Patrick Gretsch, who will move from Argos-Shimano to Ag2r-La Mondiale next season, told Cyclingnews on Friday that he is very excited about the move and is hoping to find more opportunities for himself with the French team.
"I had two really awesome years with Argos-Shimano," Gretcsh said before the start of stage 3 at the Tour of Alberta in Canada. "But I also wanted to develop as a rider. I think the Argos-Shimano team is well supported with a lot of riders for the sprint train, and we showed this year at the Tour that they are really strong. But I also want to pursue a little bit my own ambitions, and I'll get a bit more freedom with Ag2r, and I also can support this team as well."
Gretsch, 26, medaled twice in the U23 world championship time trial before entering the WorldTour with HTC-Highroad in 2010. He has five professional wins, including prologues at Ster ZLM Toer (2011), the USA Pro Cycling Challenge (2011) and the Ruta del Sol (2012).
Grestch finished second behind Tony Martin in this year’s German national time trial championships. As an amateur, Gretsch raced for the same Thüringer Energie Team as Martin, Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb.
Gretsch said it's likely he will continue in a support role at Ag2r but could find his own chances in breakaways.
"We didn't talk about a specific program yet, but we talked about the main targets," he said. "I will support the guys before the climbs and also in the Grand Tours, and I think I can also play an important role in the sprint preparation."
Aside from having more of his own chances, Gretsch said he is excited about moving to a French squad from his current Dutch team.
"It's a new language," he said. "So I can develop myself also a little bit as a person also. So I'm really excited and looking forward to it."
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