The Belkin Pro Cycling Team kicks off its 2014 season with the Tour Down Under, January 21 to 26. Robert Gesink leads the team that includes three Australians.
Gesink, who has been doing well overseas in recent years with victories in Quebec and Montreal, looks forward to starting his season in Australia for the first time. “Australia really fascinates me,” Gesink said, “so it’s nice to start my year there.” Gesink spent most of the past few months in Girona, where he has an apartment. He was able to train on and test his new Bianchi bike in the mountains. He added, “It was a good winter.”
Bobridge, Brown and Tanner
The Tour Down Under has a similar course as last year’s event and that means it will be a tough race. “Normally, though, it suits me”, Gesink said. “Also, our team has three Australians: Jack Bobridge, Graeme Brown and David Tanner. They’ve done the race before and know the roads.” Stef Clement, Rick Flens and Bram Tankink complete the seven-man squad.
Erik Dekker: ‘Homework complete’
Sports Director Erik Dekker said his team is ready for the first race of the season. “The batteries are fully charged again and training has been without any problems,” Dekker added. “The Tour Down Under team riders began their training early this winter. During the training camps they had a more demanding program. Graeme rode the Rotterdam Six-Day last week so he has been working on his intensity. The others have done the same during their training rides. We have done our homework.”
The Tour Down Under starts January 21 but kicks off two days earlier with an unofficial criterium, the People’s Choice Classic on January 19.
Jack Bobridge, Graeme Brown, Stef Clement, Rick Flens, Robert Gesink, David Tanner and Bram Tankink