Team GreenEdge Reveals Roster for 2012 Vuelta a Espana
Team GreenEdge has revealed its nine-man line-up for the 2012 Vuelta a Espana, which begins with a team time trial on Saturday, August 18.
crucial step in his development," explained Stephens. "He has become a smarter and stronger rider throughout this year, and there is no better place for him to test his improvements than at the Tour of Spain. Dan will need to takes notes from his teammates and staff to make it through the three weeks. We're here for him to help him make it to Madrid."
An early season injury forced Mitch Docker to switch his pre-season focus from spring classics to racing on the hot roads of Spain.
"Mitch has progressed well during the second half of the season," Stephens explained and elaborated "He's well ahead of the mark we set for him. He showed huge improvements in Poland and further gains at Burgos. He will be an important rider in all aspects of our performance, especially in our sprint train."
The sprint train of which Docker will be a part has been created for Australian Allan Davis. The Queenslander boasts four second place finishes and one third, the most recent stage podium coming from the Tour de Suisse. A pair of fourth place finishes at Vuelta a Burgos were encouraging signs for Stephens.
"Since the start of the season Allan has shown that he's around the edges of that top tier of sprinters," according to Stephens. "He had a long break in July, and I am happy with what I've seen since he's come back from that rest. We expect to see Allan factor into various bunch sprints throughout the three Vuelta weeks in Spain."
Veteran rider Julian Dean will prove another key component to Davis' sprint train and also gain the shared role as capitain de la route. The rider from New Zealand has long been considered one of the best in the lead-out business. On previous teams Dean has worked for sprinters such as Thor Hushovd and Tyler Farrar.
Dean missed most of the season due to two untimely injuries. His first injury took him out ahead of the season start. His second, a broken leg suffered during the Volta a Catalunya, forced him to the sidelines only two days after he returned to racing. According to Stephens his current form, despite two serious injuries, underlies his tenacity in the face of unplanned circumstances.
"Julian has ridden a similar summer program as Mitch. Like Mitch, he's ahead of the mark we've set for him. Julian clearly suffered during Burgos, as did most of the field, and he became reacquainted with what it feels like to suffer to that degree. Julian's a tough rider, and he rides 100 percent for the team. In certain regards, he'll act as team leader on the road during the race."
Pieter Weening provides additional experience. The only rider among the nine to also take part in this year's Tour de France, Weening will target stage wins in the Vuelta.
"Pieter performed well at the Tour, but he left with a desire to do an even better at the Vuelta," explained Stephens and continued "We've spoken about his goals, and we know a good overall