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Back to back one day events for Mitchelton-SCOTT at the weekend.

Thu 8 Feb 2018

Mitchelton-SCOTT continue their European campaign in Spain at the weekend with the double header of UCI 1.1 events the Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia and the Clasica de Almeria.

Murcia takes place on Saturday 10th of February and Almeria follows on Sunday 11th providing the first appearance on European soil in 2018 for Tour Down Under stage winner Caleb Ewan and new signing Jack Bauer.

Danish powerhouse Chris Juul Jensen makes his return to racing as does lead out man Roger Kluge and Carlos Verona, with Juul Jensen competing in both events alongside Czech climber Roman Kreuziger and Italian Matteo Trentin.

Team – Murcia:

Michael Albasini (SUI, 37)

Chris Juul Jensen (DEN, 28)

Roman Kreuziger (CZ, 31)

Matteo Trentin (IT, 28)

Carlos Verona (ESP, 25)

Race History – Victory in Almeria in 2017:

Magnus Cort took the victory in last year’s Clasica de Almeria after a strong team performance provided Mitchelton-SCOTT with their best result in the race. 2018 sees Ewan make his debut appearance at the race and the team want another victory.

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) has the most wins of any rider in the Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia and after winning the Tour of Valencia the veteran Spaniard will be the rider to watch again at the weekend. It is Valverde’s home race and the key moves are likely to come from the Movistar rider, last year Juul Jensen jumped from a chasing group to take seventh.

Objectives:

Saturday’s Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia is a hilly affair with three Categorised climbs before the finish. There will be no pressure on the team, but both Kreuziger and Michael Albasini will have the freedom to follow the moves and go for the result.

Sunday is for the sprinters and Mitchelton-SCOTT will be gunning for the win, with a strong line up and most of the sprint train in support of Ewan the race is a highlighted early season objective.

Roman Kreuziger – Free role for Murcia, support for Almeria:

“It will be my first appearance at the Vuelta Murcia and I am looking forward to it. The course looks tough and a lot will depend on how the situation is over the final climb, because if a strong group is away there is a good chance it could stay away, but also there is the possibility of it all coming back for a sprint.”

“We will look to be strong on the climbs and if the selection is formed to be there, if it comes down to the sprint then Alba will be more suited to that kind of final so we will give our support to him.”

Team – Almeria:

Jack Bauer (NZ, 32)

Caleb Ewan (AUS, 23)

Chris Juul Jensen (DEN, 28)

Roger Kluge (DE, 32)

Roman Kreuziger (CZ, 31)

Luka Mezgec (SLO, 29)

Matteo Trentin (IT, 28)

Caleb Ewan – Leader and sprinter for Almeria:

“This is the first race back in Europe for me after travelling over from Australia on the back of a successful period of racing in the Aussie summer. Normally I’d say I’m not sure what to expect, but the main goal is to get a result and go for the win.”

“It will be really good to get back with the lead out team and the guys who weren’t at Tour Down Under and start finding our rhythm again. Luka Mezgec has been going very well and these guys will probably be with me for Abu Dhabi and it will be great if we can slot back in and start the European season with a win.”

Head sport director Matt White:

“Saturdays race will be approached as a preparation race for the guys and the objectives we have coming up. We won’t be putting pressure on them for a result, but Roman and Alba will have the freedom to stretch their legs and have a go if the opportunity arises.”

“It will be a good hit out for the guys but make no mistake this is Valverde’s backyard and Movistar will be very strong at this race.

“Sunday with Almeria is a totally different race and we are going there to win, there will be no messing about. We won there last year, we know what it takes and we have a team for that objective."

 

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