Nairo Quintana: "It's a Tour that I like”
The 109th edition of the Tour de France was presented this morning in Paris, in the presence of Nairo Quintana, Nacer Bouhanni and Élie Gesbert.
“This 2022 Tour has many difficult stages that can be tricky, like the one in Denmark by the sea, and the one with the cobblestones in the North. The wind in the first week could be a major actor of this Tour de France, and it could cause some movement, and then we will go very fast in the massifs with many mountain stages that will be more favourable to us. We will have to be in good condition to take advantage of this and above all to enjoy ourselves. It is a Tour that I like, good for me with all these mountain stages. It’s a good Tour for the Arkéa-Samsic team, we can envisage tackling it in different ways. The Alpe d’Huez is a stage that I like, it will be animated by three very important passes including the Galibier and the Croix de Fer, it will also be a very hard stage before finishing at the top of Alpe d’Huez”.
“This 2022 Tour is less traditional than the previous editions with this start from Copenhagen, in Denmark, and a first rest day after only three days of racing. This will change our habits on the Tour de France. ASO is offering us a beautiful route, and we will be visiting the east of France, with a finish that we are starting to know: the Super Planche des Belles Filles and the final of this pass on the roads. There will be a nice finish, too, at the top of the mythical Alpe d’Huez. The stage in the North with the cobbles can also be tricky, so be careful! 20 kilometres of cobblestones will be negotiated, and this could redistribute the general classification. We know how this type of stage is run on the roads of the Tour de France, I hope that this year again it will go well for me on that day, in any case I find it normal that the Tour returns to the cobbled sectors of the North. The course of this 2022 Tour is not easy with some beautiful summit finishes which will give rise to a very beautiful race. The first week with all its uncertainties can create a lot of suspense in the race, which will be exciting for the spectators and for us riders too, of course. I think I have already climbed the Granon, but I have a vague memory of it. So I will have to go and climb it in training before doing it on the roads of the Tour”.
“I haven’t counted exactly how many stages are likely to end in a bunch sprint in this 109th edition of the Tour de France, but I would say after attending the presentation at lunchtime that they will be between five and six. I will have to look at the profile of each of them in more detail later on. In any case, it is a beautiful Tour de France that ASO is offering us. The race will take place in Eastern France with a start in Tomblaine near Nancy and a finish at the Super Planche des Belles filles in the Vosges”.
« Attention à la première semaine de course, à la tension avec les risques de bordures, pas mal de leaders pourraient être piégés avant d’arriver en montagne. Les arrivées au sommet seront plus nombreuses que l’an passé, et de fait ces étapes-là seront davantage disputées par les leaders des équipes qui viseront le classement général de ce Tour de France ».
“The Tour is a myth that knows how to maintain myths! The Alpe d’Huez, the cobbles of the North, the Galibier two days in a row, Peyragudes, Hautacam are places that have marked the great history of cycling, but also that of the Tour de France. They will undoubtedly be the chosen moments of this 109th edition. Just like the Super Planche des Belles Filles, which is becoming more and more part of the Tour de France landscape. This year, all the mountainous areas of France will be visited
One year after the beautiful start of the race in our beautiful region of Brittany, Denmark will be the host country, with an inaugural stage that will establish a hierarchy other than the one of the sprinters that we are used to. There will be two stages in a row to follow, which may be subject to the wind, and therefore to edging. The second time trial in Rocamadour over forty kilometres will perhaps reshuffle the last cards after the crossing of the Pyrenees. There will also be several stages on paper dedicated to the sprinters. We obviously hope to be invited to the 2022 edition of the Grande Boucle, and thus to continue to write our common history with this greatest cycling event in the world, which we have now been racing for eight seasons with ever greater ambition.
“We will undoubtedly see a Tour de France 2022 that will be spectacular from start to finish, with possible curbs in Denmark, cobblestones in the first week, the race will arrive immediately in the massifs with very few so-called intermediate stages. It will be very dynamic”.
“The weather could play an important role on the stages in Denmark as well as on the cobbled stages in the North, so it will be necessary to take stock of the situation at the end of this short week of racing to see where our riders will be at that moment. The climbers will be served with several summit finishes, there will also be a number of stages with a punchy finish. The riders will often be on the edge in this 109th edition of the Tour de France.