MOREAU TO TARGET MOUNTAINS JERSEY AT THE TOUR

Christophe Moreau

French champion Christophe Moreau has said he will focus on the king of the mountains competition at next year?s Tour de France.

The 37-year-old recently signed a contract that will take him from the Ag2r team to Agritubel, a smaller French squad, next season.

He has reluctantly come to the conclusion that the overall podium is now out of reach and it?s time to make an impact in another way.

Speaking to the latest issue of Cycle Sport, Moreau said: ?Next year, I?m going to think of the [climbers?] classification from the start. The polka dot jersey is mythical in France, and it represents a big performance.?

Moreau won the Dauphiné Libéré stage race in fine style in June ? managing to defeat the all-conquering Astana squad.

And for 36 hours or so the veteran rider looked to be in with a chance of winning the Tour de France itself after an aggressive ride on the climb to Tignes.

However far-fetched the dream may have seemed outside France, the nation harboured hopes of a first home win since 1985 on the first rest day, as Moreau lay seventh overall behind Michael Rasmussen.

But his Tour imploded four days later on what should have been a routine stage from Marseille to Montpellier. Moreau crashed, broke the clasp on his shoe and dropped back to the team car to change it.

By the time he tried to get back to the front he found Astana had upped the pace. With only four Ag2r team-mates to help, Moreau?s hopes were gone.

The time trial at Albi was the final indignity ? a day he describes as ?possibly the worst I have ever had?. He lost more than nine minutes and finished the Tour a disappointing 37th overall.

Read the full interview in Cycle Sport?s January issue ? on sale Wednesday, November 1 priced £3.95.

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Lionel Birnie

Sports journalist Lionel Birnie has written professionally for Sunday Times, Procycling and of course Cycling Weekly. He is also an author, publisher, and co-founder of The Cycling Podcast. His first experience covering the Tour de France came in 1999, and he has presented The Cycling Podcast with Richard Moore and Daniel Friebe since 2013. He founded Peloton Publishing in 2010 and has ghostwritten and published the autobiography of Sean Kelly, as well as a number of other sports icons.