Chavanel plays the waiting game

French rider bides his time in search of stage win

Sylvain Chavanel, the second of Quick Step's two team leaders behind Tom Boonen, wants to repeat his 2008 Tour de France stage win this year. The Frenchman was ready to pull the bunch for his teammate's chances in a field sprint yesterday in Perpignan, but the stage eventually favoured the breakaway that carried countryman Thomas Voeckler to victory.

An escape also seems to be Chavanel's goal, judging from what he told Cyclingnews at the start of the stage in Cap d'Agde. "The Pyrenees are not impossible to overcome, contrary to the Alps," he said. "It will be hard, but we've done worse.

"I still want to win a stage, but I'm not going to tell you which one!" he added.

Before entering the mountains, the peloton will head towards Barcelona on a stage that has a few bumps on its profile - especially in the last two kilometres.

Chavanel has proven his proficiency in time trials on many occasions he was able to test his legs in the team time trial in Montpellier on Tuesday, despite having to watch out over his teammates.

"I couldn't make the most out of my abilities in the team time trial, but that's only normal. It was all about the collective so there was no point in accelerating to make them blow up in the back. But my feelings are good, I am confident," he added.

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