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Robert Wagner (Skil Shimano).
Schleck team recruits strong team helpers
The newly-founded Luxembourg Cycling Project managed by Brian Nygaard has announced two additional rider signings. German Robert Wagner and Dane Martin Pedersen will be added to the 2011 roster of the team built around the Schleck brothers.
With the ambition to performing well in the great one-day Classics as well as being capable of controlling the peloton during long wind-swept Grand Tour stages, Wagner and Pedersen are "two strongmen who are keen to work for their leaders and also well-equipped to take their own personal glory when the moment presents itself," according to the press release.
"Robert [Wagner] is a solid rider who is very strong on the flat, in the wind, on the cobbles - basically: the tough races in Northern Europe," General Manager Brian Nygaard said about the rider coming in from Skil-Shimano. "He knows how to place himself in the sprints and always comes away with at least a couple of nice victories a year."
This season, Wagner achieved four victories, including a stage at the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen and one at the Bayern-Rundfahrt. He will be one out of five German riders an the team, and is eager to start racing with his new squad.
"I will be very determined to help this team be successful from the first race through the season finale," Wagner explained. "Every one of my teammates is an absolute world class athlete. They are all well-known for their perfectionism and professionalism, so I can’t wait to get the 2011 season underway."
Pedersen will most certainly be happily helping Wagner ride tempo at the front of the peloton for many of the 2011 Grand Tour stages. "I think my strengths rest in my ability to do well in many different terrains which will mean that I can be a service to the team in multiple situations," Pedersen said. "I also have a snappy sprint, so that I can take advantage of that when given the chance in breakaways, for instance."
Nygaard brought Pedersen on board because he sees the Dane as an important piece in the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project puzzle. "We have set out to sign riders that we have every confidence in personally and professionally," Nygaard said. "We did not sign anyone that we believed would not fit in the ethos of the team. Martin, I believe will fit like a glove not only with his skill as a bike racer, but also his accessible personality."