By Gregor Brown in Cholet
After making an impressive debut in the Tour de France 2007 and riding to a tenth place in the Vuelta a España, Spaniard Carlos Barredo has become the trusted man within Team Quick Step for general classification contender Stijn Devolder's chances.
"I need to stay near Stijn up until the end. I will see what he can do in the classification, staying at his side," 27 year-old Barredo, winner of Paris-Nice stage 5, expressed to Cyclingnews.
He indicated that Cyclingnewsdiarist Devolder will allow him the chance to fight for a stage win if the opportunity comes, and that is similiar to last year. "My role does not change much in the team without Tom Boonen being at this Tour de France."
Barredo fought through a tough period in the weeks leading up to the Tour de France. A problem with his dad meant that he was not able to concentrate on training 100 percent.
"I am thinking more of the team than myself. In the last month, I had some problems at home with my dad and I lost concentration – it was hard to train. I am not quite sure how my form is."
He explained that his dad is recovered. "My dad had a problem with his heart, so the whole family was down for about seven days. He is back at home and watching the Tour on television."