Here are some of the best quotes from around the peloton, heard at team camps and presentations, ahead of the official start to the 2016 race season.
“Ford is the perfect partner for Team Sky, sharing our core values of combining technology and innovation to meet the specific and often varied demands needed in any high performance environment.” — Sir David Brailsford, Sky team principal, putting a brave face on Sky’s switch from Jaguar to Ford as its vehicle supplier.
“I had my mind on the Richmond World Championships, but did not manage to win the rainbow jersey, and that was a huge disappointment.” — Tony Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step)
“We will go for quantity, but also for quality.” — Etixx manager Patrick Lefevre, who wants to both have cake and eat it.
“The amount of improvement that that guy still has available to him was astounding to us and our sports scientists. He was training like someone was training in 1975. He’s really made some big improvements, and that will be interesting to see this season.” — Cannondale general manager Jonathan Vaughters on the potential in his new French signing, Pierre Rolland.
“It wasn’t so hard for me to decide to move. I feel I stayed a few years too long, and my performances were not good. Mentally, I wasn’t feeling good, and it was time to get some fresh air and gain back some renewed motivation.” —Jurgen Van den Broeck on his switch from Lotto-Soudal to Katusha.
“2015 was a very successful year. Everyone asks if I can repeat it in 2016, but that won’t be easy. At the end of the season I hope to go to the world championships as leader of the German team and will try to conquer that rainbow jersey.” — André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) on his 2016 plans.
“We want to win a classic this year and in the monuments classics — Milan-Sanremo, Tour of Flanders, and Paris-Roubaix — we are targeting at least the podium. The bar should be set high as does Sep [Vanmarcke] for himself.” — LottoNL-Jumbo’s optimistic technical sport director Nico Verhoeven on the team’s spring plans.
“[Team Sky’s] values are my values and I am proud to ride for a team that has shown that you can win the biggest bike races in the world clean.” — Chris Froome on re-signing with Sky through 2018.
“If I were to take part in the Vuelta, I am sure this year’s route will provide strong emotions until the very last moment. … I still have to talk to Oleg Tinkov and the team in order to decide our schedule but I don’t rule out riding the Vuelta.” — Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) on a potential Vuelta ride.
“When I was a child, my father took me to a Giro d’Italia stage. I saw Coppi and Bartali; Coppi with the pink jersey, Bartali with the tricolor jersey of the Italian champion. I was so impressed and fascinated that, from that time on, I always said to myself that sooner or later I would sponsor cycling.” Massimo Zanetti, owner of Segafredo coffee company, co-sponsor of Trek-Segafredo in 2016.
“I had to step away. I had to do that for personal reasons. There were a lot of things that I lost focus on. There was a big mental and emotional element, largely stemming from the accident with Taylor. A lot of ups and downs, some stuff that could easily be translated to depression and to things that were probably not very healthy states of mind for me to be in while being a professional cyclist.” — Lucas Euser on his recent retirement.