Tour de France
After a turbulent first week, Movistar Team starts the Tour mountains tomorrow with new objectives ahead, with Valverde in good motivation as Costa is close to the overall top ten
Movistar Team’s leader Alejandro Valverde and the telephone squad’s general manager Eusebio Unzué spoke to the media this morning to analyze a fateful first half of the Tour -with left the team down to only six riders- and what’s coming up with the high mountains in the Alps -Wednesday and Thursday- and the Pyrénées, next week. The Spanish rider previously went on a short, 1-hour training ride during the 2012 Tour de France’s first rest day, just before his team-mates. The only exception was Rubén Plaza, who visited a medical center in Mâcon last night along with Vasil Kiryienka to undergo x-rays in order to rule out any rib fractures after insistent pain suffered by the duo following their crashes in Metz.
Valverde looked resigned to his misfortune, yet excited about the challenges still to come for him in the final ten days of racing: “’Disappointed’ is not the word; maybe it’s just ‘angry’ about my bad luck. Seeing yourself crashing twice one day and one more time the following day, having a flat tire at decisive points… At the end you’ve got to refocus everything and search for other objectives, now being a stage win. It will be hard because I tried on Sunday and they wouldn’t let me go. The leader’s support is really strong and doesn’t almost leave any big gaps for breakaways forming up. I hope that the big mountains bring some margin to maneuver. Wednesday and Thursdya will be two good days to give it a try. The real, hard Tour starts now. Until this point it was hard, but due to crashes.”
The Spanish rider is not ruling out getting on the move in the race either, as he wants to bounce back in a race he doesn’t ever get to his best level: “I did never leave an entire season up to the Tour because it can work as it did this year and on previous ones, in my case. I always try to contest alternative goals every season and not focusing everything on the Tour. However, it’s true that these or those things never leave you show your 100%. Still I don’t rule out making the Tour podium someday. It’s difficult to win it, but Sastre, Evans or Wiggins himself did it at an older age than me. The Vuelta was also getting difficult to me every year, until I won it in 2009.”
In turn, Eusebio Unzué underlined the performance by Rui Costa, now sitting 11th in the overall: “Now we have to see how Rui might still surprise us. He’s making a great Tour, and his behaviour is keeping us alive in the overall and the fight for the best ten, but it’s obvious that our main goal remains taking a stage win. Almost half the Tour is now gone and practically, everything was played out between three or four squads, so our goal is shared by many others and some of them won’t make it. Alejandro won’t be left any gap, I presume. He wasn’t left on Sunday either, when he was five minutes back, as we wanted him to get into the splits, and they made him clear they wouldn’t be letting him go, and that won’t be easy to change.”