Ralph Denk has confirmed that Peter Sagan will again target the green jersey at the 2018 Tour de France, and the German has told Cyclingnews that the world champion is ‘extra motivated’ and hungry to win back the jersey after being disqualified from the 2017 Tour.
Denk, the general manager at Bora-Hansgrohe, was speaking in Paris on Tuesday after attending the route presentation for the 2018 Tour.
“It’s a tough Tour. The first few days will have cross-winds. Then we have pave and then there’s the really hard climbs. Don’t forget that there’s the TTT. It’s the hardest race in the world,” Denk told Cyclingnewsas he strolled out through the auditorium of the Palais des Congres.
Denk’s crown jewel, Sagan, was disqualified from the Tour this year after he was adjudged to have ridden Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) into the barriers on stage 4. Sagan’s departure from the race ended his incredible run of green jersey victories that had stretched back to 2012. The green jersey was eventually won by Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb), who picked off two stages and saw off Marcel Kittel for the title.
“He’s hungry for sure, and he loves a challenge,” Denk told Cyclingnews.
“We saw that in Bergen when he became the first rider to win three times in a row, and he would love the challenge to come back to the Tour de France. I think it gives him extra motivation after what happened in 2017. To win the green jersey is the main goal, and then to win a Monument. Then we have the Worlds in Austria. It’s close to where we are based.”
Although Sagan is the focal point for Bora at almost every race he attends, the German outfit boast a number of other strong cards. Rafal Majka and Leopold Konig are potential GC candidates, while the team have strengthened in a number of areas during in the transfer market.
“For sure, we have mixed objectives for the Tour,” Denk said. “For one, we have Sagan and I’ve seen some stages for him. Then we have our GC guys, Majka, Konig and maybe Emanuel Buchmann. We’ll have to see because that’s not decided yet.”
Denk’s objective is to build rather than settle for the status quo, and despite having a marque rider in Sagan, he has the ambition of turning Bora into the best team in the world.
“We were a good team this year, but my goal is to be the best team. We took some opportunities in the transfer market, so with Davide Formolo, Daniel Oss and Peter Kennaugh we have new arrivals. We’ll see.”
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