Team Qhubeka ASSOS (TeamQhubeka.com) have announced their seven-driver lineup for the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var, which will see our team lean on Simon Clarke’s road leadership qualities in what promises to be a very tough race. . .
The 34-year-old Australian recently made a strong debut for the team at Étoile de Bessèges, where Michael Gogl finished sixth overall and Giacomo Nizzolo had an excellent sprint performance, and is now on the starting line of a race that seeks to provide an intense early season test for all competitors.
Clarke will be joined by his compatriot Robert Power, 25; as the highly skilled Perth man makes his first start since joining the team at the start of the season.
Belgian climber Sander Armée together with Italian Grand Tour champion Fabio Aru, who recently participated in the Tour de la Provence, will welcome the opportunity to prove themselves more at the start of the season, as they take to the starting line for the initial stage of 186.8 km from Biot to Gourdon. While the strong and versatile duo of Lukasz Wisniowski and Emil Vinjebo embark on their second races of the season, where they will seek to play important supporting roles at all times.
The line-up for the three-day race is completed by Belgian Dimitri Claeys, a driver who will be on the lookout for the next Classics campaign, but will surely seize the opportunity with the tough races on offer to improve his condition before the races to come .
As the Qhubeka ASSOS team will do throughout the year, we are privileged to have one of our dedicated fans announce the lineup for this race, in his creative way.
Career alignment [squad number]:
Simon Clarke 
Robert Power 
Fabio Aru 
Sander Armée 
Dimitri claeys 
Lukasz Wisniowski 
Emil vinjebo 
Weather wise, it looks pretty good for the race, which will be great news! For me, it’s race number two for Team Qhubeka ASSOS, so I’m looking forward to being part of it again with a new group of guys. I’m obviously still getting to know the whole team (from a racing perspective) and it’s a completely different group here compared to Besseges so I’m looking forward to racing some new ones.
It’s a tough little race, so it’s a good opportunity to check your status and see how things are going for the spring season. There will be no hiding in Haute Var, you can’t come there if you haven’t worked hard so it will be good to see how everything goes.
The race consists of three difficult stages, all with uphill finishes and more than 3000m of climbing, every day. It’s going to be a tough challenge, but a good running block, that’s for sure.
Alex Sans Vega – Sports Director
It is another exciting race to start the season: three stages, all quite tough and with a quality field; so it will be a very high level race.
For us, we want to perform at a good level and also use the race as a final preparation, for some of the guys, who will be looking towards the ‘opening weekend’ in Belgium, the first great classics of the season. Of course, as a team, we strive to always be successful, and that will be our goal. If we can do that and include a good result, it will be great for the team and the good start to the season that we have already had.