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“Firstly, it's the first race after the Giro for Alberto Contador, Ivan Basso and Michael Rogers and these three riders need to compete before the Tour."

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ALBERTO CONTADOR

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CHRISTOPHER JUUL-JENSEN

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JESUS HERNANDEZ BLAZQUEZ

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LA ROUTE D'OCCITANIE

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MICHAEL ROGERS

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OLIVER ZAUGG

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SERGIO PAULINHO

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17.06.2015 @ 12:17 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tinkoff-Saxo is set to start Route du Sud as defending champions. This time, team captain Alberto Contador will spearhead the race as preparation for the Tour de France. Contador will get the backing from a proven squad of climbers and all-rounders.
 
According to Tinkoff-Saxo sports director Patxi Vila, the Route du Sud holds primarily two main objectives for Tinkoff-Saxo.
 
“Firstly, it's the first race after the Giro for Alberto Contador, Ivan Basso and Michael Rogers and these three riders need to compete before the Tour. The main objective for Tinkoff-Saxo is that they compete and enter into race-mode once again. After nearly three weeks of break they have to get into the mindset of a competition”, says Patxi Vila and adds:
 
“Secondly, these four days of racing will provide a very good assessment of their form, especially for Alberto. The real test will come in the third stage. It's the race's queen stage with three Cat 1 climbs, including the famous Port de Balès and will give a very good indication of Alberto's form. He will, obviously, fight to be in the front and being a very competitive athlete, we don't rule out the possibility that he might try to go for a stage win. However, there will be other, fresher, riders from other teams that will give their best because the GC will most probably be decided there”.

Tinkoff-Saxo lines up Alberto Contador, Ivan Basso, Michael Rogers, Sergio Paulinho, Chris Juul-Jensen, Ivan Rovny, Jesus Hernández and Oliver Zaugg, who makes his first appearance after crashing out of the Vuelta al País Vasco.
 
The Route du Sud features four days of racing with a total of 692km in Southern France. About the route, Patxi Vila asserts that Tinkoff-Saxo will focus on building race shape on the first days of racing.
 
“The first two stages are fairly flat and suited for sprinters. Tinkoff-Saxo will not bring sprinters to the race and as a result these initial 350km of racing will be used to bring the riders to race-mode and prepare for the third stage. If Alberto feels good on the third stage, he will obviously need the entire squad to help him and that will be their task. The fourth and final stage is also fairly flat and will provide the last, real-race training for Alberto prior to the Tour de France”, finishes Patxi Vila.

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