Tour de France - Interview Pierre Rolland: The Alps, it is my home

Thu, 12 Jul 18:23:14 2012

It was a great day. We expected a big show, and we got. I was not sure if I would try to go clear [of the escapees] on climb of the Madeleine or wait a little later. We spoke with Christophe Kern, and he helped me to get me back to the lead group, then reached the front in the ascent of the Croix de Fer and Mollard climbs. I told him he was going too fast, but he kept saying, Shut up and trust me, you'll have them!' This stage, it's been in my dreams for six months. This is the queen stage for me, because it is the most difficult, because it's in the Alps. And the Alps, is my home. This victory is very different from last year; as soon as I found myself in the break, I had to take my responsibilities as the others [in the break] looked at me. Last year, I could play on the element of surprise, and also work with nerves of [Samuel] Sanchez and [Alberto] Contador. Both stages [today and at Alpe d'Huez in 2011] are similar on paper, how to win them was entirely different and so my two wins at the Tour have a different flavour. Since the presentation of the Tour, the team knew that the route was not ideal for me when it came to the overall standings. But we still we decided to pursue this goal To reach the podium, requires total commitment and consistancy over three whole weeks, which is very different to come to a race to win stages by having some less intense days. This is something I want to work on improving over the coming years.


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