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"I don't know which grand tour I will do next year. I would like to have at least one in my schedule but maybe even more. I could go for a double even though I have never done so before. The Giro usually always has a few stage fini...

Photo: Sirotti




20.12.2014 @ 07:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tom-Jelte Slagter looks back on his first season in foreign service. The Garmin-Sharp rider enjoyed a fine spring, with two stage victories in Paris-Nice as the highlights, but he won't repeat that feat in 2015. Slagter has decided to skip the French race next year but it won't be the only change to his schedule as he wants to do two of the three grand tours.

One year ago, Tom-Jelte Slagter left the Belkin team to join Garmin-Sharp. The Dutchman who signed a two-year contract with the American team, has not regretted his choice. "I did not know exactly what to expect, but it just suits me just very well. That is one hundred percent better than expected. I also had the feeling that it is in a foreign adventure," Slagter tells "Of course the language is different but there are already two Belgian team leaders at Garmin. That made things a bit easier at some races. I am also pleased with the results and the same goes for the team management. My program was eighty to ninety percent the same as the one I had at Belkin. " 


Like his previous employer, Garmin will have a new name in 2015. The team joins forces with Cannondale and will now be known as Cannondale-Garmin. Slagter doesn't expect much to change. "I don't think it's bad.  Of course we get another bike, a new kit and a few riders there but it remains broadly the same. It's up to me to make sure that I am in peak condition for the races that suit me well. After four years, I know how to do that. I know what I need to do in certain periods of the year in order to obtain the desired level. A different composition of the team won't change much. I don't imagine that there will be any problems." 


Slagter makes it clear that his race schedule is already broadly decided. "It will look like this year, with the emphasis on classics like Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Fleche Wallonne and the Amstel Gold Race. But I do not think I will do Paris-Nice this year. Instead, I will do Tirreno-Adriatico. Of course we will look at the courses. Last year there was no prologue or time trial in Paris-Nice. Now there is a prologue in the schedule so that makes the situation different for me. There is also a time trial in Tirreno but nevertheless I expect that there will be more opportunities for me. Normally there are always one or two stages that suit me.


This year Slagter impressed in Paris-Nice as he won two stages. If he hadn't been set back by a mechanical in stage 7, he could even have made a hattrick and maybe won the race overall. Buoyed by these performances, he expects a free role for the spring races in 2015. "Especially if I have the form of the past year. Of course it depends a lot on myself. The leader of the team is of course Dan Martin and Ryder Hesjedal can also do well in the grand tours. In other races I will be the leader while Sebastian Langeveld will be the captain in races like the Flemish classics."


In July, Slagter made his Tour de France debut. "I don't know which grand tour I will do next year. I would like to have at least one in my schedule but maybe even more. I could go for a double even though I have never done so before. The Giro usually always has a few stage finishes that suit me," Slagter says. "Futhermore, it also plays a role what the roster looks like and what the ambitions of the team are. It makes a world of difference if the GC is the highest priority and if we should go for stage victories." 


Slagter indicates that the 2015 Tour de France is attractive as it starts with a prologue in Utrecht. "It would be really nice to be present at this Tour. It is special to ride at home. But the course has to be good for me. It is beautiful that the race starts in the Netherlands is beautiful but if there are no opportunities for me, I have nothing to win."



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