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“Everybody is saying it’s tranquillo now, but give it four days and it’ll just be a big scrap here,” Thomas Voeckler said.

Photo: Sirotti

CARLOS ALBERTO BETANCUR

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DECATHLON AG2R LA MONDIALE

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DIRECT ENERGIE

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MOVISTAR TEAM

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NAIRO QUINTANA

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THOMAS VOECKLER

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TOUR DE SAN LUIS

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18.01.2015 @ 17:14 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

At the same Tour de San Luis pre-race press conference where Mark Cavendish reflected on journalists' sexual behaviors, last year's winner Nairo Quintana as well as his countryman Carlos Betancur and Thomas Voeckler reflected on their expectations towards the upcoming event.

 

In case of both Colombians, who underwent preparations for the new season in South America and require more undulating terrain to show their full potential, a choice between Tour de San Luis and Tour Down Under was no brainer.

 

“It’s a nicer temperature here. In Europe, it’s much colder right now so it’s a better race to start out with for me, especially as I have other objectives later in the year,” Quintana said at the official pre-race press conference. “But it’s good to race in January, and it gives us the opportunity to prepare better for what is to come.”

 

While Quintana would be disappointed with anything else than a victory in the general classification of the Argentinian race, Betancur – still far away from his ideal physical shape, claims to be more interested in chasing stage victories.

 

“I had some difficult months last year away from competition but now I feel very well, physically and mentally,” Betancur said. “I’m not sure if I’ll be in top condition here but hopefully it will help me to be at my best later in the year.”

 

Voeckler, meanwhile, lines-up at the start of the Argentinian event for the first time after his last year's debut at the Tour Down Under infamously ended before the race has started, due to a training crash in Adelaide. The 35-year old Frenchman admitted that he couldn't return to Australia after his Europcar team stepped down to the Pro Continental level again, but insisted to be excited about his new adventure at Tour de San Luis.

 

“My team is in the second division now, so I couldn’t go there,” Voeckler said. “But I’ve wanted to come here for a long time. I prefer racing to training and I wanted to do a race in the sun but with less jet lag than going all the way to Australia.”

 

Asked about a tranquility mentioned by all pre-race favourites, Voeckler expected the relaxed atmosphere not to last for long.

“Everybody is saying it’s tranquillo now, but give it four days and it’ll just be a big scrap here.”

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