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Etixx-Quick-Step Set for San Luis

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Jan 16, 2015 – Etixx–Quick-Step has announced the selection that will participate in the 9th edition of Tour de San Luis, held from January 19th until January 25th.

EQS PR/Tim de Waele

Michal Kwiatkowski and Mark Cavendish were already confirmed as participants, starting the season of the UCI World Road Champion and the Manx Missile in Argentina. Also participating are Michal Golas, Lukasz Wisniowski making his debut as a professional, Fabio Sabatini, and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck.

“It will be the first race of the season and is a great way to prepare the condition for the next races, but it is also a good race every year,” Sport Director Davide Bramati said. “In last year’s edition it was very hot, with temperatures around 40 degrees, so we will see what the weather will be like this year and how it can affect the race. We go there and we will see if we can come out with a stage win.”

The race features mostly medium mountain stages, including 186.8km Stage 1 that starts with a climb, but is mostly descending or very small hills before a finish that could favor the sprinters.

Stage 2 (185.3km) features a climber’s finish, as there is a summit finale on Mirador del Portero. However, it will be the least difficult of the summit finishing stages.

Stage 3 (176.3 km) features a hilly profile, but nothing significant and the stage ends in an uphill finish. Bramati said he believes this stage can end in a sprint.

Stage 4 begins that stages that, on paper, could be decisive for the GC. The 142.5km Stage finishes on Alto El Amago, which features a 7.2% average gradient and some steep ramps.

The 5th stage is a 17.4km ITT in San Luis, which is far from flat, with a descending start and an ascending finish.

“It was the same race also in the last few years, it is the same parcours in 2015,” Bramati said of the time trial. “It’s not technical. After the start it will be straight on and then a left, with a big road for 8 kilometers. Then we come back in a big roundabout, and again straight on until the finish. I think it will be a good ITT for us, we have Kwiatkowski and Wisniowski, but we will see the situation the day before. If we feel good we will go full gas in the individual time trial.”

The penultimate stage, 117.5km Stage 6, is the last summit finish of the race on Filo Sierras Comechingones (7.8% average gradient). Tour de San Luis wraps up with an undulating, 122.4km Stage 7. The race finishes with a descent to the line.

“The two important stages for the GC, in my opinion, will be 4 and 6,” Bramati said. “Stage 4’s finish is a long climb, 10 kilometers or so at 7 percent with ramps of 10, 11, or more percent. Stage 6 will be a long climb of about 15 kilometers with gradients of seven, eight, nine, even 10 percent sections. I think Stage 6 will be very important for this race. Stage 4 is a long climb, but the top is at 1,720 meters while Stage 6 finishes at more than 2000 meters. As this is the beginning of the season, long climbs will not be easy for the peloton.”

Bramati said Etixx – Quick-Step will go into this race to not only develop condition, but to also see what can happen with stage victories.

“For example, we have a rider like Mark Cavendish,” Bramati said. “There are three stages that can end in a sprint, so we will see what can happen with Mark. That’s just one way we can try to get a good result at Tour de San Luis. The competition includes guys like Nairo Quintana (Movistar) who won the overall last year. But we will focus on what our team can do, first and foremost. We know we have good riders at the start hoping to do well. You never know. For sure we will try our best to win at least one stage and start off 2015 in the best way possible. Tour de San Luis is a good way to start the season, with six riders racing hard in good weather. I hope the riders will come back with improved condition and good emotions after this race in Argentina.”

Riders:
Mark Cavendish (GBR)
Michal Golas (POL)
Michal Kwiatkowski (POL)
Fabio Sabatini (ITA)
Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL)
Lukasz Wisniowski (POL)
Sports Director Davide Bramati (ITA)