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"My mission is simple but complex: I can't lose sight of Nairo in case he has a mechanical or whatever, and I have to be ready to solve it quickly."

Photo: Sirotti

JONATHAN CASTROVIEJO

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01.07.2015 @ 20:24 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Jonathan Castroviejo is ready for his second Tour de France as a bodyguard for Nairo Quintana. He accompanied the Colombian in the 2013 Tour and in his winning ride last year at the Giro d'Italia. The Basque rider has lost weight and is now better than ever in the mountains as it was evident in the Dauphiné, and has maintained his skills against the clock as he won the Spanish Championships in Cáceres.

 

Castroviejo has the utmost confidence from Quintana and will stand by his side in his quest to win the Tour in Paris. 

 

"I am thrilled to be in the Tour this year. We can do a good race and I really look forward to the challenge. The preparation is similar to the Giro last year although it should be noted that the Tour is a special race. We start with four favorites and that always gives you a little more responsibility, wanting to do well and hope that nothing happens. My mission is simple but complex: I can't lose sight of Nairo in case he has a mechanical or whatever, and I have to be ready to solve it quickly," he tells Biciciclismo.

 

He starts with confidence after winning the national title despite suffering of the heat

 

"It was a tough time trial. I went to train at altitude in about 15 degrees (in Andorra) and suddenly went to Caceres where it was 42 degrees. It was a very strange sensation. I was close to withdrawal but then I saw Luis Leon (Sanchez) who was not far away and that's what encouraged me to continue and in the end I won," he recalls.

 

It is a victory that makes him dream of winning the yellow jersey in the opening time trial in Utrecht. 

 

"It went through my head when I won on Friday. If I feel good, why not? I think it is a nice city circuit, without too many straight section so I should be able to do well," he says. In the time trials this year, he was fourth in Tirreno-Adriatico, sixth in Algarve and tenth in Romandie.

 

In any case, his priority will be to get safely through the first week and keep Quintana out of trouble. 

 

"Like in all grand tours, the first week is the hardest. In the Giro last year there was a lot of stress and perhaps it is a little more in the Tour. This year we have the same sprinters, without Kittel, and perhaps it will be more dangerous without a team that dominates everything. Let's see if there are many crashes. The stage to Huy will be very nervous and then we have the cobbles. Hopefully it will not be rain. I've seen the weather forecast and it seems that we will have dry conditions and that's a plus in our attempt to make sure that nothing bad happens," he says.

 

The stage with the cobbles will be dangerous.

 

"A crash can make you lose the Tour, but if the weather is bad you can lose a minute, a minute and a half and still you are not out of the Tour. It is another stage that we have to survive but we must not be afraid. We have to get through the first five days and then we have the team time trial. It would be nice to win. We have the team to do it and gain time on the rivals. Then we get into the mountains with the Pyrenees and the Alps. We have very hard climbs until the final day to the Alpe d'Huez," he explains.

 

Quintana, Froome, Nibali and Contador appear to be a step above the rest, Castroviejo adds one more name. 

 

"I would also mention Joaquim (Rodriguez). Looking at the Dauphiné and knowing how hard the Tour is, I think he can be a candidate. For two years, the five have been very equal," he says. 

 

He is confident in his leader.

 

"I have spoken with him and already saw in Route du Sud that he is good and motivated. He is unlikely to fail," he sayd.

 

The Movistar Team will have a luxury wildcard in Alejandro Valverde who is a guarantee for the blue team. 

 

"Alejandro has made it clear that he will be there. And he can become a luxury domestique and he will be an extra card to play. If things get complicated he can lend a hand," Castroviejo says.

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