Team Gerolsteiner is sending its sparkling-water boys to the desert. The sprinters will have the upper hand in the Tour of Qatar, starting this coming Sunday: Giro and Vuelta stage winner Robert Förster will lead the team, which also features Sven Krauss, Volker Ordowski and Peter Wrolich, as well as the three neo-pros, Johannes Fröhlinger, Tom Stamsnijder and Oscar Gatto. Raimund Dietzen and Theo Maucher will direct the team.
Three newcomers to Team Rabobank will make their debut at the Tour of Qatar. Leon van Bon, Sebastian Langeveld and Rick Flens will ride for the team for the first time in the Middle East. They will be joined by Jan Boven, Graeme Brown, Matthew Hayman, Gerben Löwik and Thorwald Veneberg, and directed by Frans Maassen.
By Shane Stokes
Launched last year as the Sean Kelly racing team, the newly renamed Murphy & Gunn/M. Donnelly Sean Kelly squad has announced its line-up for the Tour of Qatar. Getting an invite to the race is a major boost for the Continental team, which is hoping to amass more experience and results this season. The squad is part-funded by Irish sponsors, the Irish Sports Council and Cycling Ireland but is based in Merchtem in Belgium.
Irish under 23 champion Paídi O’Brien, compatriots Paul Healion, Stephen Gallagher and Mark Cassidy plus Belgians Tim Meussen, Rieno Stofferis and Christophe Beddegenoots and Dane Glen Bak will all line out in the prestigious 2.1 ranked early-season opener. The race runs from this Sunday, January 28, until Friday March 2, and many of the world’s top teams are scheduled to take part.
The official launch of the squad will take place on Tuesday February 6 at the Murphy & Gunn showrooms in Milltown, Dublin. The team have just returned from a training camp in Mallorca.