Patrick Lefevere gives update on Cavendish contract and goes...

Vincent Van Genechten, Jan-Pieter De Vlieger

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“I don’t think we have a classification rider,” it sounds. “There is a Mattia Cattaneo or something. Those guys can ride around tenth place, but who cares about that? A year later, no one still knows who was seventh in the Tour.”

“So we’re going to win as many stages as possible,” said Lefevere. “With Kasper Asgreen in Denmark? Yes, but they shouldn’t get too excited either. Then you do stupid things. For those people out there that’s a once in a lifetime. That time trial is also flat so yellow… Difficult. Wout van Aert can also take corners (laughs). Do I see many sprint stages? Not so much huh. Six? And if they race like in previous years, two of them will also fall away. So a sprint or four, five, but it is the riders who make the race. This Tour is very difficult anyway. That first week is stress, riding in the wind. There you can already eliminate some favorites, or still hurt them. The cobblestones? That could be good for us, but in a big lap they don’t really hear time. A strip or two, three… But eleven? There are many. You can already lose the Tour there. Don’t win, but lose. Also the gravel. Stick to road cycling. I can understand that they are looking for thrills, but still.”

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Lefevere also gave an update on the contract talks with green jersey Mark Cavendish.

“I don’t know what’s wrong. He puts it off with we will get there, but tomorrow everything should be in for us at the UCI. We are not far from each other. It’s actually more about things after his career. Will he normally go to the Tour again? You should never speak too early. This year Sam Bennett was undeniably our first sprinter, despite knowing he was leaving. But then everything fell apart for Mark. You never know.”

ALSO READ. First week of the tough Tour de France (a yellow one?) Wout van Aert smiles

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Alaphilippe is getting ready for “exciting first week”

World champion Julian Alaphilippe expects an “exciting first week” of the Tour de France next year. The Frenchman stated this on Thursday, after the course presentation for the 2022 edition in Paris.

“There is something for everyone on the program,” said the Deceuninck-Quick-Step rider. “A time trial, chance of fans, the cobblestones and finishes for the puncheurs. There will certainly be a lot to experience. I can’t wait to do the exploration and see what we can prepare for this Tour. The first impression gives me pleasure,” added the Frenchman, who has won six Tour stages since 2018 and has worn the yellow jersey several times.

The Frenchman also wants to put himself in the spotlight in the Tour next summer. “I will set myself goals, I will focus on them and stick to them. Whether they come true or not, it doesn’t matter. I think I’ve shown the shirt enough already, and I will continue to do so.”

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