I met Wout Poels is Majorca some years ago, when he had just joined Team Sky, but I had apreciated him since before. On his jersey there was written 'Wout' as he said his name was often got wrong. He sounded such a nice guy! coming from a very bad injury, aware of his talent he was ready to work for the team leader in the Tour. He found himsef fighting for the final victory in that year Tirreno-Adriatico and missed it for few.
This year he took five victories already, included Liège.
Now he's ready to ride in the Dauphinè, for Chris Froome again but maybe free to go for a stage if the chance comes, you never know. Classy rider, I'm looking forward to see him there.
There is an interview HERE.
1. Five victories and a well deserved break
"Yeah it feels like quite a long time ago since Liege I'm really looking forward to racing again. I had a small break after that race and then I worked really hard out in Tenerife with the team at our training camp. Now it's time for the Dauphine - I'm ready for it and it's nice to be back in the saddle again.
After Liege is was already the plan to have a break. I'd started my season in Valencia, so quite early. It wasn't a super busy programme, but if you're also doing the Ardennes, and preparing to head off to an altitude camp, it was nice to take a little break of one week. That allowed me to recharge the batteries again and then train full gas. It's such an important period now - starting with the Dauphine, the Tour and then the Olympics - you have to be ready for it, especially mentally in your head.
Sure if you're winning races you think you can do anything. But it's always good to have a really good condition, take a break and then start up again. Everything is a bit easier after that.
2. Not so popular yet!
"Not really to be honest. I think maybe a few more people recognise me now - but not the other day. I had a flat tyre, and the tyre I changed it to also needed a small repair. So I went to a bike shop just 10 kilometres from my house. I replaced the tyre and the guy from the shop came out and said "hey you're looking good, you almost could be in the Tour de France!" And I said "yeah, I'm doing it" and he looked really flabbergasted! He had no idea who I was (laughs)."
"We always train hard out there. We did plenty of kilometres and lots of climbing, but we had a really nice camp and a good group out there - riders and staff members. I think everybody had a good camp, trained well and took good care of themselves. As a team we're definitely ready for this next block of racing."
"The race starts with a really hard uphill prologue. So that's maybe not the best start to have for anyone but hopefully it will go well. In Valencia I managed to perform well in the opening TT of the race, so hopefully I can do that again. We'll see how the legs are. We have a really strong lineup for the Dauphine. It's always nice to go into a race with a team like that. It gives you confidence and hopefully we can do a great job."
"Yeah it was a big goal to go the Olympics. That's why I did all the Ardennes Classics this year. The Tour de France is a really good race to do because if you are going well at the Tour then you're in good shape. Last year I came really well out of the Tour and hopefully this year will be the same."
So good luck Wout! have a nice ride!