News: Contador & Roche Aiming For Grand Wins in 2014


Five-time Grand Tour winner Alberto Contador confirmed his ambitions to win his third yellow jersey at the Tour de France while  Nicolas Roche aims for the Giro

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GRAN CANARIA, 14th January 2014 – Yellow resonated loudly at today’s Tinkoff-Saxo 2014 team launch in the stunning Anfi Tauro resort, Gran Canaria.




With the Tour Down Under beginning this Sunday, seven riders, including Rory Sutherland, were absent, but that didn’t affect the team’s buoyant mood. “The atmosphere in the team is fantastic,” says Contador. “We’re a very close group. Everyone’s clear what the main objectives are and we’re all heading in the same direction.”

Those ‘objectives’ include setting up Contador to challenge for the Tour de France and Vuelta titles. The 31-year-old Spaniard is looking to win his first Grand Tour since the Vuelta in 2012 and, according to sport director Bjarne Riis, “He looks very strong – certainly stronger than 12 months ago. We have a powerful team around him and we’re very hopeful of a memorable year.”

“I’ll begin with the Tour of Algarve in February. I’ll then race Tirreno Adriatico, followed by the Volta a Catalunya and then the Vuelta al Pais Vasco in April. I’ll have a break before coming back for the Dauphiné in June, followed by the Tour and Vuelta [a Espana].” Contador speaking on his current condition says “I feel good. The head and the body are working well. As a team we’re heading in a good direction, and if we keep on working hard then we’ll see what happens.”

Contador’s preparations for attacking July’s Tour de France begin in February at the Tour of Algarve. “But it’s not exclusively about the Tour,” says Riis. “We have many ambitions for 2014.”

Riis speaking about the recent takeover explained “I’m feeling really good about it. It’s good for the team and it’s good for Oleg [Tinkov, the owner]. And I have to say during the process Oleg has been great. I have a lot of respect for that and I really look forward to this partnership. It’ll be different for me but it’s
great because he wants to do his best for the team.

Those include challenging for the Classics, specifically the Ardennes Classics like the Amstel Gold Race, which Tinkoff-Saxo’s Roman Kreuziger won in 2013. “I’m aiming to show strongly again in the Classics” says Kreuziger, “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.”


It’s also a big year for Tinkoff-Saxo’s Nicolas Roche. The 29-year-old is currently recovering from a knee injury sustained in November but has just returned to training. While it’s disrupted his early-season plans, Roche remains confident of a challenging at the Giro d’Italia in May. “I’m looking to hit peak form for the Giro” says Roche. “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.”

His debut season for Tinkoff Saxo included a stage victory at the Vuelta and fifth overall at the same event. Roche on talking about the recent knee injury says “The knee is slowly but surely getting there. I tore the insertion of the quadriceps where it links to the kneecap back in November.”

“It was a beach activity but I’ve just resumed training, albeit I’m taking it slowly. “The Giro d’Italia is a new challenge for me because I’ve never gone for form so early in the year. The last five or six years I’ve either gone for the Tour or the Vuelta, so I’ve always taken an easier or less in form beginning to the year. That’s quite exciting.”

“Ireland’s experienced a great boom over the last four or five years and the sport’s attracting new riders all the time . I’m sure I’ll receive a great atmosphere at Belfast, all the way down to Dublin. Every year the number of Irish beside the road at the Tour de France is incredible and on the increase. So I’m really looking forward to being there.”

Other riders to watch out for in 2014 include Rafal Majka, Oliver Zaugg, Daniele Bennati and Matti Breschel.

The full roster of Tinkoff-Saxo riders for 2014 is:

Alberto 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


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