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"Of course, that doesn't mean we aren't motivated! We are here to give our absolute best and we will try to seek every opportunity we can and seize it."

Photo: Tinkoff-Saxo / BettiniPhoto

ADAM BLYTHE

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JAY MCCARTHY

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MANUEL BOARO

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MICHAEL GOGL

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MICHAEL VALGREN

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OSCAR GATTO

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TOUR DOWN UNDER

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14.01.2016 @ 15:08 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tinkoff is back in Australia for the 18th edition of the iconic race with a versatile and motivated squad that will try to seek opportunities in every stage. Tinkoff's squad consists of Ivan Rovny, JayMcCarthy, Michael Gogl, Oscar Gatto, Adam Blythe, Michael Valgren and Manuele Boaro.

 

Tinkoff has spent the off-season further strengthening its setup and preparing for 2016. According to Lars Michaelsen, Tinkoff's leading sport director at Tour Down Under, spectators at the side of the road and viewers at home can expect to see a motivated group of riders who are ready to seize their opportunities in the race.

 

However, being the curtain-raiser of the new season and with two new recruits in the team, Oscar Gatto and Adam Blythe, and a neo-pro, Michael Gogl, Michaelsen remains cautious and with a number of unknown factors, the team will adapt its strategy and tactics at each stage.

 

 

"With the exception of Jay McCarthy who raced in two criteriums and took fifth at the Australian National Championships, this is the first race of the season for our guys here. As a result, we will have to tackle Tour Down Under on a day-by-day basis. Obviously, they have been thoroughly prepared during the European winter period but it still is early to know where they stand in terms of form", commented Michaelsen.

 

"Of course, that doesn't mean we aren't motivated! We are here to give our absolute best and we will try to seek every opportunity we can and seize it. There is no doubt about that but we will adapt our strategy to the current situation every day. All our riders are motivated and ready to fight for each other from the start of the first stage", said Michaelsen.

 

In 2016, Santos Tour Down Under will feature a mix of familiar and new terrain. Analyzing the race's stages, Michaelsen said, "On stage 1, I think that a morning breakaway will take place and, hopefully, we will have one rider there. Then things will come together and we will see a sprint finish where Adam Blythe can take his chances. In stage 2 we could have another sprint finish with more or less 50 riders in Stirling, something that could suit Oscar Gatto".

 

"On stages 3 and 5 we have a number of uphill challenges. On stage 5, Willunga Hill has played a decisive role in the previous editions and will do as well this year. On stage 3, we have the Corkscrew, 5.7km before the finish and then it's all downhill. Still, I would say the Corkscrew is a nasty climb and it could also be decisive", stated Michaelsen.

 

Unlike the previous years, Tinkoff's squad moved much earlier to Australia in 2016 and used the perfect weather conditions as a training camp, both for the race itself as well as the rest of the season. "We came to Adelaide much earlier this year and took advantage of the conditions to train. This is a good way to build a platform and the foundations not only for this race but for the challenging year ahead of us. Last but certainly not least, we are happy to welcome Oscar Gatto and Adam Blythe in the team and it's good to see them racing in the nice Tinkoff kit", concluded Michaelsen.

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