The Frenchman is excited to kick off his second part of the season.

“I am super happy to be here at the start of the Dauphiné. I want to enjoy racing, as it has been a long time. I feel fresh and motivated, and of course taking a stage win is the goal. We will see how the shape is after our altitude camp and how the race will go. We have a strong squad here and several cards to go for a stage victory. There’s a hard week of racing ahead of us, and I will see day by day how it goes and if something is possible in the general classification.

I had that crash at De Ronde, and afterwards I still participated in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, but not with the form I wanted to. After Liège I took some time off to recover from the hard first part of the season and I enjoyed some time at home before I went to our training camp in Sierra Nevada. We finished a nice training camp, and I also did some recons of the Basque Country stages of the Tour de France in Bilbao and San Sebastian together with Rémi Cavagna, which was good.

I am confident and feel good physically, I could train in good conditions these past couple of weeks. It’s an important period of the season which gives me a lot of motivation. If I look back at the past months, I just hope I won’t have any setbacks anymore, like crashes or sickness. I think the break I had after the classics was necessary and now I am just excited to race.

I still need to look at the race book, I have seen there are some stages for the puncheurs and some harder mountain stages but which I also like. There is also an individual time trial, which is a nice goal for Rémi. This week of the Dauphiné is important, because it marks the beginning of a busy but beautiful period of racing with the National Championships, Tour de France and the World Championship, all in the next two months. We are ready for it and prepared to give our best.”


Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images

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