Slipstream Sports kündigte die Unterzeichnung des Amerikaners Logan Owen am Mittwoch an. Der 22-Jährige verbrachte die letzten vier Saisonen für das U23-Programm von Axel Merckx, Axeon-Hagens Berman, wo er als erster Amerikaner Lüttich-Bastogne-Liége gewann und den ersten Sieg der Utah-Bühne gewann. Als zehnmaliger Cyclocross-Nationalspieler gab Owen im Jahr 2016 das Streben nach einem WorldTour-Vertrag auf.
When race leader Sep Vanmarcke moved into the Tour of Austria race lead on Monday, he made it clear in post-race interviews that a stage win on Tuesday was the team’s next aim. It was mission accomplished in Pöggstall.
Tom-Jelte Slagter won a four-up sprint to take his first victory of the season. Vanmarcke was best of the rest, sprinting in for fifth place. The stage result was enough to keep Vanmarcke in yellow and add the green points jersey to his collection.
“Our sports director once again crafted a smart plan that we executed perfectly and which delivered us the win,” said Vanmarcke. “Lots of kudos to him.”
“The plan was to let a small breakaway go, preferably a group of continental riders, to create a situation we could easily control and take initiative in the final,” Slagter added. “We executed the plan perfectly as a team.”
Five riders escaped early. None were a threat to the overall or a chance for the stage win, so Cannondale-Drapac granted the group a gap.
“Ryan Mullen and Will Clarke led the peloton from that point and they worked tirelessly the entire day,” said Vanmarcke. “In the final, when we entered the climbing section, they had brought the breakaway back to the bunch.”
Cannondale-Drapac hope to surprise in the 103rd running of the Belgian classic. The team of eight will back a single leader despite multiple cards to play.
“Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen the best guys appearing early,” said sport director Tom Southam. “If the best guys appear early here, I’m not worried about that. We’ll be there with the right guys. We have a lot of guys in good shape coming out Basque Country, coming out of Trentino, and we plan to back one of them. I don’t want to say any more than that.”
Rolland to lead, Craddock and others seek opportunities
The Cannondale Pro Cycling Team announces its Tour de France team today, placing an emphasis on the general classification with Pierre Rolland.
To the 103rd Tour de France, Cannondale sends Rolland, Matti Breschel, Lawson Craddock, Kristijan Koren, Ramunas Navardauskas, Sebastian Langeveld, Alex Howes, Dylan Van Baarle, and Tom-Jelte Slagter. The Tour de France begins on July 2 in Mont-Saint-Michel.
“We’ll be centering the team around Pierre Rolland, as this back-end loaded Tour de France uniquely suits his diesel-like qualities,” Slipstream Sports CEO Jonathan Vaughters said. “He may not be the most explosive rider, but come the last few days of the Tour de France, he will surprise a few folks. We’ll also be helping Lawson Craddock realize his potential in his first Tour, and looking for opportunities to animate the race. We go into this race as a hungry mongrel of a team. But I’ll take that over a poncy, over-fed poodle any day.”
The Tour team is versatile, and capable of stage hunting as well as protecting Rolland. Navardauskas is a past stage winner, and Rolland has won two himself.
Rolland, 29, is in his first season with the Cannondale team. At the Tour, he’s finished 11th (2014), 10th on two occasions (2011 and 2015), and 8th (2012).
Slipstream Sports is poised for an exciting year. In late August, Slipstream and Cannondale announced that the organizations would join forces in 2015, creating a new, powerhouse team built for the future. The new team will be known as Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling – and as revealed today – features an impressive, young roster comprised of 27 athletes from 14 different countries. Cannondale will be the title sponsor and technical bicycle sponsor for the team, and has taken an ownership stake in the management organization of Slipstream Sports LLC. Garmin will remain co-title sponsor and has been a key partner of Slipstream Sports since 2008.