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“I’ve recovered well from Oman and I feel that my condition is improving, which is good since I’m here to fight for the GC. I have a really good squad around me with, for instance, Robert Kiserlovski to help me in the moun...

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CHRIS ANKER SØRENSEN

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MATTI BRESCHEL

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MICHAEL MØRKØV

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MICHAEL VALGREN

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PARIS - NICE

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PAWEL POLJANSKI

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RAFAL MAJKA

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ROBERT KISERLOVSKI

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01.03.2015 @ 12:05 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The “Race to the Sun” is coming up and Tinkoff-Saxo is fielding a strong squad in support of team captain Rafal Majka, who’s looking to make an impact. Paris-Nice 2015 will this year provide a noticeable chance for climbers and stage racers to face each other on several mountain stages and time trials in the battle for the GC.
 
In addition to GC-captain Rafal Majka, the team is sending Robert Kiserlovski, Matti Breschel, Michael Mørkøv, Pawel Poljanski, Chris Anker Sørensen, Ivan Rovny and Danish champion Michael Valgren to Paris-Nice. Sports director Sean Yates sees the race as the first major event of the year.
 
“Paris-Nice is the first European WorldTour event and one of those races that signal the coming of the high-season of cycling. We’ve assembled a strong squad of riders, whom have all shown a current shape that matches the toughness of this race. Rafal is, clearly, in the process of becoming a bona fide team leader and here he’ll get the chance to lead the troops. He’s motivated and with the form he carries on from Tour of Oman, he can do well on this year’s parcours”, comments Sean Yates.

Besides flat stages and two time-trials, Paris-Nice 2015 also features serious days in the mountains, especially on stage 4 to Croix de Chaubouret. Rafal Majka, 25 years old, picks Chaubouret as a deciding moment, but underlines that the final time trial up Col d’Èze is just as important. 
 
“I’ve recovered well from Oman and I feel that my condition is improving, which is good since I’m here to fight for the GC. I have a really good squad around me with, for instance, Robert Kiserlovski to help me in the mountains. We’re aiming to do a good result for the team. For sure, the mountain stages suit me the most and it’s where I can make a difference, if I have good legs. But the final mountain TT up Col d’Eze will be where the GC is eventually decided”.
 
Moving through early springtime France, Paris-Nice more often than not throws harsh weather conditions at the riders before reaching the mild climate of the Riviera. The team captain sees this as a reason to prepare extra well.
 
“We need to prepare us mentally and be ready for some days of fighting. With wind, rain and sometimes snow in Northern France during the first stages, it’s so important to stay at the front as the weather creates a nervous race”, Majka adds.

As a prestigious WorldTour race, Paris-Nice attracts strong competition. This year, Majka will face other in-form pre-race favorites such as Tejay van Garderen, Richie Porte and World Champion Michael Kwiatkowski. Sean Yates explains the level of ambition:
 
“Our goal going into the race is to do well in the GC with Rafal and to win a stage with guys such as Breschel or Valgren, who are obviously fast guys - and can do well in breakaways. The competition for the overall win this year is strong and the likes of van Garderen, Thomas, Porte, and Kwiatkowski are all natural time trialists. So with two time trials on eight stages, we’ll have to look for opportunities and use the strong and versatile qualities we have on the team to soften our rivals, especially on the mountain stages, where Rafal is at his best”.
 
“However, nowadays it’s more difficult to isolate a team leader, as the teams are very disciplined. But Paris-Nice is a hell of a race, there are so many factors that remain unknown until they are in effect and we can’t take anything for granted. Our approach is to remain flexible and stay focused tactically… half of the favorites could be written off after stage one, if everything is torn to pieces in the wind like in previous editions”, finishes Sean Yates.

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