Thursday, June 30, 2011

Interview - Wout Poels

Wout Poels has impressed me massively this season so far. Saturday the young Vacansoleil climber starts his first Tour de France and I think it will be a good idea for all of you to keep a close eye on him when the peloton hits the mountains!

Wout, first of all, congratulation on a pretty impressive season so far! 3rd in Mediterraneen, 4th in Murcia, great stages in Tirreno and latest you finished off very strong in Tour de Suisse. What do you consider as your best result this year?
Thank you very much indeed! My 2nd place in Tirreno, behind Gilbert, I consider as my best result so far. It’s a World Tour race and it was my ‘hello’ to the big audience. For myself it was a confirmation of a good 2010 and it proved that I’m doing well.

After your strong finish in Tour de Suisse, how do you feel right now just a few days before your first Tour de France?
Today [Wednesday, edt.] we arrived to the Tour de France by train, which made me feel a bit tired… Nevertheless I feel great. The national championship was my last race and I finished that one well. I’m ready to go for it now.

So what are your ambitions?
I’d like to go all the way to Paris and in some mountain stages I will try to be in the top ten. Besides that I need to ride this Tour to get more experienced.

Have you picked out any specific stages where you would like to shine?
No, for me they are all of the same interest. The Alpes as well as the Pyrenees should be fine for me.

Looking at the Vacansoleil Tour-team is sure seems very interesting with a lot of potential. What do you think we can expect from the team in the Tour?
You will see us in the breakaways, in which we will try to catch a stage win. We have everything to make it happen: sprinters, climbers and attackers. We have the good team for it, I believe.

Do you think we will see any of the Vacansoleil riders up there in the top15 in the GC as well? Maybe even yourself?
To be honest: I don’t think so. We don’t really have that ambition. For sure I want to see how far I can reach, but top 15 doesn’t really sound realistic to me.

In the Tour de Suisse you were riding with some of the main GC-contenders for the Tour. Who do you see as the strongest one right now?
Cunego wasn’t bad at all! Only his time trial wasn’t that perfect. Andy Schleck was only impressive in a couple of days. If that was his plan, then he has done well. But Contador will win the Tour anyway, I suppose.

Let’s end with 4 quick questions. Who will win the following jerseys;
Yellow: Contador
Green: Hushovd
Polka-dot: Vinokourov
White: Gesink

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