Tony, how is your condition?
I have to say that I am happy about training. I was happy and without problems for the entire winter. It was perfect to grow stronger and be ready to race. I feel good that I have good condition now, after Trofeo Mallorca. If I have to compare with 2012, I am maybe a little bit better than last year at this time.
What do you think about the route?
There are two flat stages at the beginning, but you always have to be careful with these stages. You never know what can happen. The third stage we have an uphill final, and then we have the TT which, for me, is the best stage.
Last year you lost time on the Alto do Malhao, which is the same finish in Stage 3 this year…
Yes, but in 2011 for example, in this kind of finish, I was in the first group with the best riders. I think, and I hope, that with the condition I have now, I am able to stay with the best this year, even on the climb. I may lose a few seconds, but I can try to give it all the day after on the TT, to try and gain back a few seconds.
What about the TT? You said it is the best stage for you.
It is not so easy to talk about the course because, as you know, the map online does not always show the details of the course. It is apparently not so difficult, but it will be important to be there and check it out before the TT. We need to do a good reconnaissance and, as usual, pay attention to all the little details. Sometimes the details make the difference.
What are your thoughts about the competitors?
As usual we will have a lot of good riders there. There will be a lot of competitors for the GC, but as usual, we have respect everyone but will not fear anyone. They are strong, but we will do our best as usual to stay in front for a good result. We have a lot of options. Guys like Michal, and Chavanel, but also Dries Devenyns, and other riders can do really good. We have a strong team that will be there. We have a lot of options that give us the possibility to win the race.