Recovering from your injuries
The world number 1 in 2021 -only a WorldTour race left to confirm this ranking- offers her in-depth impressions on the ‘Grande Boucle’, which will start on July 24 in Paris.
“First of all, I want to thank the organisation for taking the course making seriously. It conveys the feeling that they have gone to great lengths to create a beautiful course that represents what women’s cycling is today. At first glance, I think they were right in the sense of having offered opportunities to all kinds of riders in those eight days of racing.
Obviously I like the mountain stages, but there are other aspects that I see very well. For example, the fact of starting on the Champs Elysees. It’s a nice way to connect the men’s Tour with the women’s, starting where they end. I like the approach because normally people are sad on Paris day because everything ends; This time, you have the opportunity to continue watching cycling and see us. It is also nice that the races have some form of connection without being held at the same time, without taking the limelight. I like the concept.
As I said before, I also like that there are different types of stages. Days for sprinters, days with steep slopes – one of the stages has that tough 1 km climb very close to the end – and, in general, all the ingredients that a Tour de France should present, simply in a more compressed version.
Ok, it is true that there is no time trial, but I am not sad about it either because the two mountain finals suit me personally very well. I am also excited to see that they have made the effort to get us into known climbs, parts that people can easily identify. If you see the Petit Ballon, the Grand Ballon, La Planche des Belles Filles… it’s a Tour de France, it’s easily identifiable, and I think it’s a great decision. La Planche in particular is a climb that I want to tackle. I do not know it and I am sure it will be one of the sites that we are going to recognise in advance.
In general, the only thing that I don’t like very much, and I don’t do it in any stage lap, is the stage with the gravel sections. I don’t feel like it’s a necessary thing on a Tour de France tour. You increase the importance of the ‘luck factor’, of the ‘good luck factor’ in particular, because the race can leave you with a puncture. On stage laps, I don’t like it that much. It’s a bit of a lottery, for a career like this I see it too risky. Hopefully everyone ‘survives’ and no one suffers that bad luck.
To summarise: very happy overall, happy that we have this opportunity, and an extra motivation for my rehabilitation. It is sure to be one of the biggest goals of next season for me. It will be necessary to see if we can face the Giro Donne and the Tour de France in the same season, I still have to assess it with the team and my coach, see if it is realistic, if possible, and also know the route of the Giro. But as I say, the Tour is going to be one of the great goals of my 2022 ”.