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"I’m not that good in the summer, my body isn’t in a good shape then and the Tour is hard enough. Maybe I’ll do the Vuelta. The Tour is not important now. It’s not my favourite race and I can do other things in...

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JONATHAN HIVERT

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27.12.2013 @ 17:28 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

In 2014 Jonathan Hivert will return to the WorldTour for the first time since 2008 when he joins the Belkin team. After doing the Tour de France three times in a row, the French puncheur is happy to miss his home race and hopes to excel in the early and final parts of the season.

 

Jonathan Hivert faced the threat of potentially having to end his career when he was informed that his Sojasun team folded. However, the talented puncheur found a new home when the Belkin team offered him a chance to join the Dutch squad.

 

Instead of stepping down a level, Hivert suddenly found himself back on the WorldTour for the first time after leaving Credit Agricole at the end of the 2008 edition. However, taking a step up also means a new role for Hivert who will no longer be a leader like he was in his Sojasun team.

 

 

Hivert is a talented allrounder who climbs well and has a fast sprint, especially in uphill finishes. As a young Credit Agricole rider, he had several good results but his major breakthrough came when he joined Skil-Shimano in 2009 and finished 8th in Paris-Nice.

 

He joined his current team, then known as Saur-Sojasun, for the 2010 season and has performed well in his 4 seasons at that squad. He has taken 7 wins with the major one being his stage in last year's Tour de Romandie when he won a hard uphill sprint.

 

This year has been his best so far as he was flying at the beginning of the season. He won Etoile de Besseges overall and two stages of the Vuelta a Andalucia before riding well in Paris-Nice where he was 22nd. Since then he has finished 7th in Circuit Cycliste Sarthe and he came agonizingly close to the win in the Tour de Luxembourg but had to settle for 2nd behind future teammate Paul Martens.

 

In 2014 he hopes to benefit from his puncheur abilities to excel in the early season and so earn himself the trust of his teammates and a possible renewal of his one-year contract.

 

“It’s one year only but I’ll do my best and everything is possible," he told Cyclingnew. "First I want to find my place in the team. There are a lot of really good riders here so I can help them. Also, if I’m really good in the start of the year at races like Pais Basque and Paris-Nice it can be possible to try for myself. That’s my first goal. If I do my best I know I can find results."

 

In the past three years, Hivert rode the Tour de France but he never found much success in his biggest home race. With the competition for spaces on the Belkin Tour roster being fierce, he already knows that he would be back in the race for the fourth year in a row but that doesn't bother him at all.

 

“I’m adaptable and I’m happy to do the work for others," he said. "I’m usually in my best shape from January to May. It’s better if I don’t do the Tour as then I can recover in July and have a strong end to the season. I’m a puncheur and sometimes you need that in a team. But I’ve done the Tour three times and I’d prefer not to do it next season.

 

"I’m not that good in the summer, my body isn’t in a good shape then and the Tour is hard enough. Maybe I’ll do the Vuelta. The Tour is not important now. It’s not my favourite race and I can do other things in other races. I’ve finished the Tour three times and that’s not nothing but maybe I’m not for that race.”

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