Contador to lead Tinkoff Tour challenge


Alberto Contador will lead the Tinkoff team at the 2016 Tour de France, while Peter Sagan will attempt to win a fifth consecutive green jersey.

Team owner Oleg Tinkov will end his association with professional cycling at the end of this year and two-time Tour de France winner Contador is eager to make the Russian proud by mounting a strong challenge in the gruelling race.

"This will be a very important Tour de France for all of us," said Spaniard Contador, who finished fifth in the recent Criterium du Dauphine.

"It will be the Tour in which we would like to show Oleg Tinkov our gratitude for his support all these years. I'm exceptionally motivated for this race and we have been working throughout the year thinking about the Tour de France.

"Hopefully everything will play out the way we want."

Sprint specialist Sagan, who leads the UCI WorldTour rankings has his sights set on winning the points classification yet again.

"Of course the green jersey is for me a big challenge. The cold and hard stages in Switzerland [in the Tour de Suisse] took a lot out of me, and the national championships was also not easy.

"So after the first days of the Tour I will know how I am really feeling. Our whole team has high ambitions and I am convinced that Alberto will prove successful.

"When I can, I'll be there to help him. Let's see what each new day will bring and we will appropriately adjust our tactics."

Rafal Majka, Roman Kreuziger and Robert Kiserlovski have also been named in the Tinkoff team along with Maciej Bodnar, Matteo Tosatto, Oscar Gatto and Michael Valgren.

The most prestigious Grand Tour of the three starts on Mont-Saint-Michel on Saturday.