McGee: “It’s time to move…”
Brad McGee is one of the men calling the race for the defending champion, Alberto Contador, at the Tour in 2011. We spoke with the directeur sportif before stage 14 to find out today’s winner will be the same as at Plateau de Beille in 2007…
Contador has won a Plateau de Beille before and every rider who has won here during the Tour has gone on to take the title that year… what’s the feeling in the team today?
“We’re ready. We are confident of being able to perform better than we have in the past. The team is all on good form; they’re tired in some ways but not more than what would be expected on the Tour. Alberto is in good spirits and we’re ready to rock-and-roll!”
It was stage 15 in 2009 that he won and took the jersey, so it’s possible to hold back until late in the race and still take the title…
“Anything is still possible. This race is still wide open. Obviously it’s an important day and everyone can see that by looking at the profile. We’re only a week from Paris though so it’s time to move. It’s never been more pressing than it is now.”
He’s a great time trial rider but Alberto still has to make up a bit of time to Cadel. Is there a temptation to hit out hard early on the final climb?
“There’s no strategy around specific riders or anything… when you’re racing for the win, you’ve just got to seize the moment when it’s right. It’s too early to speculate on when that moment will be and why it will be the right time. You’ve just got to watch what happens on the road.”
We were hypothesising the other night and wondering if it might have been a deliberate ploy to lose a bit of time to the other GC favorites at Luz Ardiden. They may believe that he’s weaker than other years and thus not be so concerned… that he’s a little behind his usual form. But then he could smash it and surprise them.
“Like in any situation, there are positives and negatives. We’ve got to be realistic and not hide from the challenges that face us at the moment. But I think you’re right, when things don’t look so good, it’s possible to use it to our advantage.”