John Gadret speaks of “new challenge” as he joins Movistar Team
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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

John Gadret speaks of “new challenge” as he joins Movistar Team

by Ben Atkins at 5:21 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
French climber relishing the chance to work for a contender; hopes to ride the Tour

john gadretJohn Gadret (AG2R La Mondiale) speaks of a “new challenge” in his career as he makes the move to the Movistar Team in 2014. In an interview with Cyclism’Actu, the French climber, and cyclocross specialist, is relishing the opportunity to work for a genuine Grand Tour contender for the first time in his career, but says that he will accept things if he doesn’t make next year’s Tour de France team.

Having ridden for AG2R La Mondiale since 2006, he will be motivated to race as he joins the Spanish team.

“If I am at the beginning, it will be to do a job,” he said. “This is crystal clear. But it is a new challenge. I know I'm 34, but the fact that I'll change teams will possibly be good for me mentally. And then to fight for a rider who can play for the final victory on the Tour de France, I find it exciting.”

Movistar’s Nairo Quintana finished second in this year’s Tour, 4’20” behind winner Chris Froome (Team Sky), while Alejandro Valverde took eighth despite effectively being ejected from overall contention by the Saxo Bank and Belkin teams on stage 13. Gadret’s role could potentially be to ride in support of one or both of these riders, but he has yet to find out in which race.

“They signed me for the Grand Tours, but until now, there have not yet told me which ones,” Gadret added. “There are three Grand Tours, so I have a one in three chance of being on the Tour next year. As I said, my goal for 2014 was to still be racing cyclist. I still will be at least until 2015, then I will say that the races I do. The aim was to be professional and continue to do my job, so I won’t complain.

“Obviously, [making the Tour team] would please me greatly,” he added. “But hey, if I'm starting, great, if I'm not, too bad. It is also part of the job. It’ll be discussed at the training camp, and we'll see.”

Whether he finds out straight away or not, however, Gadret will have the Tour in mind as he trains for the 2014 season.

“For sure I'll think it about during my preparation,” he confirmed. “If I'm sure I’ll do it then I’ll be motivated 100%. In addition, I can go and do the cobblestones since I don’t live far away.”

Gadret’s experience over the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix - although he doesn’t actually ride the April Classic - is unusual for a climber, and he hopes that this will work in his favour when Movistar comes to select its Tour team.

“It is true that I know the area well,” he said. “I can bring my experience on the approach to the pavé, even though I think Valverde and Quintana will do reconnaissance. Nevertheless, I know the roads, and I can still be useful to advise them on it.

“Finally, I still have to learn Spanish,” he added with a laugh.

Gadret is a former two-time French champion at cyclocross, but has rarely raced any of the top-level events for a number of years. The same will be true of the coming winter, as the Frenchman uses the winter sport to help prepare himself for a summer on the roads.

“I always do,” he confirmed. “I’m doing the rounds of the National Challenge, a few small crosses in my region, but no more than that. This is just for training, and as I have not raced since August 15, I need to re-find my rhythm."

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