Team Elk Haus is heading to Mallorca, Spain, for a training camp and the Mallorca Challenge. The Austrian Professional Continental team said that it has a smaller squad and budget than last year, but equally high expectations.
The team will take on its first race of the year – the Mallorca Challenge, February 8 to 12 – after a nine-day training camp. "The guys should gather some hard racing kilometres there," said team manager Bernhard Rassinger. "As in the past years, we will try to use our chances."
Rassinger named German sprinter Steffen Radochla as one to watch. "He has trained very well and I assume that he will be in on the sprints."
The race is unique in cycling in that it allows for teams to switch out riders from day to day.
"We can start ten men each day, and I will always mix up the team. In the beginning it is flatter, and I will use the sprinters. After that the climbers will have a chance."
The 20 teams that will contest the Mallorca Challenge are Quick Step, Caisse d'Epargne, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Fuji-Servetto, Cofidis, Milram, Liquigas, Rabobank, Columbia, Katusha, Xacobeo Galicia, Contentpolis-AMPO, Andalucía Cajasur, Elk Haus, Plowman Craven, Van Vliet, Sparkasse, Burgos Monumental, Kuota and Orbea.
Team Elk Haus for 2009: Stefan Denifl, Markus Eibegger, Clemens Frankhauser, Georg Lauscha, Wolfgang Murer, Steffen Radochla, Stefan Rucker, Daniel Schorn, Harald Starzengruber, Jochen Summer, Björn Thurau, Harald Totschnig, Gerhard Trampusch, Jan Valach, Matthias Brändle and Martin Schöffman. (SW)
(Additional editorial assistance by Susan Westemeyer.)