Oliver Naesen of team AG2R La Mondiale says he is excited to get his 2019 season underway when he participates in the Tour of Valencia, which begins later this afternoon.
You can catch live Tour of Valencia action on Fox Sports 2 from 15h00 CAT today.
"I had a very good winter, but now I'm looking forward to racing again. That way you can quickly erase any questions about your form because the training is never the same as competition," Naesen said in a statement released by his team.
"The goal of my winter preparation was to make further progress," said Naesen, who has racked up 3,700km of training distance since the turn of the year.
"I had a big month in December, then rested during the holidays before doing heavy workloads in January,” he explained.
“I have been a little quieter for the past few days so that I can attack the races feeling fresh."
The Tour of Valencia (also known as Vuelta a la Valencia) begins this afternoon with a 10.2km opening time trial in Orihuela.
Thursday is a 166km stage in Alicante, followed by Friday's 194.3km third stage from Quart de Poblet to Chera.
Stage 4 takes the peloton 188km from Vila-real to Alcala-Alcossebre, and the five-day race ends Sunday with an 88.5km stage from Paterna to Valencia.
"I am coming to Valencia with a lot of desire to do well because I have missed racing," said Naesen, who is hoping his showing in the Spanish race will prepare him for the upcoming ‘Classics’.
"I want to succeed in my Classics campaign with the sole objective of winning one, starting with the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (March 2)," he said. "I do not want to miss my chance. Each classic will be like a world championship.”