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Tour de Pez: Talking With The Heads
Roadside St.13: Stage 13 and the mechanics have to fit those 23’s and 25’s again. There’s a first, two second and two third category climbs today. It ain’t a sprinter’s day! It could be another straightforward breakaway day, or it just might be the day that the Tour lights up. We put it to the some of the men who make the big tactical decisions; “does le Tour start today?”

Matt White, Garmin:

The Tour is well started, but there’ll be action on that last category two climb, for sure. (The Firstplan) is a hard climb with a technical descent of 20 K to follow and the weather forecast isn’t good. Depending on the composition of the break, it could have a big influence on the race.

Nocentini? His team is finished, I think he’ll lose the jersey, today – he’s not a great climber and it’s going to go ape on that hill.

Our tactics? I’m not prepared to discuss that with you, but the main thing is to be careful, Saxo are always aggressive on a stage like this and we don’t want to get caught out.

Dirk Demol, Astana:

Yes, you could say that, there aren’t so many places where you can win a race, but today is one of the places where you can lose it. There hasn’t really been a day of big attacks, yet. But I think that today certainly gives opportunities and, of course, things are a little different for us now that we’ve lost Levi.

AG2R will try hard for Nocentini today, because if he survives today then he survives tomorrow. But I think that his team is on the limit, now.

Dimitry Konyshev, Katusha:

Today will change nothing, the big changes will come only at the mountain top finishes. That was why the Pyrenees changed nothing, it was too far from the summits to the finish. I think that the TT and Ventoux will decide the race.

Am I happy with the team’s Tour, so far? Not so much! But we will try to get in the breaks today and until the finish.

Hendrik Redant, Silence-Lotto:

It started two weeks ago! Maybe nothing big has happened in those two weeks, but they all count – you could say that the second, harder part of he Tour starts today.

Cadel has to attack, yes. His mentality is good, he knows that he must attack. It won’t be easy to make up three minutes, but it’s possible. It’s not easy to isolate a rider like Contador – but we have to try.

Jonathan Vaughters, Garmin:

The TTT was crucial, so was Arcalis but yes, this is where it starts to get very hard. The Platzerwasel climb is much harder than folks are giving it credit for.

Christian feels good, yeah. But for us, it’s not so much a case of attacking Astana, it’s about conserving energy for the time trial.

Bradley? He’s lost weight and done a lot of endurance work but I think it’ more a question of mentality; he has a winner’s mentality – you don’t win multiple Olympic titles if you don’t have that mentality – he’s a born winner.

Nocentini? He may survive today, but I think his team is very tired.

Kim Anderson, Saxo:

It has been on for a long time now! Everything that goes before counts, but it’s possible that today could see a big day for the leaders – I think it will be a nice race for you!

Bjarne Riis, Saxo:

The Tour is three weeks and every day is important; today could be a crucial day, it all adds up. Today will be a day for the breakaway, definitely.

The fact that there hasn’t been an important attack from the big riders is down to the parcours, they have to be the right; you can’t just attack everywhere – maybe today!

In around six hours time, we’ll find out who was bluffing.


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