Team Omega Pharma-QuickStep Signs Rigoberto Uran and Mark Renshaw
26-year-old Rigoberto Urán Urán has proven to be one of the best climbers of his generation, having already shown his potential in the Grand Tours. In May he won one of the most difficult stages of this year's Giro d’Italia for Team Sky Procycling - the Cordenons to Altopiano del Montasio stage - thereby positioning himself in second place in the general classification. In 2011 Colombian Urán wore the white jersey for a few days as the best young rider at the Tour de France. Last year he won Olympic silver in the 2012 Olympic road race in London, United Kingdom.
“I am very pleased that I can race on a team as important as Omega Pharma–Quick-Step,” Urán told Roadcycling.com. “I can contribute to the growth of the team. The first time I came to Europe I was very close to signing with the team, but then everything went up in smoke. After a few years our paths have crossed again. After the experience with Sky, who I thank for the years spent together, a new chapter in my career is beginning and I can't wait to get started."
“Rigoberto's arrival reinforces our team as far as the major tours are concerned," the team's general manager Patrick Lefevre explained. “Urán is a top rider and his talent on climbs goes without saying. On our team he will find an atmosphere and a group of riders who are ready to support him. At the same time his experience and his skills will be important for our young athletes like Michal Kwiatkowski, for example, in a perspective of further growth.”
When he's not focusing on winning races such as the 2011 Tour of Qatar, 30-year-old Mark Renshaw of Team Belkin is known to many as one of the most appreciated lead-out men in professional road cycling. After two years the Australian rider will meet up again with Mark Cavendish, with whom he raced from 2009 to 2011. So far the 2013 season has clearly shown how important Renshaw is for Cavendish and his ability to win races. Renshaw's absence from Omega Pharma-QuickStep has left Cavendish vulnerable to the strong competition from sprinters such as Team Argos-Shimano's Marcel Kittel, Cannondale's Peter Sagan and André Greipel of Lotto-Belisol.
Commenting on Renshaw's move to Omega Pharma-QuickStep, Lefevre explained “Mark is one of the most appreciated riders in his work as a lead-out man. His arrival is important to improve our potential in the preparation and execution of sprints for Cavendish, whom he already knows quite well. Mark will also be important for any eventual sprint by Boonen and when necessary he will put his experience to the service of our young sprinter Andy Fenn. With the skills and potential of Renshaw, Petacchi and Steegmans, our sprinters will be able to count on a high level lead-out man in every race."
“I'm delighted to be joining Omega Pharma–Quick-Step next year," Renshaw explained to Roadcycling.com. "It is one of the best teams in the world which I am therefore looking forward to be a part of. Of course, after a couple of years apart, riding on the same team as my good friend Mark Cavendish is something I am going to enjoy. It will be great returning to lead-out duties fighting for victories with Cavendish. Hopefully we will celebrate many wins with him and the rest of the team.”