British rider Jeremy Hunt (Cervélo) says he will be tackling his first ever Tour de France full on but that there were times in his career when he thought he might not ever get to ride in cycling's biggest stage race before he retired.
"First we didn't get a start with Unibet [in 2007] and then again with Credit [Agricole] I came close but it didn't happen at the last minute," Hunt told Cycling Weekly.
"So I'm very pleased it's finally happening. I'm in good shape, I'm climbing well and I'm light, so I'm hoping it'll all work out."
Hunt's role will be to act as leadout man for team leader Thor Hushovd (Cervélo) in the sprints as well as work at bringing back dangerous breaks. He'll also be helping Cervélo's other protected rider, 2008 Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre.
"I was doing a lot of work on the front in the Tour de Suisse and I'll have the same job in the Tour de France," Hunt said.
As a double top 20 finisher in Paris-Roubaix, Hunt expects to have a big role on the stage that going over the pavé.
"We'll be going to see them again on Monday after the Nationals, we went there with Carlos in the spring but riding over them changes a lot depending on the weather."
The Tour will be Hunt's fourth major tour start, after racing in the Giro last year, "keeping Carlos Sastre out of the wind for three weeks, and that wasn't an easy job" and in the Vuelta two years before.
"After that I'll be focussing almost entirely on the World's and the Commonwealth Games - hopefully I'll get selected for them. But the Tour will be good for condition for my second half of the season, too."
Tour de France 2010: Cycling Weekly's coverage index
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.
'I sweated and tried not to barf up my sandwich': a first look at Wahoo's new Sports Science Center
We spent a day at Wahoo's recently opened drool-worthy sports science haven getting to know our bodies better
By Kristin Jenny • Published
'A big weight off my shoulders' — Jake Stewart takes 'emotional' first win
British rider breaks through with stage one victory at the Tour de l'Ain
By Adam Becket • Published