David Moncoutié gives the Tour de France another chance
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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

David Moncoutié gives the Tour de France another chance

by Bjorn Haake at 3:28 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Frenchman reverses his decision to never ride home Grand Tour again

david moncoutieDavid Moncoutié had decided to skip future Tours de France, despite having some great successes in his home country's Grand Tour. Now he decided to give it another go in 2011. He may even skip the Vuelta and the chance of a fourth consecutive mountain's jersey in Spain next year.

Moncoutié enjoys the Vuelta tremendously, a race that has mountainous stages, suiting his riding style. He won three mountain's jersey in as many years and there was always a stage win to celebrate, too. Considering he only has done the Vuelta three times in his life, that is quite an accomplishment.

His 2010 season was saved by his success in Spain. "I did a good season thanks to the Vuelta," he told velo101.com. Winning three mountain's jersey is a great accomplishment. "It is the challenge that I am really proud of this season."

Despite that, the Frenchman seems to eye the Tour de France again in 2011. "I feel ready to tackle the Tour again. I said that I won't return. I didn't ride it this year and I missed it." There is another reason why he wants to go back to the Tour. "I really like the parcours for the 2011 Tour de France." His preparation would be traditional. "I would also like to do the Dauphiné [Libéré], in which I didn't participate this year, either."

He still has a question mark behind the Vuelta. "I'd like to do both races, but they follow each other even closer next year, with only four weeks between the end of the Tour and the beginning of the Vuelta. We will see, it also depends on what I do in the Tour."

Despite his bigger successes at the Vuelta, Moncoutié is quite clear on one thing about the Tour. "It's the most beautiful race. I have won three stages in the Vuelta and two in the Tour, but my best memories stem form the Tour." Winning on Bastille Day, the French National Holiday, may have to do with it. On July 14, 2005, Moncoutié took stage 15 of the Tour, from Briançon to Digne-les-Bains over 187 km. He crossed the line solo, with the French spectators going wild. "It is quite spectacular, it is our national Tour, the race that I dreamed of when I was young.

Moncoutié is quick to point out that team manager Eric Boyer did not put any pressure on him to ride the 2011 Tour. "Not at all, it came from me. I called him during the rest day of the Tour and told him 'Eric, I want to do another year and I want the Tour to be part of my calendar next year.'"

The points system will change a bit for 2011, which may be a chance for Moncoutié. From his three Vuelta KOM wins, this year's was the hardest for the Frenchman. "The rules were different, a bit like in the 2011 Tour. There aren't many points during the stages, but mostly at the finish." For Moncoutié, there was one really crucial day in Spain this year. "It was almost the last day, at Bola del Mundo. That was very difficult."

So far in the Tour's Polka Dot jersey competition, Moncoutié has not had any results. Next year could be different. "It is a realistic objective. One could see that you don't have to be the best climber to take the jersey. You have to be in the breaks on the right days."

A small side blow towards Anthony Charteau, who won the 2010 mountain's competition in the Tour. Moncoutié clarifies his opinion. "Anthony didn't steal his win, it is the same rules for everyone. But the Polka Dot jersey competition didn't attract more than a few riders and was a bit ignored by the best of the general classification. But in the Tour, it is still a mythical jersey."

Moncoutié's season planning is focusing towards June, July and August, for obvious reasons. "I enjoy the cold and the rain less and less and I prefer the heat." A reason why he quit the horrible Tour of Lombardy this year. The late racing also delayed his training this winter. "I didn't re-start training until end of November."

Which is ok, as he still has more than half a year for his final go at the Tour de France.


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