European riders: Andreas Stauff, Kristian Sbaragli, Martin Reimer, Sergio Pardilla, Gerald Ciolek and Ignatas Konovalovas
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German sprinter looking for early form
Gerald Ciolek (Team MTN-Qhubeka) hopes that his team’s recent invitation to next month’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad will help entice further invitations from the major spring races.
Ciolek moved to the Pro Continental team in the off-season after a two-year stint at Omega Pharma QuickStep, and after Team MTN-Qhubeka’s first training camp in South Africa last month, the 26-year-old is hopeful that the team can start the new season with a bang.
“I really enjoyed the first get together with the team,” the German said.
“We had good training days in great summer conditions in Johannesburg. To me, the team is very professional and well organised. I never imagined the team management would care so much about the riders. I see great potential in this team; with an average age of 24 we can expect some good progress.”
“Our first focus of the year will be the spring races. We are very excited to receive an invitation to Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. We hope also to get invitations to Milan-San Remo and Tirreno-Adriatico which would be a big goal for me.”
Although Ciolek decided to take a step down from the WorldTour ranks he has been impressed by the team's long term plans and their ambitious young squad.
“There are some young really talented riders on the team, but they are not only future potential. I can see there's already a good level so we don't need to hide in any of the first races.”