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Poels eyeing victory in Valencia, Valverde continues comeback: Daily News Digest

by Shane Stokes

January 30, 2018

Poels eyeing victory in Valencia; Valverde continues comeback in Valencia; EF Education First – Drapac aiming for sprint success; Neff out of cyclo cross world championships; U.S. Masters rider suspended after refused test; Video: Grand Prix La Marseillaise 2018; Video: Jungels appeals for road safety after teammates are badly injured; Video: Bike skiing

EF Education First – Drapac aiming for sprint success

by Shane Stokes

Although the EF Education First – Drapac lineup will include strong climber Pierre Rolland, the squad will emphasise its sprinters in this week’s Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana. “I think Valencia is a really good opportunity for us to start playing a little bit with our new sprint capabilities in Dan McLay and Sacha Modolo,” said EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “That’s what I’m looking for this week more so than a general classification performance.”

McLay, Modolo and Rolland will join with Classics star Sep Vanmarcke, Matti Breschel, Sebastian Langeveld and Tom Van Asbroeck in the event. Each of those riders is making their season debut.

McLay is racing with the team for the first time and is eager. “Between me and Sacha, I expect we’ll find our way and have a good go in the sprints,” said the Manxman. “There will be a little bit of learning, but there’s no point in hesitating. We’ll give it our best effort.”

Directeur sportif Ken Vanmarcke said how the team will approach the non-sprint stages. “For the climbing days, stage two and stage four, we can go into the breakaways,” he stated. “We’ll see what’s possible. Maybe on the second stage the break has a real chance to stay in the front, and even if not, then somebody gets a really good training day.

“With the two sprinters we have there, we have to go for a win. There are two sprint stages, and we tried everything on the Parcmotor Castelloí circuit last Thursday. We have to go full on the sprint days.”

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