Having secured a WoldTour licence at the start of the 2013 season Argos Shimano have lived up to the demands of fielding multiple rosters during the season. Their strength in depth will be tested in the coming days with a number of races overlapping, as the Giro d’Italia continues, the Tour of Belgium begins on Wednesday and this weekend sees the team line up for Bayern Rundfahrt.
The squad for Germany includes Georg Preidler, Warren Barguil, and Simon Geschke.
“The General Classification will be very difficult as we don’t have a specialist here for the long time trial but we will however be chasing a stage win,” said sports manager Christian Guiberteau. “With men like Preidler, Nikias Arndt and Barguil who are in good shape, and given last weeks results, we can make the difference in the break but also in a small bunch sprint.
“Geschke only raced his first race after a few weeks rest last weekend but we will see how he is feeling, if he is feeling good, we can expect something of him too. One thing is sure we will have an aggressive strategy.”
While the battle rages in Germany, Argos will send another squad to Belgium to compete in the five day national tour. The team will be built around sprinter Ramon Sinkeldam.
“For the Tour of Belgium our leader will be Sinkeldam and we will look to continue from his strong performance in Dunkirk,” said sports manager Aike Visbeek. “We will be aiming for the sprints and in addition to this we will use an offensive strategy in the Ardennes. The focus will be largely on the stages rather than the overall, but we can adapt easily to defend this if we need to.”
Argos are one of only a small contingent of WorldTour teams to run a women’s programme in unison with their men’s. After a successful stint of racing in China, the women return to Europe for the Hills Classics, which starts Friday.
“The Hills Classic is a race in the South of the Netherlands, the hilliest part. In previous years, the toughest part of the race was at the end but this year it will be in the middle,” said sports manager Jorn Knops. "Lucy Garner is familiar with the course too as there are parts of the World Championships in it were she became junior world champion.”
The following day, a team of six ladies will head to the Dorpenomloop Aalburg (1.2).