Voeckler could target Corsican scalp in 2013 Tour
During Team Europcar's winter training camp in Corsica, directeur sportif Dominique Armould shared his thoughts about the opening three stages of the 2013 Tour de France, which take place on the Mediterranean island.
Dominique, how did the week in Corsica go?
The training went well. We were very lucky with the weather and the riders enjoyed themselves. The only concern was with Perrig Quemeneur, who collided with a car. He cut his knee quite badly and he was forced to return home quicker than we had planned.
In what physical condition are the riders?
The terrain in Corsica is difficult and when you come here, you have to already be in good shape and not be carrying too much weight. The guys showed that they're taking things seriously. Some of them are much sharper and in better condition than they were last winter. They climbed more than 2,000 vertical metres per day.
How do you view the opening stages of the 2013 Tour de France?
It's going to be a very passionate start to the Tour, especially the third stage from Ajaccio to Calvi, which is very sinuous and undulating. It goes up and down throughout the day. It's a stage well suited to Thomas Voeckler. It will be necessary for the riders to be on the front because I predict quite a few crashes on some of the narrow bends. The second stage from Bastia to Ajaccio has a good climb but it's quite far from the finish and so may not be a factor. The goal for us here was clear: recce two of the three opening stages of the Tour and make the most of the favourable conditions in Corsica.
What's next on the agenda for the team?
The season's early races will be under way pretty soon. Everyone will spend the festive holidays with their families and then we will meet up for another training camp in Gijon on 12th January. They are professionals and I'm not worried that they'll put on too much weight over the Christmas break.