Simon Geschke (Project 1T4i)
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Aiming for Tour de France invite
Dutch ProContinental team 1t4i unveiled its 24-man and 10-woman squad at its Spanish training base today, with the team’s owner and general director, Iwan Spekenbrink promising 2012 would be the year it “steps up to the top level of the sport.”
The team, which used to be known as Skil-Shimano won 30 races last year, mostly through revelatory neopro, Marcel Kittel, who took a stage at the Vuelta a España among 17 victories. He remains on the squad along with sprint and Classics specialist Tom Veelers.
They have been joined by another exciting young talent, John Degenkolb who won a brace of stages at the Critérium du Dauphiné in his first professional year, and his HTC-Highroad teammate, Patrick Gretsch. Other new additions include Tom Stamsnijder and Dominic Klemme from Leopard Trek. Tom Dumoulin and Ramon Sinkeldam step up from the Rabobank Continental Team.
Addy Engels, who retired at the end of 2011 and holds the Dutch record for Giro d’Italia participations, joins the team as a sports director. His race craft should be a valuable resource for the squad.
The team’s main goal for the year is an invitation to the Tour de France and given the team’s performance at the Vuelta last year, many believe that wildcard entry will be forthcoming. Entry to the Vuelta also looks good and the race director Javier Guillén attended the launch near Altea on the Spanish coast.
Kittel who will begin his campaign at
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