By Hedwig Kröner in Cannes
"I'm really happy with my new team, really happy to be part of it," Paris-Nice stage winner Andrei Kashechkin said about the Spanish Liberty Seguros squad, with which the 25 year-old signed at the end of last season. "Getting to know Manolo Saiz has been quite a revelation. He has a very good relationship with his riders and I think that's very important. I certainly know that it works for me, as I have been feeling better and better these past few weeks."
Team director Manolo Saiz was of course overjoyed with the Kazakhstani's victory. "When he got 25 seconds on the chasers on the top of the climb, I just waited for the next time gap announced on the radio," Saiz told Cyclingnews at the finish in Cannes. "But when he still had 30 seconds halfway down the descent, I knew there would be a real possibility for victory! I'm happy to see him win here today, and Luis Sanchez took the jersey of best young rider, too, so it's a great final report from Paris-Nice," Saiz smiled, as he was heading off to Tirreno Adriatico that very same evening, adding, "But there's tomorrow also; we will try again!"
The boss of the Liberty Seguros team is proud of his riders, especially the younger ones with which he came to Paris-Nice. "I came here with a very young team," Saiz said. "For me, the result of the prologue was already very good, and now of course, with a stage win, it's even better! Luis Sanchez also impressed me, on the day up to Saint Etienne he first waited for Kashechkin, then he came back on the front group, and he's only 22 years old. That's the most important thing for me: with this many young riders on the team generally speaking, we have a great future ahead of us."
A full interview with Manolo Saiz will follow soon on Cyclingnews.