17 September 2013
It has been a successful year so far for Argos-Shimano.
The Dutch WorldTour Team managed to win four stages in the
Tour de France with the talented German sprinter Marcel Kittel.
Their spectacular lead-out train impressed viewers around the world
and the final victory on the Champs-Élysées was the icing on the cake.
Despite the fact that the Tour de France is one of the most important races
of the season, the Argos-Shimano team has showed itself all the year round.
They did not ‘just’ came, saw, and conquered in the Tour de France, they were
not ‘just’ lucky and they were not ‘just’ profiting from other riders’ flaws either.
In fact, many years of research and dedication have started to pay off now.
Although Argos-Shimano is known for their expertise in the field of sprinting,
they do not simply close their eyes when it comes to the mountains.
They also slowly develop their experiences in the field of climbing
and aim at training talented (young) riders that could end up
at a good spot in the general classifications of (grand) tours.
Warren Barguil, who turns 22 in October, has just managed to win
two stages in the Vuelta a España in his first year as a professional rider.
Last week, the young climber from France won the 13th and 16th stage.
He became a trainee in 2012 and the team recognized his climbing potential.
Obviously, the Dutch team also focuses on the progress of Dutch talent.
Tom Dumoulin, for example, has shown his potential several times this year.
The Argos-Shimano rider was on the podium at the Dutch Championships,
became 2nd in the Eneco Tour, and showed himself several times in the Tour.
As a result of this, he gets to ride the World Championships this year.
Argos-Shimano gave these young talents the confidence to start a career.
But it is not only these exceptional talents that mark the success of the team.
Experienced riders like Koen de Kort are of great importance as well.
Mostly, the riders behind the ‘stars’ are the stable factors within the team.
So what is the secret behind this team besides talent, expertise, and dedication?
The photo below says it all: teammate Koen de Kort gave away his sprinter
John Degenkolb to his bride Laura at their wedding earlier on this year.
They do not only ‘lead out’ professionally, but also privately.
Team spirit. The Argonauts know what counts most.
© Instagram Koen de Kort