Dessel hopes for goods in even year
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dessel hopes for goods in even year

by Bjorn Haake at 1:52 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Cyril Dessel has fond memories of the Tour de France, where he wore yellow in 2006 and won a stage with a classy sprint out of a breakaway in 2008. After a lackluster 2009, Dessel hopes to get back to the previous kind of form in 2010.

He already started his racing program. "I would like to get back the same panache, the same confidence in myself that I had in 2008," he told AFP. "I went to Australia [Tour Down Under] to well prepare the beginning of the season and to be ready for the first competitions: Tour Méditerranéen, Tour du Haut-Var, Paris-Nice and the Volta a Catalunya."

The latter two races are milestones in the first part of the season. "They are going to be important to reassure myself and to tackle the big objectives in my season, the Dauphiné Libéré, the French Championships, le Tour..."

Since joining AG2R, it seemed that Dessel always had a bad year followed by a good one. Since 2009 wasn't so great, this may be an indication for a better 2010. "In Australia, I felt really well," Dessel confirmed. "In 2006, I felt about the same in Australia and I had a good season. In general, the even years appear to be better for me than the odd ones. I hope to get the same ingredients together to find the confidence and the enthusiasm that I had in 2008."

While Dessel wants his own successes back, he also puts a lot of hope into the team. "We hired riders with grinta, guys who know how to win races. We were lacking that last year. I sensed it from the first camp that these are riders who like victories and know how to win." Dessel thinks it will alter the way the team races this season and that it will have a positive impact. "The team was lacking ambition, riders who started a race with the idea of winning on their mind. Now, we have riders who are capable of that."

He thinks that AG2R can finish somewhere between 10th and 14th in the ProTour team ranking. "That wouldn't be bad, because along with the new tams of Sky and RadioShack, there are the Italians, the Belgians... The level is pretty high and a tenth place would be a good performance for us."

Dessel acknowledges that last year, nobody was really satisfied with the ranking, when the team finished 18th. "With the riders we recruited, I think we can win 15 to 20 races this year."


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