What's Cool In Road Cycling

Tour of Luxembourg: Climbers and sprinters are asked for

MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will take on the climbs and sprints of the Skoda Tour de Luxembourg (June 12-16 / UCI 2.HC) this week with its usual strong squad. Milan-San Remo winner Gerald Ciolek, who has shown his outstanding ability to come over the climbs and win the resulting sprint, and Spanish climber Sergio Pardilla will be the men in the spotlight.

“After we successfully rode the Fleche du Sud last year as a small African team, we are happy to be invited to the Tour de Luxembourg,” said sport director Jens Zemke. “We want to make a good impression and advertise for our project to get bikes to kids in Africa.”

Ciolek and Pardilla can look for support from Germans Andreas Stauff and Martin Reimer, Lithuanian time trial specialist Ignatas Konovalovas, and South Africans Jaco Venter, Jay Thomson and Jacques Janse van Rensburg.

The race opens Wednesday evening with a 2.5km prologue, with the speedy men expected to race around the city of Luxembourg in four minutes. The climbing starts the next day, as the 184 km from Luxembourg to Hautcharge includes six ranked climbs, including three category one. The climbers will be active again on stage two, with six climbs again. In both stages, however, the final climb is far enough away from the finish line that the peloton ought to have enough time to get back together.

That is just a warm-up for the third stage, 178.8 km from Eschweiler to Diekirch, with eight climbs, all of them ranked category one, and the last one less than 10 km from the finish line. The race ends up with six climbs on the fourth and final stage, but the final climb is followed by six laps of a 5.5km circuit course in Luxembourg City, with a mass sprint expected.

Tour de Luxembourg (Luxembourg) – (June 12 -16 / UCI 2.HC): Andreas Stauff (GER), Gerald Ciolek (GER), Ignatas Konovalovas (LIT), Jaco Venter (RSA), Martin Reimer (GER), Jay Thomson (RSA), Jacques Janse van Rensburg (RSA) and Sergio Pardilla (ESP).

Staff: Jens Zemke (Directeur Sportif), Basi Büffel (Soigneur), Hagen Bernutz (Soigneur), Heiko Heinrici (Mechanic), Daniele Nieri (Mechanic), Francesco Bonnini (Bus Driver).

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