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Czech time trial champion Frantisek Rabon (HTC - Highroad) finished in 16th place.
HTC riders bolster Belgian team
Both currently ride for HTC-Highroad and will boost Quickstep’s sprint lead-out team and strengthen the squad for team time trials. Grabsch won the world time trial title in Varese in 2008 and is the current German time trial champion. He excels in riding long spells at the head of the peloton and chasing down breakaways before helping set up teammates for the sprints.
Rabon is from the Czech Republic and is a proven short time trial specialist and lead out man. He is a triple Czech time trial champion and won the prologue of Tour de Romandie 2009 and the Vuelta a Murcia in 2010.
Both riders are expected to boost Tom Boonen’s lead out train in 2012 and boost the number of HTC-Highroad riders joining the team. These already include Tony Martin and Martin and Peter Velits. HTC directuer sportif Brian Holm will also join Quickstep in 2012.
Quickstep recently confirmed the arrival of Polish riders Michal Kwiatkowski and Michal Golas. Levi Leipheimer has been linked to the Belgian team but has yet to confirm his signing for 212.
“František and Bert are two excellent team players, athletes with great intellect who can win and carry their teammates into position to vie for victory," Quickstep team manager Patrick Lefevere said in the press release announcing the riders’ arrival. "Both are fantastic cronomen and great pace setters who can carry out quality and quantity work at the front of the group."