Slipstream Sports is pleased to announce it has retained the services of both Lawson Craddock and Tom Van Asbroeck for the 2018 season.
Van Asbroeck proved a handy addition to the #GreenArgyle cobbled classic squad during his maiden season and took his own chances in the sprints.
“This year I had to convince myself that I was still the guy that won the Europe Tour in 2014 after two difficult years,” said Van Asbroeck. “This season I got back out of the black hole, and I’m convinced next year is going to be awesome. I’m looking forward to getting back in the winning mood and developing my sprint even more.”
Van Asbroeck had his best results of the year at the Vuelta a España where he sprinted to third on stage four, fifth on stage 13 and fourth on the final stage in Madrid.
“The Vuelta was not bad,” said Van Asbroeck. “I was dreaming of winning a stage, but I did not manage in the end. I surely got a lot of confidence back after that race.”
“Helping out Sep [Vanmarcke] and Sebas[tian Langeveld] in the classics and doing my own sprints in between was really satisfying,” said Van Asbroeck. “In the Vuelta, I helped out Woods and sprinted on the flatter stages, which was a combination I’d really like to keep doing. What I love the most is sprinting my lungs out for victory. That’s my motivation and my objective next year.”
Van Asbroeck’s opportunities may be more limited in 2018 due to the strength of the Slipstream Sports sprint squad, which now includes Sacha Modolo, Dan McLay and Mitch Docker. While he may not sprint as frequently as he did during his first season with Slipstream Sports, he’ll enjoy greater support when its his turn to sit on the back of the train.
“We’re excited to be in a position where we’ll have a variety of options when it comes to the sprints and sprint-friendly classic races,” said Vaughters. “We’ll be able to offer all our sprinters a solid, experienced sprint train next season.”
The current season proved a challenging one for Craddock, but both he and the team are hopeful the American will be back to his best in 2018. The 25-year-old has shown his strength at hilly races like Pais Vasco and Amgen Tour of California and made his Tour de France debut in 2016.
Craddock expected to build upon his previous success in 2017. Instead he had a quiet start that spiraled into a series of set-backs. He has said that there was no single precipitating incident or injury but rather over-training and over-dieting led to a state of constant exhaustion.
“It’s been no secret that I’ve really struggled this year, but I’m happy to be finally putting it behind me,” said Craddock. “I’m already looking forward to next year where I can show the world that I am still the rider that I know I am.”
“While it likely doesn’t offer much solace to Craddock, he’s far from the only rider who has had a season that has felt like disappointment after disappointment,” said Vaughters. “We re-signed him because we believe he can overcome these disappointments and prove his potential.”
Craddock is grateful to enjoy continued support from Slipstream Sports.
“I’ve grown to become very comfortable in the team environment,” said Craddock. “I’ve had success here in the past, and I know that I will have success here in the future. The team is made up of a great group of guys that have fun racing their bikes together. That makes it a very easy decision to stay with the team in 2018.”