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A look at the school, the races and the future of this unique 'sport'
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Jens Voigt (RadioShack) couldn't leave the Tour de France without getting one red dossard, and attacked solo
German veteran looks to help youngsters but also to ride for himself in final year
The new Team Trek has confirmed that Jens Voigt will ride for the team in 2014. It will be his eighteenth season in the peloton.
Voigt, who turns 42 in less than a month, had announced on Twitter earlier that he would ride again in 2014, and now the team has confirmed his signing.
“I'm glad Trek and I got to an agreement for 2014. It's been three crazy years for me on Trek, with a lot of highlights, and I'm happy that we can go on for another year," said Voigt.
"Looking at the young kids: I see the future. They are ready to spread their wings. But maybe I can close one more gap for them, or teach them something from my years of experience. I feel I still have some gas left in the tank, so I can't wait for what's coming!"
Trek Vice President Joe Vadeboncoeur was thrilled with the signing, praising Voigt.
"There has seldom been a foot soldier like Jens Voigt, he is the ultimate hardman. He attacks, he works like a dog, he crashes – and he gets up and does it all again the next day. Trek is honored to have Jens finish his career here."
Voigt has been in the peloton since 1997, when he turned pro with ZVVZ-Gian-AIS, and has ridden for Credit Agricole, CSC/Saxo Bank, and Leopard-Trek/RadioShack over the years. He has taken part in the Tour de France 16 times, every year since 1998, and has won two stages, in 2001 and 2006.
But, as the Trek press release pointed out, “the affable German has showed little signs of slowing down, as witnessed in stage 5 of the Tour of California and stage 20 of this year's Tour de France.”
Voigt won the stage in California in a solo effort, jumping from a small group with five kilometres to go. As he put it: “You have to catch them by surprise. You gotta make sure they're busy watching each other - Sagan looks for Hushovd, Hushovd watches Tyler Farrar, and they just say, 'It's just old Jensie, we'll catch him back, he's going to die out there.'”
In the penultimate Tour stage, Voigt was in the break group of the day, eventually leaving the others behind and going into the final climb in a solo. He was overtaken by the climbers and finished the stage seven minutes down, and was named most combative rider for the stage.
His race schedule for 2014 has not yet been planned, “but fans will want to pay close attention as it may be one of their last opportunities to watch a rider that has embodied the best of cycling,” Trek said.