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“The first goal here will be to go for a stage win and then for Rafa we will see how he feels as he’s had a heavy season and a long travel from Rio to come here."

Photo: Sirotti








13.08.2016 @ 17:24 Posted by Andy Pedersen

Returning to race in France for the first time since securing the second King of the Mountains jersey of his career at the Tour de France, Rafal Majka heads the eight-rider Tinkoff line-up at the four-day Tour du Limousin that's focused on stage results. Tinkoff's three stagiaires from Hopplà-Petroli Firenze will also get their first opportunity to demonstrate their potential in an actual race environment.


Rafal Majka comes to the race having put in a superb ride at the Rio Olympic road race where he took the bronze medal, and will test his legs alongside a team that will look to take their opportunities for the breakaways and stage finishes.


All three of Tinkoff’s new stagiaires will line up at the race, with Davide Ballerini, Lorenzo Fortunato and Andrea Montagnoli starting their first race for the WorldTour team. They will be joined by the Russian duo of Pavel Brutt and Evgeny Petrov, together with fast-finishers Erik Baška and Jay McCarthy, the latter coming to the tour from the Arctic Race of Norway.


“The first goal here will be to go for a stage win and then for Rafa we will see how he feels as he’s had a heavy season and a long travel from Rio to come here,” explained Sport Director Tristan Hoffman. “The first two stages look good for Erik and then the last two more for Jay, but we will see how the race develops – everyday there’s a lot of altitude gain, but no big climbs.”


The race gets underway in the department of Haute-Vienne, with a rolling stage that suits a sprint finish. The following three stages suit the puncheurs and fast finishers, with an uphill to the line on stage 3 that could break things up in regards the general classification.


Hoffman continues: “The first two stages have quite flat finishes and then the last two there are small climbs in the last kilometres. It’s a good race for the young guys to go in the breakaways and it’s a hard race to control. Everybody can take his opportunity, and if you’re in the break you can get yourself into a GC situation.”


“For the stagiaires it’s a great experience for them to see how we do races like this. They’re joining one of the biggest teams in the world, and it’s also nice for them to race with Rafa too. We’ll give them a warm welcome to the team and they’ll get their chances, and then when it comes to the sprints everyone will support Erik and then Jay for the harder finishes.”


Tinkoff roster:

Rafal Majka, Jay McCarthy, Erik Baska, Evgeny Petrov, Pavel Brutt, Davide Ballerini, Andrea Montagnoli and Lorenzo Fortunato.



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