Team Columbia-HTC Primed for Tour of Spain
Team Columbia-HTC starts the 2009 Tour of Spain / 2009 Vuelta a Espana this Saturday aiming to match the team's successful performances in this year's Tour of Italy and Tour de France. Among those riders fielded by Team Columbia-HTC will be bunch sprint specialist Andre Greipel, time trial expert Bert Grabsch and overall challenger Kim Kirchen. Kirchen is a former leader and top ten finisher in the Tour de France, Grabsch is the reigning World Time Trial Champion and Greipel's total of 15 wins this season is second only to Columbia-HTC teammate Mark Cavendish.
"The aim is essentially to shine on every different kind of terrain," comments Columbia-HTC's sports director Brian Holm. "Kim is very motivated to take a strong result in the overall classification. His start to the season was all but ruined by injuries so he's really aiming to have a good end to the year. André is always ambitious in the sprints, you just have to look at his results to see that. And Bert [Grabsch] already knows what it takes to win in the Vuelta. He won a time trial stage there back in 2007, and he's in good shape again."
"We've got lots of other cards to play, too. After doing a great Tour of Switzerland Michael [Albasini] is eager to see what he can do in the overall for a major Tour, and I know Adam Hansen is motivated for the general classification as well. We have every chance of getting some top results in Spain."
Team Columbia-HTC for 2009 La Vuelta:
Michael Albasini (Swi); Andre Greipel (Ger); Bert Grabsch (Ger); Adam Hansen (Aus); Greg Henderson (NZ); Kim Kirchen (Lux); Frantisek Rabon (Cze); Vicente Reynes (Spa); Marcel Sieberg (Ger).