What's Cool In Road Cycling

Joaquim Rodriguez will lead Katusha Team at Tour de France

At the end of June, Saturday 29th, the historical 100th edition of “Tour de France” will start. Katusha Team will take part to the event with Joaquim Rodriguez as the leader, fighting for general classification after last year’s two podiums in “Giro d’Italia” and “Vuelta a Espana”.

The complete roster will be as follows: Pavel Brutt, Alexander Kristoff, Aliaksandr Kuchynski, Alberto Losada, Daniel Moreno, Joaquim Rodriguez, Gatis Smukulis, Yuriy Trofimov, Eduard Vorganov.

Sport Directors: Valerio Piva, Torsten Schmidt, Dmitriy Konyshev.

“I think we will have the best and strongest roster we could choose – said Valerio PIVA, Head of Sport Directors – we will have Joaquim Rodriguez as a leader, and our main goal is to fight for general classification with him. For this aim, we have strong climbers such as Losada, Trofimov and, of course, Moreno, that will be our second in command. Moreover, we have also riders for protecting our leader in the first part of the competition, like Brutt, Smukulis, Kuchynski and Vorganov: I expect their work to be crucial, especially in the team time trial and in the breakaways. Then, we will have Kristoff for sprinters’ stages, even if we won’t have a real train in order to help him: but he’s in a great shape, so I think he can do a good jobs and also support the team in some stages. In general, we have to be focused from the very beginning: the three stage in Corsica will be tough, especially the third, that’s why we will be there a little earlier than expected in order to check it. Obviously, the third week will be crucial and the most demanding one: but it’s a three-week long competition, so we have to pay attention everyday. Anyways, we checked all the time trials, we went to see the courses of Pyrenees stages, we tried the Alps during and after ‘Criterium du Dauphinè’, so we will be very prepared and motivated to reach our goals”.

This edition of “Grande Boucle” is expected to be more difficult than the previous ones, with more crucial mountains. The start will be already demanding, with the first three stages in Corsica: the courses will be bumpy, so the riders should be focused from the very beginning in order not to lose precious time.

After that, the fourth stage will be a 25 km long TTT that will settle the general classification. The first mountains will appear in the eight and ninth stage: the group will reach Pyrenees. The eight stage will have an uphill finish line in Ax 3 Domains, while the day after the riders will have to climb 5 categorized climbing parts, with Peyresourde and Horquette d’Ancizan in the final that will end the first part of the competition.

After the first rest day, there will be the 33 km long individual time trial of Mont Saint Michel. But the second week will be characterized especially by the presence of Mount Ventoux in the fifteenth stage, with an incredibly demanding uphill finish: 20,8 km with an average incline of 7,5% at the end of a 242 km long stage.

But it’s the last week that should be crucial for the final classification. After an insidious sixteenth stage, there will be the last ITT, a 32 km long one full of ups and downs. Then, the impressive three-days in the Alps: the eighteenth stage will have the double climbing of Alps d’Huez, with the last 13 km with an average incline of 8,1%; the day after the group will reach Le Grand Bonard after Glandon, Madeleine and Croix Fry uphill parts; while, the day before the arrive in Paris, the group will front the unknown finish part of Annecy Le Semnoz, a 10,7 km long uphill part with an 8,5% average incline.

For any other information about the race, please visit the official website: www.letour.fr.www.letour.fr

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