Recognition of the cobbled stage of the Tour de France
In view of the 5th stage of the Tour de France between Lille and Arenberg, part of the classics group has recognized the 11 cobbled sectors that will be on the program around Nairo Quintana.
“The reconnaissance went well for the Arkea-Samsic team and me. The cobblestones are not really a novelty for me, I have already participated in Tours de France with a stage in the North, and using sectors. I haven’t ridden on them for a long time now, so there is always a bit of apprehension at the beginning and a reconnaissance is good for that. This 5th stage could be tricky for various reasons for the riders who will play the general classification. I am not particularly afraid of the cobbles. We have the chance to ride on good material with Arkea-Samsic with Canyon and Shimano, Continental which allows us to better understand the sectors and to go faster”.
“We were able to ride on all the sectors present on the cobbled stage of the Tour. It was important for Nairo to know where he was going to put his wheels in the next few weeks. As team-mates and “cobble specialists”, we were there to give him advice and feedback on a number of aspects: tyre pressure, trajectories, placement on the sector. These are all small details that he will have in his possession to realize the best possible stage on the day. Knowing him, I am not too worried: we can see that he is at ease in the curbs, he is a small climber who rubs well and is often in front”.
“We were there to advise Nairo and help him. Even if some sectors were not used in Paris-Roubaux, those that will be proposed in the Tour are quite similar. It’s not quite the same way of tackling them as on the Enfer du Nord. The sequence and the length will be easier to tackle on this stage even if we will find the same hazards. Beyond the cobbles, it allowed Nairo to photograph the course mentally. The stage will be short, nervous, winding and fast. The objective for the riders present is to be very concentrated so as not to be caught out on the day”.
The objective of this reconnaissance was to get some bearings for Nairo so that he can tackle this stage in the best possible way with a view to the general classification of the Tour. That’s why we had a group of experienced cobblestone riders around him, with riders able to share their experience, but also to test different configurations of wheels offered by our technical partners Canyon, Shimano and Continental. For such a specific stage, the material is decisive. It was imperative to carry out these tests so that at the start of the stage, Nairo would have the best equipment and would know how to tackle this stage calmly”.