Belgian looking to build on Giro success
The first half of the 2012 season was one to remember for Belgium's Thomas De Gendt, and his presence on the start line this weekend when the 67th Vuelta a España gets underway in Pamplona will give him the opportunity for more glory as leader of his team.
The Vacansoleil-DCM rider finished third overall in the Giro d'Italia at the end of May in only his second grand tour, where his success included a runaway victory atop the Passo dello Stelvio in the race's penultimate stage that made the entire cycling world sit up and take notice. A few weeks earlier he won a stage at Paris-Nice for the second consecutive year.
Team manager Dan Luijkx revealed his nine-man squad for the three-week Vuelta and stated that Vacansoleil-DCM are entering the race full of confidence and are ready to give De Gendt their full support.
"I think we should get a top ten finish as a team and we have this rider [De Gendt], who can ride into the top 20," Luijkx said. "We will ride the Vuelta as we did the Giro, where we took the offensive," announced Luijkx. "Breakaway groups have a good chance to succeed, and we have put a team together that will suit that."
Vacansoleil-DCM squad for the 2012 Vuelta a Espana: Thomas De Gendt, Martijn Keizer, Sergey Lagutin, Pim Ligthart, Bert-Jan Lindeman, Tomasz Marczynski, Wouter Mol, Rob Ruijgh and Rafael Valls.
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