Tour de France / First rest day
Alejandro Valverde still aiming for Tour de France podium as most realistic target in the 11 days left to Paris
The first rest day of the 2014 Tour de France awaited for the Movistar Team riders in Besançon today. The race will resume from the Franche-Comté’s capital in 24 hours’ time to tackle two lumpy stages before the second mountainous block, the Alps, start on Friday. The telephone squad’s leader, Alejandro Valverde, spoke to the media next to the team’s vehicles before taking a short recovery ride with his team-mates. The Spaniard’s agenda for the day will be completed by a Q&A with fans around the world, who can send their support and ask questions to him via the hashtag #AllezValverde, until 17.00h. Here follow Alejandro’s thoughts after the first ten days of racing:
“My goal remains the podium at the moment; should we be able to gain some time and opt to something else, we won’t rule it our not stay content with what we got, though. I feel great, my legs are doing really well – I always say my body functions mostly by how I feel, and if the forecast is correct and good weather shows up for the remainder of the race, theoretically, I should be stronger with sun and good temperatures. I felt well in these last days, but those are conditions I don’t like at all. After Liège, I only took five days of racing: three in the Route du Sud, then the Spanish Championships – if not improving it, my form should stay the same until the end of the Tour.
“There’s still all the Alps, all the Pyrenees left… in short, all the big mountains, though not all hard stages, because we had some already. Any stage could be good to gain time or lose it. Leaving aside Wednesday and Thursday, which should be more suited for breakaways, we will have stages where anybody can ‘collapse’ and lose all chances. We’ll try to attack, but always keeping our minds cold – not one of our rivals is weak, and attacking for the sake of attacking is nonsense. We must do it when we can hurt our rivals.
“Nibali? He’s not unbeatable, of course, but he’s proving to be really strong at the moment, and up to date he enjoyed weather conditions which suit him perfectly; he’s the one to suffers the least with rain of all of us up-front. The rest, as well Porte, as Pinot, Bardet – all of them up-and-coming youngsters who are doing really well – all of them are dangerous and worry us. I feel always responsible for my team’s success, wherever I ride. But we will keep calm. We got through very important and difficult days so far in this Tour and our moment to feel more comfortable on the road and profit from it should come now. Let’s hope it happens.”