Amaël Moinard looking for second Tour invite in year two with BMC Racing
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Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Amaël Moinard looking for second Tour invite in year two with BMC Racing

by Kyle Moore at 5:10 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
Frenchman gives insight on American team’s Tour de France selections

Amael MoinardAmaël Moinard (BMC Racing) is in the middle of his second season with the American team, supporting Cadel Evans currently in the Critérium du Dauphiné, and hoping for his second consecutive Tour de France selection.

BMC Racing has three Tour spots seemingly guaranteed at this point, along with recent news that Thor Hushovd would not be occupying one of them. With the three spots allotted to Evans, Philippe Gilbert, and George Hincapie, Moinard has to hope for one of the six remaining.

The Frenchman, who was fourteenth in the 2008 Tour while racing with Cofidis, gave some insight on how the remaining roster spots would be chosen.

“They will assess the fitness of everyone in the Dauphiné and the Tour de Suisse, and also verify that the automatics around Cadel Evans are working well,” Moinard told Velochrono. “They just want to keep a maximum amount of riders under pressure to give the best of themselves. Apart from Evans, Gilbert, and Hincapie, everyone waits.”

After switching to BMC Racing in 2011 after six years with Cofidis, Moinard sounded refreshed describing the selection process of the American team. The 30-year-old would not count on anything too early, but he seemed to indicate that he may have the edge on a spot, given the fact that he supported Evans during his run to the title last year.

“They [team management] do not say that you’ll do the Tour. They say, ‘get ready in view of the Tour,’” Moinard explained. “It’s good to show confidence in the riders, but they also must prove themselves, that they have the level, the desire, and the mentality. The problem when the selection is announced too early is that it can lead to jealously among the non-selected.

“Yes [there are many riders waiting on a selection], but I think a lot of last year’s riders will be brought back because they have the experience of winning.”

Moinard admitted that it likely puts him at an advantage to be racing alongside Evans so often.

“This is a dress rehearsal,” he said of the Dauphiné. “Increasingly, we see that this year, the great contenders for the Tour – Wiggins, Nibali, Schleck – coming here with riders that will accompany them in July, to see if these teams are suitable. And generally, you know the workings of a team. Cadel has not raced since the Tour de Romandie. In that race I was with him, and I also accompanied him at Criterium International.”

Moinard admitted that budding American stage racer and new team-mate Tejay Van Garderen would be a man for the overall in the future, but he also stressed the importance of having climbers who could sacrifice everything for the team leader.

“[With Steve Morabito], we dealt primarily with placing Evans at the foot of the mountain passes. With all the work we did, we would often be dead before the last climb,” Moinard added.

Ultimately, as the stage race season kicks into high gear, Moinard is happy to help relieve some of the pressure that built around his super team during the Classics season.

“The Dauphiné, fortunately, is more relaxed, and the mood has changed,” he stated. “These are the first major mountains of the year with the heat, so this is an opportunity to see where we are at, and for me, to see where I am. It's always best to do something in the Dauphiné for your confidence three weeks later. This is true of the primary leader. It is always good, even for them, to reassure themselves.”

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