The riders of the next Tour de France do not hide their concern in view of the program for the first week.
D-13 before the start of the Tour de France. And it is clear that the 109e edition of the Grande Boucle makes some runners fear the worst. The fault in particular of a first week of the most complicated between the first stages favorable to the borders and the following ones which will give pride of place to the cobbled sections.
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The first week scares me
« The first week scares me”, has also entrusted Tadej Pogacar in the columns of the Gazzetta dello Sportwith the two-time Tour winner adding: « There is a 12 kilometer bridge in Denmark over the North Sea, so there will be a risk of curbs and bad weather and then there is the cobblestone stage. It will be about survival.»
The fifth stage drawn between Lille and Arenberg will notably offer no less than eleven cobbled sections spread over the last 75 kilometers of the route. Some portions are usually taken during Paris-Roubaix but several sectors will be new. Aart Vierhouten, the sports director of UAE, had not hidden his concern at the time of the reconnaissance carried out before the Hell of the North. “The second cobblestone sector surprises me. If I was the organizer of the race, I would never have integrated it into the course »he had launched about this downhill portion. ” It’s dangerous “, he added.
It’s gonna be war
But the Emirati formation is not the only one to be worried. Romain Bardet, who will eventually also be at the start of the Tour de France, fears the worst during the first stages. ” Before thinking about the overall, you have to get through the first week of racing already… I don’t know what the other riders think of it, but I find that the start of the race is really scary. At the end of three, four days, I expect to see already some big names coming home. The wind, the curbs, the cobblestones, the nervousness… I don’t really know what to expect. It’s gonna be war “, he predicted, determined to run” every step as if it were a classic ».