Cannondale-Drapac to target País Vasco general classification

    Cannondale-Drapac brings a fit and determined squad to the 57th Vuelta al País Vasco. This team will be at the service of Rigoberto Uran. The Colombian will target the general classification in what is routinely considered the hardest week-long race on the calendar.

    With most cycling fans firmly focused on the cobbles and climbs of Flanders, Basque Country will play host to a six-day stage race over some of the toughest terrain the peloton will encounter this season. The region, and subsequently the route, features few kilometers of flat roads and characteristically nasty spring weather. A summit finish in Eibar on the penultimate stage and a 27-kilometer individiaul time trial on the final day will likely determine the winner.

    “The fact is that it’s never flat in Pais Vasco,” said sport director Juanma Garate, who hails from the region. “The weather is crap and the level is high before the Ardennes and just after Paris-Nice and Tirreno. All these things together make it a very hard race.

    “We have Rigo here,” Garate added. “He’s in good condition, and he has a lot of confidence. We come with a strong team, and our goal is to place high in the overall.”

    The length of the time trial could prove the biggest challenge.

    “Never before have we had such a long time trial here,” said Garate. “We’ll want to drop all the time trialists before the final stage. It may not be possible, but with Rigo’s condition, we have to try – so the goal is first to win the overall, and we’ll see. We have alternative options. We have options to win stages. There’s always other goals, but I’d like to target the overall, to at least be on the podium. We know it’s a high goal, but we think it’s possible.”

    Before País Vasco begins on April 3rd, Cannondale-Drapac will line up for a one-day Basque race that serves as a tune-up of sorts. The Gran Premio Miguel Indurain is a hilly 183 kilometer test that starts and finishes in Estella.

    “We have a high quality squad for Indurain with multiple cards to play: Woods, Slagter, Skujins,” said Garate. “We will play our cards in the final and go for the win.”

    RESOURCES:

    Visit the official Pais Vasco website.
    Find Pais Vasco race results here
    Follow Itzulia, the official País Vasco Twitter account
    Use #itzulia to follow the race live on twitter.
    Watch Pais Vasco daily on Cycling.TV and Eurosport. We don’t yet have a confirmed broadcast schedule but will post broadcast start times to Twitter daily.

    Cannondale-Drapac for Miguel Indurain:

    Nate Brown (USA)
    Brendan Canty (AUS)
    Simon Clarke (AUS)
    Alex Howes (USA)
    Tom Skujins (LVA)
    Tom-Jelte Slagter (NDL)
    Mike Woods (CAN)

    Cannondale-Drapac for Vuelta al País Vasco:

    Nate Brown (USA)
    Simon Clarke (AUS)
    Alex Howes (USA)
    Tom Skujins (LVA)
    Tom-Jelte Slagter (NDL)
    Andrew Talansky (USA)
    Rigobero Uran (COL)
    Mike Woods (CAN)