What's Cool In Road Cycling

Chris Butler to make comeback at Route du Sud

After a brief rest period the Caja-Rural Seguros RGA will continue their season at the Route du Sud (2.1) in the south of France from 15 – 18 June. The 41st edition of the event will be held over mountainous terrain and will feature no fewer than ten categorised climbs. The race has traditionally been seen as a warm-up event for the Tour de France and will feature many of the best World Tour squads.

The teams main GC force will come in the way of Sergio Pardilla who will look to repeat his performance from last year which earned him 5th place in the general classification behind race winner Nairo Quintana.

The younger members of the team will count on the experience of David Arroyo and Uruguayan Fabricio Ferrari, who will celebrate his 500th race for the team on the opening stage.

The race will also mark a welcome return for American rider Chris Butler who has not raced since breaking his elbow earlier in the year. After months of rehabilitation and operations he will be hoping to build towards a strong second half of the season in a race programme which includes home races at the Tour of Utah and the Colorado Classic.

Chris Butler: “Mentally I feel like a much stronger person after all the trials and tribulations in the Spring. Physically, things are coming back quickly, but after 2 months on the trainer and then 3 weeks totally sick in the hospital, is not the ideal preparation when competing against world class cyclists. But I am happy and mentally in a really good spot. Obviously, I am nowhere close to the form I want to be at, but I am so thankful for the hard work and support of Caja Rural-Seguros RGA and the hospital staff to really turn things around in 4 weeks to get me lined up.

Route du Sud has some very tough stages and the high level of competition will make it harder. Every race is important, so I will just take it one race at a time starting with this week. Originally, I thought it would be impossible to be good for Utah but now I have hope and will do as much as I can these next few months to be able to line up at a competitive level.”

Josu Zabala, Antonio Molina, Jonathan Lastra, Fabricio Ferrari, Sergio Pardilla, David Arroyo, Miguel Angel Benito, Chris Butler.

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