Three new signings for Team Saxo Tinkoff as Hansen, Poljanski and Kolar come on board
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Friday, November 15, 2013

Three new signings for Team Saxo Tinkoff as Hansen, Poljanski and Kolar come on board

by VeloNation Press at 6:39 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Riis enthusiastic about trio of young riders

Team Saxo TinkoffMoving forward after an earlier period of uncertainty for the team as regards budget for 2014, Saxo Tinkoff has announced the signings of three young riders. Neo professionals Pawel Poljanski, Michael Kolar and Jesper Hansen will all compete with the team for the next two years, taking the next step in their careers.

Poljanksi and Hansen both raced as stagiaires this autumn, showing their abilities while also getting to know the structure and lineup.

Hansen reinforced the team’s interest in him earlier this year when he finished seventh in the Glava Tour of Norway while part of the Team Cult Energy continental team. After starting his stagiare slot, he competed in the USA Pro Challenge, where he was sixth in the young rider classification and 26th overall.

He describes his time thus far as “both fantastic and educational,” saying that he is psyched to begin his pro career there.

“First and foremost, the level of professionalism both on and off the road has been an experience for me, and especially being part of the team's lineup for the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado stands out for me as something to remember. Now, I look very much forward to continue my development in this team and get the new season started.,” he said.

He said that the priority in year one is to learn and gain experience rather than chasing results, and that the team supports him in this.

Riis highlights what he says has been impressive performances, and believes he is ready to step up. “He is still young and need to further develop, but if he can continue to progress, I see a huge potential in him,” he said. “He is an exceptional climber, and I believe he can grow into a fantastic stage racer in the future.”

Poljanski won the Under 23 Polish national championship last year and rode a number of races this autumn during his trial with the team. He too is enthusiastic about his contract. “This is a fantastic opportunity for me, and also a challenge that will require tons of hard work,” he said. “But I feel I'm ready for this, and I will do my very best to meet the team's expectations.”

Kolar is the youngest of the trio, with the twenty year old being three years younger than Hansen and Poljanski. He raced with the continental Ducla Trencin Trek squad this year and notched up four UCI wins. They were the 1.2 ranked Kosice – Muskolc in March, the similarly-ranked Baja Luka Beograd I in May, and then stages of the Carpathia Couriers Tour plus the Tour of Serbia.

“It has always been a dream of mine to become a pro bike rider. When you get this kind of chance from one of the best teams in the world, it really is an easy choice, and I'm very grateful for this opportunity,” he said. “I'm well aware that it will take a lot of hard work to adapt to racing at World Tour-level, but I have great confidence in myself, and I hope to be able to jump into the pro peloton as fast as possible.”

Riis states that he believes both have the potential to become great bike riders.

“By adding them we now have a solid and interesting group of talents, both when it comes to one day races and stage races and skills in all terrains,” he states.

“As a stagiaire Pawel has shown he is a versatile rider, who can climb. He has done some great races for the team and on top of that he had some fantastic results in the testing we did with him. So we feel he deserved a contract for the years to come.

“Michael has not yet made a name for himself in cycling, but he certainly has the potential to do so if he can continue his development. He is still very young, but he is extremely fast and possesses the skills to become a great sprinter.”

The team will again be led next year by Alberto Contador, with Roman Kreuziger and Nicolas Roche amongst the other rider who will get leadership opportunities. The younger riders will learn from those, and have time to settle in and develop.

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