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Lotto Belisol: Tony Gallopin counts down the days till the Grand Départ
Two days left till the Grand Départ of the 101st Tour de France in Leeds, England. For Tony Gallopin it’s his fourth participation, the first with Lotto Belisol. The Frenchman talks about his role during this Tour, his shape and gives his opinion about this year’s route.

Optimal shape
Tony Gallopin: “I did everything I could to start this Tour with an optimal shape. My performances in the Critérium du Dauphiné reassured me about my condition. As the week progressed, I got better. The French championship of last weekend didn’t take place on a course that suited my capacities, it was cut out for sprinters (Gallopin became 10th, LTB). But the feeling I had along the way did indicate a good condition.”

Double role
“In the Tour I will help with the preparation for the bunch sprints, to bring Greipel’s train inside the five last kilometers. In other stages I will try to assist Jurgen Van den Broeck until the last climb, as I did in the Dauphiné. On the other hand I can have a go of my own in certain stages. That’s when there isn’t a bunch sprint in the cards and the course isn’t tough enough for the GC riders, like this Sunday in the stage to Sheffield. On such days I will try to get in a break and I can pursue a good result. Also in the Vosges there are opportunities for me.”

Countdown to the Grand Départ
“I’m counting down the days till Saturday. It may begin now. We did a recon of the first stage and the course is definitely not that flat, but it’s suited for André Greipel. You notice the Tour atmosphere here, houses and villages are decorated. This edition has one of the most beautiful courses of the last years. There’s a good mix between stages for sprinters, punchers, escapees and GC riders. Everyone who stands at the start is proud to be selected for the Tour. For a Frenchman it’s even more special because the biggest part takes place in our country.”



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