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.
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“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