“The first goal here to gain experience. All of my teammates have told me that the Tour is a very complicated race but I know I can count on riders like Luis Leon Sanchez and Jakob Fuglsang and Vincenzo. I’ll be sure to listen to them throughout the race and I’m sure they’ll help me a lot. But to be honest I’m not able to make a prediction about what I can achieve at the moment.
I know I’ve got to be careful in the opening days because the Tour is crazy, then I've got to learn during the first week and see what happens.
The Dauphiné was about preparing for the Tour de France, especially because there was a month to go to the start.
I think I did some good work during the race to stack up the kilometres after not racing for a six weeks. After the Dauphiné I went in to Sestrière for 10 days of altitude training. Now I think I feel pretty good. I’m convinced I’ve prepared well for the Tour.
My goal is to try to do as well as possible. I don’t know my limits or my level at the moment but we're tranquillo because I’ve worked hard. We're also not under pressure as a team because Vincenzo won the Giro. That takes the pressure off me. I’m pretty sure that we can do well together even if it’s difficult to be specific before the start.”
“I’ve come out of the Giro d’Italia feeling pretty good and I’ve still got some form. I’m in crescendo and perhaps going well but I know I could also pay for all the efforts of the Giro at some point. That’s why I’m going to take it day-by-day. It’s not easy to do the double and so a stage win is perhaps the best objective for me especially with the Olympics in August, which are also an important goal for me.
A lot of riders here didn’t ride the Giro and so they’re fresher and stronger. People like Alberto Contador tried to do the double and it’s very hard. I know that too. I know I can’t be at my very best. But we’ll see how my legs feel. I’ve got to think of the Olympics too which is very hard and hilly.
My approach to the Tour is to race carefree; it is Fabio who has prepared for the Tour. We’ve both got to get through the first week where the roads are tough, with lots of difficulties. There could be crashes but we can’t take too many risks. I know I’ve got to stay up front and fortunately we’ve got a strong team and so we’ve got to ride united. I hope to do something good, perhaps win a stage, but I also want to stay relaxed but will stay focused and be ready to help Fabio.
It’s all new for Fabio… And we all know the Tour is not like the Giro or Vuelta. I can remember when I debuted at the Tour. It’s not easy but having a big team helps you. If Fabio goes well on the climbs we can achieve something special.”