Greipel looking for successful Tour of Britain return
André Greipel has been the sprinter to watch in the latter half of the season and the Lotto-Soudal rider is hoping that he can carry on that success into his latest venture at the Tour of Britain. Greipel last rode the event in 2010, coming home with three stages wins in his pocket.
Like many, Greipel is using the event as his final preparation for the Worlds and he hopes that the particularly challenging course will be ideal for the road race in Richmond.
"We are heading towards the World Championships now and this race is perfect for preparation for the World Championships. We try to make the best out of it," Greipel told the media at the team presentation.
"I have some good memories here. The Olympic Race was here in 2012 and I did it in 2010 and it was really successful for the team and for me. We’re going to try and continue that."
Team WIGGINS honour Tom Simpson
The Team WIGGINS riders wore special edition jerseys for the opening stage of the Tour of Britain in honour of the 50th anniversary of Tom Simpson’s World Championship victory. For the day, the team have donned a predominantly white jersey with a thick blue band and a thinner black band around the chest. A crest with the letters TS are on the left sleeve while the word Simpsonisimo is scribed on the riders’ helmets.
Simpson was the first British rider to win the World Championships in 1965, where he beat Germany’s Rudi Altig in San Sebastian. Two years later, Simpson would die during the Tour de France while climbing Mont Ventoux.
Mullen hoping to learn with Cannondale-Garmin
Irish national time trial champion Ryan Mullen is making his debut as a stagiaire for the Cannondale-Garmin team. Mullen made his debut at the race in 2014 with the An Post-Chain Reaction team and finished with a strong seventh place in the final time trial. There is no time trial for the Irishman to look at this time, but he is hoping to take his chances over the next eight days.
"Excited isn’t the word. I’m a little bit scared. It’s really cool and the team is really nice and they’re really supportive of me being the new guy. They’re trying to ease me in slowly and I just hope that I can do a good job for the team," said Mullen.
"It’s a big race, this is my second time doing it and now I’m doing it with one of the biggest teams in the world, so it’s a little bit daunting in that sense. It’s a really cool race. I did it last year to build my form for the World Championships and it seemed to go pretty well for me so I’m hoping it’ll be the same."
Mullen, who finished second in the World Championship under-23 time trial by less than a second, will become a fully-fledged member of the team next season when he begins his two-year contract.
"I just want the experience of riding in a WorldTour team. I’ve ridden for continental teams for three years and this is my first experience of riding at such a high level. I’m hoping that I can learn a lot from them."
Geoghegan Hart takes confidence into Tour of Britain
Tao Geoghegan Hart returns to home racing at the Tour of Britain on a wave of good results after some strong performances in the United States. The 20-year-old, who will be riding with the Great Britain team this week, laid claim to the young rider’s classification at the USA Pro Challenge last month after showing signs of form at the earlier Tour of Utah.
Back in Britain, he’s hoping to bring that success into the eight-day race. "It’s a big race for me and for the team. We look forward to it all year and I’ve got some confidence from the last races and some momentum. I want to keep building and keep pushing forward," said Geoghegan Hart.
"There’s no real standout stage. Obviously you’ve got the Hartside Fell, which is definitely going to be the toughest stage in the race. I think that every day you’re going to have to be attentive. The way the race has been designed it’s so that there is racing every day and you get stuck in every day. I want to make the most of it and get stuck in."
Following the Tour of Britain, Geoghegan Hart is due to make his debut in Team Sky colours, as he spends the remainder of the season. The exact date hasn’t been confirmed but he’s raring to take up the opportunity.
"The biggest thing will be to ride with experienced teammates. It’s not something you really get as a junior and under 23," Geoghegan Hart. "The focus is on youth team, so you ride with some experienced guys but you don’t ever have older teammates. There’s guys that have been racing as long as I’ve been alive on some of the big pro teams. That’s a big difference and something that I’ve been really looking forward to."