Pierre Latour begins this Tuesday at the Mercan'Tour Classic in the Alpes Maritimes. This is the block that will lead him to the Tour de France (July 1--24).
After the climbs of La Colmiane (7.6km at 6.9% and Col de la Couillole (15.9km at 7.3%), the mountainous Mercan'Tour Classic will take the Drome to the Col de Valberg (12.4km at 7.2%).
"I need to race before I can get back in a stage race. We'll soon find out if the legs are healthy with two big passes and a final at the top. In this case, to win. This is in keeping with the start of the season, where Latour "rarely been so consistent, despite a mechanical issue on the last stage Paris-Nice (14th), and my fall in Basque Country".
It will be crucial to eliminate Simon Geschke (Cofidis), Warren Barguil(Arkea-Samsic), and even Ion Izagirre [Cofidis] if you want to win at Col de Valberg. Even though the Dane is having a poor season, Thibaut Pinot, David Gaudu and Jakob Fuglsang, the headliners at Groupama-FDJ are still very important.
Aurelien Paret-Peintre ought to have been one the key men in AG2R Citroen. However, the Haut-Savoyard won't be there at the beginning due to gastric problems. The Savoyard formation can still count on the Iserois Geoffrey Bouuchard.