US-based Continental team Lupus Racing has added a pair of French riders to bolster its roster just in time for the upcoming Tour of Qinghai Lake, which starts July 5 in China. The team announced last week that it received a late invitation to the 2.HC race.
French riders Thomas Vaubourzeix, 25, and Matthieu Jeannes, 26, will compete for the first time with Lupus at the Chinese race and will join the team for the second half of rhe season. In statement released on Monday, the team said Vaubourzeix, who finished third overall at Tour of Qinghai Lake last year, was looking for a race program where he could be a valuable addition as a GC contender. He rode for La Pomme Marseille in France since 2011 before moving to the Belgian Veranclassic-Ekoi squad for the start of this season.
Jeannes comes to Lupus after an impressive first half of the season, which he capped off a with a third-place stage finish at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay last month in Canada. He has ridden for Leukemia Hope Cycling for the past two seasons.
“We are elated to add two foreign riders to our growing program,” said team manager Brendan Sullivan. “We bolstered the depth of our team for upcoming Tour of Qinghai Lake UCI race and the second half of the season, but we are not finished just yet as we look to create a very competitive team going in to 2016.”
Taking place in Qinghai Province of China since 2002, the Tour of Qinghai Lake is part of the UCI Asia Tour. The event will cover 2,940km over 13 stages. The race is one of the highest in the world, with forays to over 4,000 meters of elevation. Organizers have invited 22 teams to compete in the 14th edition of the race, including Airgas-Safeway from the US.
“Our invitation to China is a huge step in the development of our program,” said Jason Kriel, International race director. “It's an important race for Lupus Racing Team, and in raising awareness about the mystery of lupus, one of the world's cruelest, most unpredictable and devastating diseases. This is a great opportunity for our riders to show their strengths and secure future invitations to races in Asia.”
Lupus Racing roster for of Tour of Qinghai Lake:
Thomas Vaubourzeix, Matthieu Jeannes, Michael Olheiser, Evan Murphy, Kyle Murphy, Nick Jowsey, Winston David.