Breschel: I just called up Fofonov and asked for a contract
Modern-day Danish coffee club hit Kazakhstan
After a disappointing 2016 Matti Breschel was cut from the Cannondale squad and forced to search for a new team. The Dane, once seen as a Classics star in the making, did not have to scramble around for long, and found a home for 2017 on Astana.
"I called them up and asked if they were interested," he told Cyclingnews at the Tour Down Under.
"I was talking to Fofonov. We'd never spoken before but he knew who I was. Astana's a great team and I thought that I'd give them a go."
Breschel is no stranger to changing teams in recent years having moved from Tinkov to Cannondale and now Astana in the last three years. Now 32, he is in the latter stages of his career and although he has never quite fulfilled the potential that many expected him after an impressive Dwars Doors Vlaanderen win in 2010, he believes that he can still perform at the highest level.
The move to Astana may signal a new beginning but the Dane, who has two Worlds medals to his name, did not want to leave Cannondale after just one year.
"I loved it there but I was sick for most of the Classics. Then I came back but crashed out of the Tour. I managed to come back for a few Italian races and then the Worlds but didn't really perform there. It was a bad season."
"I wanted to stay but it's all part of the game. I had a shit season and just had to seek another opportunity."
At Astana, he will link up a modern Danish coffee club in the form of Jacob Fuglsang, Michael Valgren, and Jesper Hansen.
The Classics will be the centre piece to Breschel's season once more, with the Tour de France a possibility on the horizon.
"Hopefully I can start out well here and then head into the opening week at Belgium before building up for the Classics. I still love those races and want to perform there. I'm pretty sure I'll get my chance but we have guys like Oscar Gatto, so a few of us on the same level."
"In the last few years, I've had some bad luck with some crashed. Each crash I have it's a big one and I end up breaking bones. I never just have a small fall but I'll keep on going as long as it's fun, as long as I can in a WorldTour team and as long as I'm competitive."
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Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at Cyclingnews.com between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.