MIKAEL CHEREL : “Very motivated”
“I’m coming off of having a good Tour de la Provence (editor’s note: 18th overall). It was a tough race and climbing a long pass like the Ventoux at this time of the year is ideal for preparing for the upcoming objectives. I’ll arrive at the Tour du Var et des Alpes Maritimes with a lot of motivation because it takes place in my adopted home region. The first two stages are on my normal training routes. They will be two difficult and tiring days with pretty long distances and more than 3500 meters in climbing. I certainly hope to do my part and add to the good dynamics of the team. The first day could be one for Benoit Cosnefroy, and the second one for Romain Bardet. It’s an ideal race to keep improving. This year, I’d like to take part in two Grand Tours, the Giro d’Italia, to support Romain, and then also the Tour de France. This is the most mountainous route of the Tour since I became interested in cycling. So it’ll be a huge opportunity for someone who likes to climb.”MIKAEL CHEREL
Last year Romain Bardet finished second in the final general classification. The Tour du Var et des Alpes Maritimes will be his first race in Europe after his return from the Santos Tour Down Under in Australia.
“I am happy to return to racing in France with this event. The course is fantastic. I haven't raced for several weeks and it may be difficult to be in front but I'm happy to be there," he said.
Pierre Latour out of the Vuelta a Andalucia
Pierre Latour, who suffers from an influenza-like illness, has been forced to forego participating in the Vuelta a Andalucia. He will return to racing at the Boucles Drôme-Ardèche (February 29 and March 1).