Tour de France: Official Press Conference HighlightsFri 3 Jul 2015
ORICA-GreenEDGE held their official press conference ahead of tomorrow’s opening stage of the 2015 Tour de France today. We’ve selected some of the highlights:
On how he is feeling ahead of his debut:
“After last year’s experience from the Tour de France I had a lot of stress going into the race and it could have been one of the reasons why I did end up crashing in training before I arrived.
“This year, I have had a lot of consistent results so I don’t really have the extra, added pressure on me. I know I have the form, I know I have done everything right and I’m in a really relaxed state of mind.
“From now on, it’s just about getting to the start and then just enjoying the race and seeing what comes.”
On his thoughts on the flat bunch sprint stages:
“We are not really going to target the real flat sprints because it’s going to be hard to beat guys like (Andre) Griepel and (Mark) Cavendish in these flat sprints.
“We will go for the more hillier sort of finishes where it’s a little bit more of a reduced bunch and it might be easier for our sort of characteristics in the team.”
On his condition and if it affects his objectives for this year’s Tour de France:
“As far as my year goes so far, it’s obviously been pretty rocky.
“I have had numerous set backs up until this point but I am happy to report that the last month or two has gone really well so I am actually really pleased with my final preparation coming into the Tour de France.
“And far as the objectives for this year, unfortunately the yellow jersey might be a little far out of my personal reach this year because it’s such a long opening time trial, whereas last year and the year before the yellow jersey was a real goal for the opening week of the race.
“Following that, it’s onto what I think myself and this team do best, and that is chasing stage wins. Like in previous years, it’s going to be a real goal and a very achievable one.”
On if he thinks there’ll be any sibling rivalry with twin Adam Yates:
“No, I don’t think so.
“We get along really well and there is never any rivalry. It’s all friendly, just a bit of banter and a few teasing words but as I said we get along really well so there won’t be any issue there.”
On how he will get in a position to try to take stage wins:
“These first nine days, I think it’s going to be pretty easy to lose some time. I am not really suited to these flat lands over this way of the world so I think it’d be actually hard to arrive after these stages in the same time as these GC guys.
“That gives me a much bigger opportunity to go for stage wins. I can save the legs until we get there.”
On why he won’t be riding for the GC:
“I just don’t think I’m ready. I’ve not even finished a Grand Tour yet. To be saying I could even be challenging for the overall… there’s a long way to go yet.
“Once we get a few years down the line we can start talking about that, but I think at the minute, mentally and physically, I am not ready.
On backing up from the Giro d’Italia and his role during the Tour de France:
“Coming out of the Giro was probably my best feeling so far coming out of a Grand Tour. I rested up with one month of no racing and I’m here at the Tour de France.
“For me, its an honour to be racing in the team at the Tour de France. My role, this week especially, is trying to use my big shoulders as a bit of a wind block along the coast to try and protect some of our guys and also have a go tomorrow and in the team’s time trial.
“For sure most of my role will be support throughout the Tour but then later in the Tour, pretty much everyone will be trying to get in breaks and animate the race so hopefully I can be part of that too.”
On the stage 1 time trial:
“I think there is 180 guys going full tilt for it tomorrow, so it just depends who has the legs tomorrow. Everyone arrives differently.
“I’m really excited, I’ve always dreamed about 2003 with Brad McGee in the time trial – I was watching that the other day – so why not give it a go.”
Matthew White (sport director):
On what would be a satisfactory result – with stages wins and general classification:
“The biggest thing for us is to leave an impact on the race. That will be the number one goal.
“The second thing is obviously that we are chasing stage wins. A stage win would be very pleasing; multiple stage wins would be even more so.
“As far as general classification goes, it’s not a goal and never has been a goal.
“I have said it before, but I think it would be pretty irresponsible for us to put pressure on the young fellas, the Yates boys, who we see as GC talents, in their first Tour de France that they are aiming to finish.
“These guys have shown throughout the year, and since joining the team, that they are very very capable of achieving some great results against the best guys in the world, but that is stages for us, not GC.”