Tom-Jelte Slagter (Cannondale-Drapac) will start the Tour of Alberta today with a confidence boost, having won on the same route in 2015 when he finished third overall behind Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) and Adam Yates (Orica-Scott).
Despite the Cannondale-Drapac riders being recently told the team may shut down after this season because of a sponsorship shortfall, Slagter, who has a contract through 2019, said the attitude among the riders is still good.
“I think the effect on us on the road will be zero,” he said. “I think we are motivated every race and everybody works really hard to be on his best. That’s not changed, and I think the morale on the team even went up because of this because everybody wants to show what we can do and ride as a team.
“Hopefully we’ll have a good future with the team and being a professional WorldTour team.”
This year, Slagter’s Cannondale-Drapac team is the only WorldTour squad in the Tour of Alberta, so his competition will come from a slew of North American Continental teams and from UnitedHealthcare, the only Pro Continental team in Alberta this year.
“There are only good memories from two years ago with two stages wins and a great time,” the 28-year-old said. “I’m happy to be back racing here, and we’ll see directly how the form is because it’s really important to be ready that day. I hope to do well myself, and we have a few other guys who are going well, so we will see.”
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