“The first stages are a bit different from the last few years. You have to be in good shape from the very first stage. It begins with a short time trial, but there will be time difference.
We must to be strong in the two uphill finishes, because, although they’re short, sometimes there are bigger time differences here than on the long climbs. It will be very important to have a strong team to stay protected. This is also important on stage 4 with cobblestones, which we will have to see before determining how difficult they are.
This first part of the Tour ends with a team time trial in which it will be important not to have lost riders in crashes or from illness, because a stage like this will be different if you have lost two riders in contrast to having a full team ready, The key to this first part will be to avoid losing time, as it will be in the mountains, where this particularly mountainous and demanding Tour will be decided.
The uphill finishes in the Pyrenees will be very important, just as is the finish in Mende, a finish that I know well. Despite being short, there will be differences on this climb. In the 2015 edition, the recovery from all that effort will be very important, especially if you look at the last week in the Alps. It will be very complicated in case you have to defend the lead, although the last week gives many tactical possibilities in case you have to attack. In general, it’s a Tour where you have to arrive in good shape and stay fresh and well recovered until the very end.
I like this Tour, it’s harder than what the last years have been and requires me to recover well from the Giro d'Italia. But I will prepare myself thoroughly."
“I like this parcours and I think it is going to be a spectacular race. I hope we will perform well in the team time-trials. The first week will be very demanding and stressful in order to get a good position in the peloton before for the first climbs. I also like to have cobblestones, because this year they resulted in a very interesting stage, although I hope it does not rain that day.
I like this course. It requires us to have a strong team and the absence of a long time trial is also good for us. I don't think the Tour has to always stay the same. In the same way that not every year there are cobblestones or a time trial. The Pyrenees and the Alps will be very hard and that will make a spectacular race: we need to have a spectacular race and I think that's a good change”.