Adam Blythe's British national champion colours mean that he stands out from his Aqua Blue Sport teammates in their dark blue and gold colours at the Dubai Tour. However, the Yorkshire man was relaxed about making his debut with the new Irish Professional Continental team but stressed that he is ready to take his chances in the expected sprint finishes.
"There's really no expectation apart from what we expect from ourselves. We want to gel, work well and get the best result possible. I'll go for the sprints and see what happens. It's just about getting stuck in," he told Cyclingnews before the start of stage 1.
"I’ve raced in other desert races, but I've not done the Dubai Tour before. It should be fast but fun. I'm feeling good, the training has been going well but it's all a bit of an unknown until you start racing. We'll find out shortly."
Blythe likes his bling and so there was no doubt about matching white shorts with his white British national champion's jersey decorated with wide red and blue bands.
"New kit, all white. It's got to be done," he said with pride. "Everyone is all in favour of black shorts, claiming its a retro-classic look but so is a typewriter and nobody uses them anymore. I like it. It looks good."
Taking on the big lead out trains
Blythe and Aqua Blue Sport will try to take advantage of the powerful lead out trains of the big-name sprinters at the Dubai Tour. Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data), Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors), John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo), Elia Viviani (Team Sky) all have powerful lead out trains riding for them this week and are expected to land an early season win. Other sprinters such as Sacha Modolo (UAE Abu Dhabi), Jakub Mareczko (Wilier-Selle Italia) and Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) will also be in the mix in what are expected to be high-speed sprint finishes at the end of four of the five stages.
Blythe has sprint support from former Team Sky rider and proven lead out man, Andy Fenn. Also in the Aqua Blue Sport roster for the Dubai Tour are Matt Brammeier, Mark Christian, Stefan Denifl, Lars Petter Nordhaug and British climber Dan Pearson, who quickly jumped in the early break during stage 1.
"I think the sprints are going to hectic,” Blythe suggested but was seemingly unworried about rubbing shoulders and fighting for wheels at high speed. Indeed, he sees the presence of the big name sprinters and their lead out trains as an opportunity rather than a problem.
"Most riders and leadout trains are getting back into the swing of things. There will be a few mistakes made by the big teams and I just hope to take advantage of that and hop from wheel to wheel. It's a lot easier said than done but we'll give it a go," he told Cyclingnews.