Blythe has been signed up by the Russian super-squad to support Slovakian Peter Sagan in the Classics. The 25-year-old will be reunited with former NFTO team director Sean Yates on the team, as we previously reported on August 3.
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“Yates was a sport director at NFTO and I got on with him very well,” Blythe said in a statement issued by Tinkoff-Saxo on Tuesday. “When he mentioned to me there was an opportunity, I didn’t think twice about it.
“I consider Tinkoff-Saxo to be the best team in the world that has the best classics rider in the world, Peter Sagan. It will be an honor for me to help him in the classics and do a great job for him. It will be a dream to me to support Peter in the best of my abilities so that he wins a classic”.
Blythe was signed to Orica at the end of the 2014 season after claiming a win in the RideLondon-Surrey Classic while riding for British team NFTO. He worked for young Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan at Orica, as well as having a free rein in certain races for himself. Although Blythe hasn’t taken any victories so far in 2015, he has scored seven top 10 places. He previously rode for Omega Pharma-Lotto (2010-11) and BMC Racing (2012-13).
“The main priority for Adam will be Peter, especially in the Classics,” said Tinkoff-Saxo head sport director Steven De Jongh. “That is where Adam will focus on, to work in support of Peter and deliver him to wins.
“We have been watching Adam and he has shown he can do good races. We hope he will further develop as a rider and reach his best level next year.”
On Monday, Sagan won stage three of the Vuelta a España – his first Grand Tour stage victory since taking a stage of the Tour de France in 2013 – which has relieved some of the pressure on him to perform. He was sign to Tinkoff for 2015 with the expectation of winning at least one big race in the spring, but that never materialised. Subsequently, outspoken team owner Oleg Tinkov has said that he was considering cutting Sagan’s salary. Now, though, the squad appears to be rallying behind its star and signing up support riders such as Blythe.
Tinkoff-Saxo said that it will be making further team announcements in the coming weeks.