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"We will have the opportunity to hunt for stages on all the terrain as well as giving the GC a crack with Pierre [Rolland]. I’ll do my best to be up there on the climbs to support Pierre, but if there’s an opportunity in fr...

Photo: Team Giant-Shimano






01.07.2016 @ 20:47 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The start of the Tour de France is only one day away now. Cannondale caught up with our Lawson Craddock, making his debut, for a few questions on his first TDF, his ambitions and what he’s doing to keep his emotions in check before it all begins.



"This race is iconic for a reason, and I’ve been dreaming of it ever since I got on two wheels," he said. "I’ve worked really hard over my career to perform to the standards that I know I’m capable of, and to see that work paying off to earn a spot in the biggest race in the world is truly a dream come true. But the easy part was making the team. Now I’ve got to prepare myself to race at a level that I’ve never raced at before, and most importantly put the team in a chance to succeed. 



"Right now it’s just keeping sane in the week before the race starts. We’ve all put so much work in this season to make it to this point, but the week before has got to be the toughest. After training so hard for so long, it can be difficult to try and relax and get as much recovery in the couple days before. There’s so much anticipation for the race that I just want to out and get it started."



Craddock could be a white jersey contender but he keeps his feet on the ground.


"With it being my first Tour, it’s hard to place certain expectations on myself. I’ve heard stories about the Tour with the stress both on and off the bike. My main goal is to come in and show that I can race consistently at a high level throughout the whole race. Personally, I think that’s the next step in my development. If I can do that, and just be able to put the team in the best possible position for success, then I will be happy.," he said.


"Just lining up on the start line of the Tour is a dream come true, so if I were able to wear a jersey there then I think my mind would just explode. That being said, I’m a born and bred bike racer, and I line up to every race I do with dreams of winning. I’m not just going to the Tour to be pack fodder. 



"Right now I’m just rearing to go. The anticipation to race is huge, and I can’t wait to get to France and put the race wheels on. I imagine that the few days leading up to the start I’ll have a few more nerves than normal, but at the end of the day it’s just another bike race. Once the neutral flag goes down on the first stage I’m sure those nerves will be replaced with pure adrenaline. 



"My lead in to the race has gone really smoothly. I decided to take a small break after nationals to recoup after a lot of spring time racing before building up for July. I then stayed up in Nederland with Mike Woods for a few weeks to get some hard training in before heading to Andorra with the team. Up in Pas de la Casa I was able train really hard, and every day I felt stronger and stronger. After that it’s just been fine tuning the fitness, and making sure I’m as prepared as possible for the lap around France.



"Being part of Cannondale-Drapac’s TDF team is special because we take the best nine riders available. That gives us a lot of strengths when it comes to the racing aspect. We will have the opportunity to hunt for stages on all the terrain as well as giving the GC a crack with Pierre [Rolland]. I’ll do my best to be up there on the climbs to support Pierre, but if there’s an opportunity in front of me I’ll have to take it. This is the Tour de France, and these types of chances don’t come around very often."



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