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"The second stage and, in particular, the third one could favour Peter since it doesn't have a very steep finish, so hopefully he will be in the first group and be able to sprint for the win."

Photo: Tinkoff

JESPER HANSEN

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MACIEJ BODNAR

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NIKOLAI TRUSSOV

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PAWEL POLJANSKI

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PETER SAGAN

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RAFAL MAJKA

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TOUR DE SAN LUIS

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12.01.2016 @ 14:41 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tinkoff will open the 2016 season with the Argentinean race that has grown in recent years to become South America's most prominent event. From January 18th to 24th, the team, led by Peter Sagan and Rafal Majka, will take on its first challenge of the season.

 

Tinkoff will kick off its new season with an overseas race that has become the opener for many professional top teams which, by taking advantage of the favorable weather conditions, can assess the form of their riders.

 

This race has increasingly become a global showcase for emerging Latin American riders who, thanks to the opportunity provided by worldwide visibility and a chance to compete alongside the world's best riders, earned themselves a place in the big WorldTour teams.

Now into its tenth edition, the Tour de San Luis is scheduled from January 18th to 24th and features seven stages with a total distance of 921.7 km to be covered.

 

 

Tinkoff will send a versatile squad with World Champion Peter Sagan and Rafal Majka as the marquee riders. They will be joined by Maciej Bodnar, Jesper Hansen,Pawel Poljanski and Nikolay Trusov.

 

The first stage, for the first time in the race history, will be a team time trial of 21 kilometers on a slightly hilly course (El Duranzo).

Two stages feature an uphill climb to the finish, the fourth stage arrives at Cerro El Feint (1,710m) while the sixth stage ventures up to Sierras Comechingones and Filo (2,140m) providing the first Grand Tour test for the climbers.

 

"It will be my first participation in Tour de San Luis. I heard it's a great and well-organized race and I think it will be a good starting point for my 2016 season. I consider the Tour de San Luis as one of my preparatory races, however Tinkoff will have a strong leader. I'm excited to start my new racing season in Argentina!”, commented Rafal Majka.

 

The remaining stages are marked by a relatively flat course, an excellent opportunity for the team sprinters.

 

"I look forward to the upcoming «rainbow season»", says Peter Sagan. "I am also delighted to launch it at such a nice event - Tour de San Luis offers the best conditions to obtain a bit of racing pace. If I feel my legs in good form, I will also try to sprint for the first win of this season".

 

Patxi Vila, leading sports director for Tinkoff in Argentina, commented on the race: “The team will structure itself depending on whether it is a mountain or sprint stage. In that sense, Peter Sagan is Tinkoff's obvious option for the sprints, even if it is still too early. In fact, as this is the opening race of the season, it’s by far too early for all the riders."

 

 

"We could achieve a good result in the team time-trial since we have three riders most suited to it, Bodnar, Sagan and Trusov. The second stage and, in particular, the third one could favour Peter since it doesn't have a very steep finish, so hopefully he will be in the first group and be able to sprint for the win", commented Vila.

 

"In the fourth and sixth stages, Rafal Majka and Jesper Hansen could be our front men. At the Gran Canaria training camp we saw that Hansen was in good physical condition. In what regards Majka, his main objective this season is the Giro d'Italia, therefore it is too early for him to get in top shape now. The same holds for Poljanski. These three riders will be the ones to take up the reins in the mountains but we will adapt our strategy at each stage. We expect a strong performance by a number of South American riders, Colombians or Argentineans, who will be at their peak form and it might be difficult for us to win. Our main target is to keep improving the preparation of our riders for the season’s big goals and take our chances whenever we can."

 

"We will adapt our strategy and tactics after every stage. We will approach the race day by day, but of course we are a top professional sports team, and the desire to win is also part of our DNA”, concluded Vila.

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