Pierre Rolland: “This is a quiet winter”
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Friday, November 30, 2012

Pierre Rolland: “This is a quiet winter”

by Ben Atkins at 3:39 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Tour de France stage winner having far less attention this year; looking ahead to Florence Worlds

pierre rollandPierre Rolland (Europcar) is looking ahead to 2013 in a very different manner to the previous year, the 26-year-old from the Loiret department told velochrono.fr. With far fewer media commitments this time, Rolland is able to train quietly at home for a season that he hopes will go on for far longer than usual.

"I’ve been training quietly,” he said. “Last year, there wasn’t a week where I didn’t have a reporter at home; I was always busy. This is a quiet winter. I can enjoy my family, an especially I can train well.”

This time last year Rolland was the darling of the French public, following his Tour de France stage victory on Alpe d’Huez, and taking home the white jersey. While Rolland took another prestigious mountain stage in this year’s Tour - winning alone on the Alpine finish of La Toussuire - it is FDJ-BigMat’s Thibaut Pinot, whose stage win in Porrentruy and tenth place overall has pitched the 22-year-old into the spotlight.

“I think I’ve spent a bit of a quieter winter than he has!” Rolland joked.

Rolland will travel to Corsica for a week-long training camp on 15th December, followed by a second camp in Italy, in January, with the rest of the team.

"It is a good foundation,” he said. “We are doing very well this winter to build solid base for the season.”

Rolland’s 2013 season will begin in the same way as 2012, at the Étoile de Bessèges between January 30th and February 3rd. From there he will go to the Tour Med between February 6th and 10th, before travelling to Malaysia for the Tour de Langkawi, where he finished 12th in 2011.

"I did two years ago, and it went very well,” he said. “It lasts ten days, the weather is fine... And it is also because I'm not going to Paris-Nice. Last year, I had not been under duress (knee injury, Ed) and I had realised that this did me more harm than good. It is a choice that I’ve made.”

Lankawi will be followed by the Critérium international, which he describes as his “first target” for the season, then on to Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Tour de Romandie. The Swiss stage race would normally see the end to the first half of Rolland’s season, but - like Pinot - he has his eye on the hilly course of the World championships, in Florence, Italy, at the end of September.

“I hope to break my season into three parts,” Rolland explained. “I would have loved to have gone [to Limburg] this year, but I wasn’t been able to manage my post-Tour period properly. Next year, I will take a longer break so that I can return more rested, fresher, with the objective of being selected for the French national team.”


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