The British rider moves from Orica GreenEdge and will work as part of Peter Sagan’s core Classics team next season.
“There will be more opportunities next season and I’ll be working closely with Sean Yates who I know really well. It was a really easy decision when I found out that there was space for me,” Blythe told Cyclingnews.
“My main role will be to help Peter Sagan in the Classics and I want to do the best possible job for him. I know my way around a bunch, so does he, but if there’s someone else to help him, I hope that’s me.
“He’s one of the best handlers, if not the best, in the bunch but if he puts trust in me, when to follow me then hopefully I can help him with his results. This is a good opportunity for me and hopefully I can do my job. I’ll start off working with Peter early in the season and go from there.”
Blythe worked under Sean Yates at NFTO in 2014 and won four races that season, including Ride London. A move to Orica GreenEdge followed this year and Blythe has worked as part of Caleb Ewan’s leadout team. A mixture of a lack of WorldTour races this season, plus the chance to work with both Yates and Sagan were major attractions for Blythe to join Tinkoff-Saxo, and the two parties agreed terms on a new contract just after this summer’s edition of Ride London.
“It was great at Orica but I only did one WorldTour race, and that was Eneco and sadly I think that might be my last race for the year. It was a great team and I had some great rides at Orica. I was there to help Caleb Ewan out, which I did, but they didn’t offer me anything for next year and I was eager to get something signed. Having spoken to Sean quite often, he knew what my ambitions are and I think he can bring the best out of me,” Blythe told Cyclingnews.
Blythe’s move to Tinkoff-Saxo and his role as a key support rider to Peter Sagan is similar to his position at Lotto and BMC, where he rode earlier in his career as support for Philippe Gilbert. The Belgian and Sagan are two entirely different riders but Blythe will operate in a similar capacity, helping and protecting his team leader in the spring Classics and providing Tinkoff-Saxo with cover in the peloton. Like Sagan, Blythe has a fast finish, and could ride as a leadout man for the multiple Tour de France Green Jersey winner. He will also hope to have his own opportunities in some races.
“My motivation to race comes down to happiness and pleasure. Getting results is important but everyone got into this sport because they enjoyed riding their bikes. Winning isn’t easy at WorldTour, so working for someone like Caleb this year, or Peter next year, that makes me happy,” he said.
“We have a strong team for the Classics but I hope I’ll be able to work closely with Peter.”
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