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Craig Lewis (HTC-Columbia)
US rider to kick off seventh professional season
American Craig Lewis has re-signed with the HTC-Highroad team for the 2011 season. It will be his seventh year as a professional, having begun with TIAA-CREF and Team Slipstream before moving to the Highroad squad in 2008.
Lewis, 25, competed in his first Grand Tour in 2010 in support of sprinter Andre Greipel. His moment of glory came with an eighth place finish on stage 13, when he made the successful breakaway and attacked inside the final kilometres only to be caught just before the line.
HTC-Highroad manager Rolf Aldag was pleased with Lewis's progress during his time with the team. "Craig showed some good improvement in 2010, with finishing the Giro d'Italia," Aldag said in a press release. "He made another step forward in his personal development and beside that he is a very reliable team player, always ready to help his team leaders in the interest of the team success.
"We expect him to be one of our key riders in our team when it comes to long climbs in one-day classics and hard stages races. Craig was very close to winning a stage in the 2010 Giro, which gives him the confidence that he is able to stay with the best."
Lewis's race programme for 2011 will include the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, the Ardennes classics week, a return to the Giro d'Italia, this time in support of star sprinter Mark Cavendish and general classification contender Konstantin Svitsov. He will also return to home soil to compete in the Tours of Colorado and Utah.
"The team offers me the best tools to reach my goals and they always secure invites to all of the biggest races," said Lewis. "There isn't much more you could ask for. Specialized will be an exciting company to work with, and I really enjoy working with each of the staff we have. It is just a great group."