years. The route changes direction each year, however, and allows little chance for familiarity. The 34-year-old Aussie said, “We always finish somewhere else. I see no reason why we couldn’t win, however. There will be some fast men at the start, but we have Theo.”
Kruijswijk races for the first time this season at the Volta ao Algarve this week in Portugal. This winter, he recovered from a femoral artery surgery. “After his operation, we had to see what his level would be. But at the training camps, Steven did very well,” said Elijzen. “He was back at his old level earlier than expected. It’s nice that he will have some race days in the legs when he starts in Langkawi. I’m optimistic when it comes to Steven.”
Graeme Brown, Jack Bobridge, Theo Bos, Rick Flens, Steven Kruijswijk and Dennis van Winden.