Tinkoff Saxo launches 2014 team in Gran Canaria, unveils new look
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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tinkoff Saxo launches 2014 team in Gran Canaria, unveils new look

by VeloNation Press at 7:03 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Contador said to be well ahead of 2013 pre-season form

Alberto ContadorUnveiling a bright kit which contrasts with a recent spate of darker team colours – and making a symbolic early claim to yellow – the Tinkoff Saxo team today revealed the jersey and shorts it will use this year.

The team of Alberto Contador, Roman Kreuziger and Nicolas Roche held its launch in the Anfi Tauro resort in Gran Canaria, and there the Spaniard reaffirmed his intention to win what would be his third Tour de France. He ran second for some of last year’s Tour, slipped back to fourth by the end of the race, but is fully committed to working harder this year and posing a stronger challenge to Chris Froome and the other contenders.

“The atmosphere in the team is fantastic,” stated Contador. “We’re a very close group. Everyone’s clear what the main objectives are and we’re all heading in the same direction.”

Reassuringly for his supporters, general manager Bjarne Riis has said that the early indications are good for Contador.

“He looks very strong – certainly stronger than twelve months ago,” he said. “We have a powerful team around him and we’re very hopeful of a memorable year.”

He will make his season debut later than 2013’s Vuelta de San Luis. Last autumn he said that he believed he did too much, too soon, and never built the training base that he needed to build upon to hit top form in the Tour.

As a result, he will get things underway at the Volta ao Algarve in Portugal, which begins on February 19th.

Roman KreuzigerAccording to Riis, the team will target more than the Tour de France. The Ardennes Classics will be one goal, with the Amstel Gold champion Roman Kreuziger keen to defend the title he took in 2013, as well as contend for other races.

“I’m aiming to show strongly again in the Classics,” he said, “and then do well at the Tour of Switzerland. I’ll then support Alberto at the Tour and hopefully we can go better than [fourth] last year.”

Nicolas Roche is the team’s other big name and he too is aiming to make further gains. He finished a career-best fifth in the 2013 Vuelta a España and also took a stage, and is now turning his attention to a Grand Tour which will spend three days in his home country, Ireland.

“I’m looking to hit peak form for the Giro,” he stated. “It’s going to be a great atmosphere in Belfast and Dublin. The number of Irish supporting me at the Tour is incredible and I can’t wait to experience even greater support in Ireland.”

He picked up a knee problem at the team’s previous training camp in November, as detailed here, but was given the all clear to return to training and is building up for what he hopes will be his best season yet.

Many of the team’s other riders will also have their own goals, with Tinkoff Saxo tipping Rafal Majka, Oliver Zaugg, Daniele Bennati and Matti Breschel to do well.

A total of twenty riders were present at today’s launch, which took place a week after the start of the camp. Seven others were absent, with the riders who will contest the Santos Tour Down Under already in Australia.

Tinkoff-Saxo for 2014:

tinkoff saxoAlberto Contador
Roman Kreuziger
Ivan Rovny
Oliver Zaugg
Matteo Tosatto
Bruno Da Silva Pires
Pawel Poljanski
Rafal Majka
Chris Anker Sørensen
Daniele Bennati
Michael Mørkøv
Matti Breschel
Nicolas Roche
Evgeny Petrov
Manuele Boaro
Karsten Kroon
Marko Kump
Jesper Hansen
Sergio Paulinho
Jesus Hernandez
Rory Sutherland
Christopher Juul
Jay McCarthy
Michael Valgren
Michael Kolar
Nicki Sørensen
Nikolay Trusov

See a full set of images here (click on the first photo to open gallery)




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