Giant-Shimano: Ruta del Sol
Morale and confidence in the Team Giant-Shimano camp are high at the moment thanks to the successful start to this 2014 season.
So far the WorldTour team has notched up eight victories, with two ‘trebles’ already from Marcel Kittel (GER) and John Degenkolb (GER), both of whom will be in action this week.
The first race of the week is the Ruta del Sol (2.1) in Spain where the team will be looking to build form and take any opportunities that arise. Tom Dumoulin (NED) is one of four riders starting his season here and the opening time trial will be a good test of form after a good training camp in Spain with the team, including some innovative downhill training from descending expert, Oscar Saiz.
Following this there are four road stages, most of which suit the climbers, including a summit finish on stage 2. Stage 3 is much calmer than the others in terms of gradients and this could be an opportunity for the fast men.
Coach, Christian Guiberteau (FRA) said: “Although it looks like a sprinter’s line up, opportunities for Kittel will be very limited, maybe a bunch sprint on stage 3 but we will see.
“We will be more looking at how the guys starting their seasons are going, and also to get Dumoulin and Simon Geschke (GER) to take their chances with the breakaways.
“There isn’t any real pressure on the team here, it’s more about the guys starting here to find their feet and about taking opportunities and seeing how we are set after the opening time trial.”
Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista del Sol
Nikias Arndt (GER)
Tom Dumoulin (NED)
Simon Geschke (GER)
Marcel Kittel (GER)
Luka Mezgec (SLO)
Daan Olivier (NED)
Tom Veelers (NED)
Christian Guiberteau (FRA)