Fedrigo yet to pick specific Tour de France targets
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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Fedrigo yet to pick specific Tour de France targets

by Kyle Moore at 2:08 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
“People ask me what stage I intend to target, but I do not yet know. I do it by feel”

Pierrick FedrigoPierrick Fedrigo (FDJ), the 34-year-old veteran French stage racer, is getting set to begin another Tour de France campaign at the end of the month, and in terms of stages that go to breakaway riders, all eyes will be on “The Nose of Marmande” to see which stages he chooses.

Fedrigo has won a stage in each of the last three Tours in which he has participated. He won into Tarbes in 2009, and he took victory in Pau in both 2010 and 2012. Fedrigo also was victorious on stage 14 into Gap in 2006, the year he finished highest in the general classification, with a 29th place in Paris.

The Frenchman does not choose just any breakaway; Fedrigo uses his keen sense and finishing kick that has resulted in four Tour de France stage victories to his name thus far, as well as overall wins in Critérium International and the Tour du Limousin.

“I don’t make projections for myself too early before the Tour,” Fedrigo explained. “There are people who ask me what stages I intend to target, but I do not know. I do it by feel. When I won in Pau last year, I saw that it suited me. Everyone said there would be an escape but it would end in a sprint, and I don’t take that into account.

“I don’t decide two days before that I will target a specific stage. Overnight, my feelings can change. In the Tour, I can go two weeks with the same feeling – it’s always a little difficult at first, and then one morning, I feel that anything can happen. In the [2012] stage I won, I felt between the roll-out and the true stage start that I would win the stage. Nothing can explain it. In July, my feelings guide me.”

After he targets the French road race championships, Fedrigo will zero in on Tour de France stages. There is no stage finish in Pau in 2013, but if the veteran were to repeat into a stage town again this year, stage 16 takes riders into Gap, the day after a rest day. Riders will have just finished a general classification shake-out on Mont Ventoux the stage before. Stage 16 finishes downhill into Gap, after the category-two Col de Manse crests 12km from the finish.

As Fedrigo describes, if that morning strikes him as a good day, he could find himself atop the podium again. And although winning is nice, Fedrigo has enjoyed his time working for team leaders, which will again be Thibaut Pinot for FDJ this July.

“I was on a team that aimed for the general classification in my early days, at Crédit Agricole with Christophe Moreau,” Fedrigo added. “I like being a team player. This is what happened last year; I worked for Thibaut. On one stage I gave him my bike, and on the Le Cap d’Agde stage, I protected him from the wind. I did it without a second thought, and it did not stop me from winning my stage two days later. Working for someone else can keep you focused in a race, especially in the flatlands.”

After Pinot finished tenth in the Tour de France last year, Fedrigo believes the experience he added then could benefit him this year.

“He is aware of what to expect,” Fedrigo explained of Pinot. “Last year he was learning, and he learned very well. The media are still waiting for that ‘golden one,’ the successor to Bernard Hinault, but he shouldn’t worry about that. Thibaut did great in his first Tour last year, at age 22, and that’s huge. I trust him and his potential. He focuses on the Tour, but this time, he knows where to step.

“The key is that he will have to trust his team-mates, who will be in one hundred percent for him.”

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