The European season is now in full swing, with the Mallorca Challenge and Tour of Qatar starting this weekend. Andy and Fränk Schleck, Denis Menchov, Joaquim Rodriguez and Igor Anton will be amongst those on the roads in Mallorca. Fabian Cancellara and Denis Galimzyanov will sprint for the wins in the desert, where Erik Zabel will make his debut as a sport director.
Andy Schleck will make his debut in the RadioShack-Nissan jersey at the first and third races of the Malllorca series, while his brother Fränk will do the same but add the fourth race. The second race will feature Jakob Fuglsang, Linus Gerdemann and Jens Voigt, and Andreas Klöden will ride the same schedule as Andy Schleck.
Katusha captains Menchov and Rodriguez will make their season starts at Mallorca as well. They will be supported by a large cast including Pavel Brutt and Daniele Moreno.
The Mallorca Challenge is not a stage race but a series of one-day races, so the teams may send a large squad to participate.
Sprinters in Qatar
Fabian Cancellara will look for an early season win in Qatar, a feat he has accomplished only once in his career. He won a stage the first time he rode the race in 2004 for Fassa Bortolo. Now with RadioShack-Nissan, he is looking to make up for a less-than-satisfactory 2011.
Amongst the sprinters he will face there will be Katusha's Galimzyanov. The young Russian had his breakthrough season in 2011, with four wins and many podium placings.
RadioShack-Nissan for Mallorca:
Trofeo Palma criterium: Daniele Bennati, Jakob Fuglsang, Andreas Klöden, Thomas Rohregger, Andy Schleck, Fränk Schleck, Jesse Sergent, Jens Voigt and Haimar Zubeldia.
Trofeo Migjorn: Jan Bakelants, Daniele Bennati, Laurent Didier, Jakob Fuglsang, Linus Gerdemann, Ben King, Thomas Rohregger, Jens Voigt and Oliver Zaugg.
Trofeo Deià: Matthew Busche, Jakob Fuglsang, Linus Gerdemann, Ben King, Andreas Klöden, Tiago Machado, Maxime Monfort, Andy Schleck and Fränk Schleck.
Directors: Kim Andersen and Alain Gallopin.
Katusha for Mallorca:
Pavel Brutt, Xavier Florencio, Joan Horrach, Petr Ignatenko, Timofey Kritskiy, Alberto Losada, Denis Menchov, Daniel Moreno, Alexander Porsev, Joaquim Rodriguez, Simon Spilak, Yuriy Trofimov, Alexey Tsatevich, Maxime Vantomme, Angel Vicioso.
Sports Directors: Gennady Mykhailov, Uwe Peschel, Torsten Schmidt
Euskaltel for Mallorca:
Igor Antón, Mikel Astarloza, Jorge Azanza, Pello Bilbao, Víctor Cabedo, Ricardo García, lGorka and Ion Izagirre, Mikel Landa, Rubén Pérez, Adrián Sáez de Arregi, Romain Sicard, Pablo Urtasu, Gorka Verdugo.
RadioShack-Nissan for Qatar:
Fabian Cancellara, Tony Gallopin, Markel Irizar, Giacomo Nizzolo, Yaroslav Popovych, Joost Posthuma, Grégory Rast, Robert Wagner.
Katusha for Qatar:
Denis Galimzyanov, Marco Haller, Mikhail Ignatyev, Vladimir Isaychev, Alexander Kristoff, Aliaksandr Kuchynski, Rudiger Selig, Gatis Smukulis
Sports Directors: Valerio Piva, Erik Zabel.