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Thomas de Gendt’s long, lone ride to victory on the Passo Stelvio in the Giro d’Italia was one of the most exciting performances of 2012, and in 2013 the Belgian stage racer will once again be spearheading the Dutch Vancansoleil-DCM squad in the Grand Tours. With much of the international media attention centering on last year’s Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky), de Gendt could spring more than one or two big surprises in some of cycling’s biggest races.

Year after year, Vancansoleil-DCM seems to specialise in getting their riders to punch above their predicted weight: in 2012 that was the case for de Gendt in the Giro d'Italia, for Italy’s Marco Marcato, who took a notable breakthrough triumph in French Classic Paris-Tours, and for Lieuwe Westra, too. The Dutch National Time Trial Champion came within a fraction of beating Wiggins in Paris-Nice, and also took a well-deserved win in the Tour of Denmark.

If week-long stage races, hilly Classics and Grand Tours were well looked after in 2012 at Vancansoleil-DCM, the Dutch team has had a radical rethink when it comes to how they tackle the cobbled Classics in 2013.

Whilst double Tour of Flanders champion Stijn Devolder has moved on, the arrival of Juan Antonio Flecha, one of the most consistent Classics riders in recent years, should provide a whole new series of options.

Whilst some surefire winners like Sergey Lagutin, Uzbek National Road Champion for the seventh year running in 2012, remains on board, one of the most intriguing new signings is 30-year-old Jose Rujano.

He is one of climbing’s most erratic performers; on a good day the pint-sized Venezuelan is capable of securing a Giro d’Italia podium finish, as he did in 2005, or winning the toughest Dolomite stage of the same race. Could Rujano’s return to a UCI WorldTour team for the first time since 2008 see his umpteenth renaissance? Don’t rule it out - Vancansoleil-DCM has a gift for getting their riders to shine.
BOECKMANS Kris BEL 13.02.1987
BOLE Grega SLO 13.08.1985
DE GENDT Thomas BEL 06.11.1986
FEILLU Romain FRA 16.04.1984
FLECHA GIANNONI Juan Antonio ESP 17.09.1977
HOOGERLAND Johnny NED 13.05.1983
KEIZER Martijn NED 25.03.1988
LAGUTIN Sergey UZB 14.01.1981
LEUKEMANS Björn BEL 01.07.1977
LIGTHART Pim NED 16.06.1988
LINDEMAN Bertjan NED 16.06.1989
MARCATO Marco ITA 11.02.1984
MARCZYNSKI Tomasz POL 06.03.1984
MOL Wouter NED 17.04.1982
NOVIKOV Nikita RUS 10.11.1989
POELS Wouter NED 01.10.1987
RUIJGH Rob NED 12.11.1986
RUJANO GUILLEN José VEN 18.02.1982
SELVAGGI Mirko ITA 11.02.1985
VALLS FERRI Rafael ESP 25.06.1987
VAN HUMMEL Kenny Robert NED 30.09.1982
VAN POPPEL Boy NED 18.01.1988
VEUCHELEN Frederik BEL 04.09.1978
WESTRA Lieuwe NED 11.09.1982
KREDER Wesley NED 04.11.1990
LAMMERTINK Maurits NED 31.08.1990
MARKUS Barry NED 17.07.1991
VAN POPPEL Danny NED 26.07.1993
WAUTERS Willem BEL 10.11.1989
* Provisionally suspended.
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