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Wesley Sulzberger (FDJ)
Australian feels he has matured a lot at FDJ
GreenEdge have added to their one day classics stocks with the signing of 24-year-old Wesley Sulzberger.
The Tasmanian native, who has ridden the last three seasons with French team FDJ, has followed a steady development trajectory since his 2007 U/23 World Championships silver medal and believes that under the tutelage of Simon Gerrans, he can start producing results at the highest level.
"I see myself as being able to play a role in the Ardennes classics, particularly riding alongside Simon," said Sulzberger. "Firstly, I’ll be there to help Simon win one of those big races but also to learn from him as these are the races that suit my capabilities and where I want to get some big results in the future. Winning one of the big one-day races is the main goal.
"I’d love to win the Amstel Gold Race or a race like that. I’m still really young and I’m not going to be able to knock one of those off tomorrow but down the track that’s what I’m aiming for."
Like Gerrans, Sulzberger is the type of rider that relishes riding in small groups where he can hold his own on the climbs, and still be competitive at a stage finish. Breaks, and more selective races like the Ardennes are thus well-suited to Sulzberger, and that's where he hopes to build his success in the years ahead.
"Over the last few seasons I’ve learnt that I probably don’t have the physical requirements to be one of the big general classification contenders in the Tours of France, Italy or Spain but I’ll be aiming for a stage win at these races in the future," said the Tasmanian.
"I know I’m strong in a select group, in a small breakaway, and in those situations I’m normally one of the faster guys which gives me a chance to win."
Having come through the AIS program, like a number of the other GreenEdge recruits already announced, Sulzberger is also looking forward to linking back up with old mentor, and current GreenEdge General Manager Shayne Bannan.
"I came through the under-23 national team with Shayne, and to be going back [with him], in a pro team with GreenEdge is a dream come true," he said.
"It’s exciting to be part of the first Australian team at this level right from the very start."
Sulzberger is recruit number 20 for GreenEdge as the team builds a roster that it hopes will qualify it for a WorldTour berth next year.