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Podium Cafe Weekly Pro-File: Kurt-Asle Arvesen

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Kurt-Asle Arvesen of Team CSC is the subject of this week's Pro-File.  KAA has been a member of the Pro Peleton since 1998 and has been a mainstay for CSC since 2004.  Kurt, like many Norwegians, began his sporting career in cross-country skiing at the age of 5.  He competed in the famed Birkebeiner (http://www.scandinavica.com/culture/sports/birkebeiner.htm
ski race 5 times as well as the Oslo marathon.  At age 17 he competed in the "Den Store Styrkeprøven" - a cycle race from Trondheim to Oslo (21 ½ hours).

His Palmares include 14 wins including the Norwegian road and TT (twice each), a stage in the Giro, the CSC classic and the Tour of Denmark.  He is a powerful and versatile rider who can mix it up with the sprinters as well as perform well against the clock.  His first professional race '98 Paris- Brussels, he rode for Bartoli, protecting the leader from the winds and carrying water for him.  Bartoli placed third, but Kurt was pleased when his leader praised him for his hard work.  This is typical of Kurt, who really enjoys the sport of cycling and will bury himself for the team.  

A recent thumb injury-surgery has limited his racing thus far in 2007, however his main focus will be the Giro and the Tour.  Expect unwavering support for his leaders Schleck and Sastre and very solid overall placement for himself.  Often overshadowed by Stuey and Jens, KAA is every bit the bulldog as his more famous teammates.  CSC will be counting on Kurt this season and I will be pulling for him as well.