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"I hope to go to a week-long WorldTour race and fight for the GC in 2017."

Photo: Unipublic / Graham Watson

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PIERRE LATOUR

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01.12.2016 @ 17:11 Posted by Renaud Breban

Pierre Latour was one of the most impressive neo-pros of the 2015 season. The Ag2r-La Mondiale rider showed his potential by winning a stage in the Vuelta. Interviewed by Cyclingnews, the French explained his feelings about his 2016 season and his main goals for the next year.

 

"(2016 season was) a good one. I won a WorldTour race – I did a fair few WorldTour races actually (Paris-Nice, Pais Vasco, Romandie, Suisse, San Sebastian, Lombardia, and the Vuelta). Last year it was just Catalunya and Lombardia. I'm happy with it because it's another step forward", Latour told. 

 

His victory at the Vuelta a Espana, ahead of Darwin Atapuma notably, was unexpected.

 

"I was hoping it would happen but I wasn't expecting it. I thought my last shot at victory was the Tour de l'Ain, and I did second, third, and then third overall. I thought my chance had gone. So I went to the Vuelta and wasn't expecting anything, because it's a WorldTour race, my first Grand Tour and, what's more, it came after three weeks of racing. The team had been lacking luck throughout, Jan [Bakelants] and Axel [Domont] were in the breaks but never finished it off. The win did us all good, liberated the team, allowed us to put a good full stop to the Vuelta."

 

In 2017, Latour will aim for the Tour de France where he will be one of Bardet's bodyguards. He also wants to play his card in a week-long race.

 

"I hope to go to a week-long WorldTour race and fight for the GC. This year I was 14th at Pais Vasco, 12th at Romandie, so I'd like to break into the top 10 at a race like that. That's already a big objective of my season. Then after that, win some races, and also help Romain as best as possible when I'm racing with him."

 

Latour knows he has a room for improvement.

 

"I have the tendency to move about on the bike, and I also have to learn to position myself better at the important moments of a race, even if at the end of the season it went better at Lombardy. But I still have improvement to make there. I have to keep developing in every department really. On the climbs I still lack something to be with the very best, even on the flat when it’s flat out, and I'm not the greatest descender. So I have to progress everywhere. It’s global."

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