Sandy Casar (FDJ) travels to the Presidential Tour of Turkey aiming to profit from his recent good form. The race gets under way in Istanbul on Sunday, and Casar is making no secret of his ambitions for the eight-stage event.
“I’m going there to race,” said Casar. “I’m hoping to do well on the general classification, looking to win the race if possible.”
After suffering from illness earlier in the season, Casar bounced back to win Paris-Camembert recently, and he finished third in the Tour du Finistère last weekend.
"My early season has been marred by health problems. I suffered at the Tour of Oman and I pulled out at Paris-Nice. But now I'm fine and I feel great. I want to profit from this good shape in Turkey."
2011 marks Casar’s first participation in the Turkish race. As FDJ are not part of the WorldTour, they did not receive invitations to the Giro d’Italia or the Tour de Romandie, but Casar is determined to make his mark where he can.
Also in the FDJ line-up are Rémi Pauriol and young French talent Thibaut Pinot, and Casar reckons that he is leading one of the strongest squads in the race.
"This year, we feel more solidarity inside our team," said Casar, who has been part of the FDJ roster since he turned pro in 2000. "We have a team for winning the Tour of Turkey. I’m not talking only for myself, it can be another of my teammates.
"Since it’s our first time answering the call of the organisers, we want to do well. I know that we’ll enjoy beautiful landscapes but I warn everyone that we won’t be coming for tourism purposes. FDJ has the ambition to become a Pro Team again next year, therefore, hors-category races of the Europe Tour like the Tour of Turkey are very important for us."