• Marcel Kittel and Daniel Martin at Etixx Quick-Step media day's training session (Tim De Waele)Source: Tim De Waele
Etixx-QuickStep gives you front row access to its pre-season press day in Calpe, Spain.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
Etixx-QuickStep
11 Jan 2016 - 2:31 PM  UPDATED 11 Jan 2016 - 2:35 PM

On a sunny afternoon in Costa Blanca, many of the team's riders outlined their goals and expectations for the 2016 season, which kicks off at next week's TDU. 

Keen to start his sixth season as a pro in February, Marcel Kittel's focus is on adding to his 11 Grand Tour stage wins.

"We worked on the lead out during the camp, we simulated sprint finishes, and things went really nice," he said.

"We are coming closer as a team. I aim for a good and relaxed start, and I hope the team will click quickly for the sprints. This is the main priority for me at the moment. As for goals, these will revolve around the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France."  

Normally a team focused on the Classics, CEO Patrick Lefevre has Daniel Martin ear marked for stage races.

"We want to be competitive also in week long stage races and thanks to the arrival of Daniel Martin, we can do that. He is going to be a key rider for the team not only in stage races, but also in the Ardennes Classics, where we'll line-up a three pronged squad, with him, Julian Alaphilippe and Bob Jungels," he said.

Martin's first race with his new team starts at a smaller race in Spain, then it's off to the Tour of Oman for preparation ahead of Tirreno-Adriatico and Volta a Catalunya, a departure for the former Liège–Bastogne–Liège and Giro di Lombardia winner.

"The atmosphere in the team is really great. The first three days were really hard, but everybody's really fit and it's incredible to see how much they worked in order to have a strong start to the season. For this year, I want to win races and help my team-mates take victories. I came to the best team in the world to do that, a team who won hundreds of races. The best years of my career are coming and I'm happy to enter in this period together with Etixx-QuickStep," Martin said.

Previously announcing he wants to try his hand at the cobbled races in 2016, time trial power-house Tony Martin further expanded on these plans. 

"I'm really interested in these races, because I want to set new goals and find new motivation, which is very important in my ninth pro season. My stage win in the 2015 Tour de France came as proof that I'm capable of performing on the cobbles. I want to show I'm strong there and to support the team. Besides these races, I will be gunning again for a Tour de France stage win and the World Championships."

Unlucky in 2015, Tom Boonen's main hopes are for an injury free year. 

"I am very happy, especially as I've seen how things are progressing since the first training camp. If everything keeps going like this, then I'll have a good condition for the beginning of the season. I'll start in Valencia, then I will go in Algarve, and afterwards I'll line up for the opening weekend in Belgium. Of course, Flanders and Roubaix are my biggest objectives, because I love these races, which keep me motivated on the bike," he said.

Last year's Strade Bianche winner and Paris Roubaix runner up, Zdenek Stybar has his sights yet again on the Spring Classics.

"We did a good a good job with the training, everybody is satisfied. The goal is to stay healthy and in a very good condition throughout the season. My focus will be on the Spring Classics and I will work hard to be there in a top shape. Then I hope to be selected again for the Tour de France and fight for another stage victory,' he said.