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"From my perspective, every rider of our squad has a chance and should get out there, get in the mix, get in the breakaway and maybe get a result. We can't pretend as a team that we can win the GC but each individual rider can try....







11.08.2015 @ 21:57 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tinkoff-Saxo brings a squad of five riders, including two stagiaires, to Arctic Race of Norway. Without a fixed plan, road captain and team leader Michael Mørkøv will seek to put the team strategy into effect, as a stage win remains the main objective for the northernmost race in the world.
Tinkoff-Saxo is set to participate in the 3rd edition of the Arctic Race of Norway that despite its short lifespan has turned heads by sending the professional field racing north of the Arctic Circle. According to sports director Sean Yates, Tinkoff-Saxo sends an underdog team, featuring two promising stagiaires, to seek out possibilities.
“We will not have set-in-stone tactics at the Arctic Race. From our point of view, everyone will have their chance to show their face, get their 15 minutes of fame and possibly get a result. From my perspective, every rider of our squad has a chance and should get out there, get in the mix, get in the breakaway and maybe get a result. We can't pretend as a team that we can win the GC but each individual rider can try”, says Sean Yates before adding about the team line-up:
“Michael Mørkøv is a respected member of the team, a good road captain, who can lead by example and can have a chance for himself.  Up to now, a lot of the time, he worked for others but he showed that he was strong in Denmark, where he took a stage win. Juraj Sagan also showed in Denmark that he was quite strong and if he gets in the right mood, he could get a stage result. I can't say we will win a bunch sprint with Michael Kolar or a stage with Juraj, we need to take our chances”.

Tinkoff-Saxo lines up Michael Mørkøv, Michael Kolar, Juraj Sagan as well as stagiaires Michael Gogl and Antwan Tolhoek, who will race in the fluorescent team jersey for the first time. Despite being scheduled to race, Oliver Zaugg has had to withdraw from the lineup due to illness.
Arctic Race of Norway features 700 kilometers spread on four diverse stages with tough competition from the local teams. Sean Yates predicts a race that will be difficult to control.
“Alexander Kristoff will try to win a couple of stages. As a result, it will be an open race with lots of attacking. That might suit us. If you make the right move you might have the chance to do a good result, as it could be difficult to control from behind. Others might not want to give too much lead because the race is only four days long and they might have a rider that could win the GC with the mountain top finish. There are 22 teams of which six are continental, nine pro-continental and seven WorldTour. For sure, all the local teams will want to show their face because the race is broadcast on TV”, comments Sean Yates.
“As far as the GC is concerned, Stage 3 with the summit finish is the decisive one. Stage 2 looks also very hard, it's very up and down. Stage 1 I think will be decided with a sprint. Stage 4 has a hard finishing circuit, but by then the GC will be more or less decided and the GC teams will try to control it. The race is only four days long, there is a mountain top finish but only 3.5km long, enough to decide the GC but not to create huge differences”.

Tinkoff-Saxo sends two stagiaires, Michael Gogl and team debutant Antwan Tolhoek, to the Arctic Race of Norway.
“In what regards the stagiaires, there are three in our team and they aren't allowed to do WorldTour races. Colorado can be a tough race and in our race program, the Arctic Race is the most suitable and, most probably, the other teams will not attend with their A-squad but with several stagiaires. For Tolhoek this will be his first race ever with Tinkoff-Saxo, while Gogl raced in Denmark, where he rode very well”, finishes Sean Yates.



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