Caisse d'Epargne on the first week

The Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears riders are riding the Tour de France without leader Alejandro...

The Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears riders are riding the Tour de France without leader Alejandro Valverde, who crashed out in stage 3 last week. Nevertheless, they are confident that they can show themselves in the mountains. With the average speed in the first half of the Tour being so much lower than it was last year, it's been a different experience for the boys in black and red.

David Arroyo noted, "The beginning of the Tour was absolutely not similar to the one we had last year. The tension was less. Personally I went through that first week without any problems. In the mountains I will try to stay in front to help our leaders. If the circumstances allow me to do so I will try to go with a breakaway and claim a stage victory. Of course!"

Xabier Zandio agreed, saying, "The first week was a little strange, but not as difficult as it was the years before. The race will really start tomorrow. At the moment I feel very well and I think you can expect me in front in the mountains. I am confident and motivated, but before starting the first climb it is impossible to know if my legs will be ok or not. I think that the second stage in the Pyrenees is really a hard one, even if I am sure this year the Alps will be decisive. The Tour is more open than ever and I think the fans will really enjoy the race because there will be more equality and more rivalry between the favourites than there was in the past years."

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