The Columbia-HTC and Milram teams are looking forward to the Eneco Tour starting on Tuesday in Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
Columbia-HTC is chasing overall victory and perhaps a few stage wins along the way. "We are definitely up for winning," said Columbia-HTC sports director Tristan Hoffman.
"The short opening prologue is good for a few of our riders including [German] Tony Martin and [Norwegian] Edvald Boasson Hagen, so doing well there would be a great start, plus we've got a strong team overall."
"[Columbia-HTC teammate] Greg [Henderson] is really motivated. Mick [Michael Rogers] was third last year and knows this race well and Maxime [Monfort] has just won his country's National Time Trial Championships."
"We've got a lot of options, and in a race like Eneco which is usually won by seconds, not minutes, that's very important."
Boasson Hagen won a stage of Eneco Tour in 2008, and he says he's well-suited for a seven-day tour like the Eneco Tour because it starts with a short prologue and finishes with a time trial.
"I'll be discussing the hillier stages with [team sports director] Tristan Hoffman to see where we have to be careful, but it's a good route for the team."
Milram says it will target stage wins in the race, looking to sprinter Robert Förster and Classics specialist Servais Knaven.
"We want to play a good role at the Eneco Tour," according to Jochen Hahn, Directeur Sportif for Team Milram. "For the many mostly flat stages we have two fast riders in Robert Förster and Wim Stroetinga for the finales. But there are also one or two very interesting stages, which are similar to the Spring Classics. Our Classics riders will have their chances there."
The German team is sending its two Dutch riders, Wim Stroetinga and Niki Terpstra. Terpstra has an extra motivation in the race – he would like to win a stage to honour his son, Luca, who was born last week.
Columbia-HTC for Eneco Tour: Edvald Boasson Hagen, Gert Dockx, Greg Henderson, Thomas Lövkvist, Tony Martin, Maxime Monfort, Mark Renshaw, Michael Rogers.
Team Milram for Eneco Tour: Markus Eichler, Robert Förster, Thomas Fothen, Artur Gajek, Servais Knaven, Martin Müller, Wim Stroetinga and Niki Terpstra.
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