Discovering Johan

On the first rest day in Grenoble, just hours away before the first real mountain stage of the 2005...

On the first rest day in Grenoble, just hours away before the first real mountain stage of the 2005 Tour de France, Discovery's master tactician Johan Bruyneel sat down to a press meeting that was understandably packed to the rafters. The man behind the wheel of six successful Tours de France talked about the week so far, what's driving Lance, the maillot jaune, Lance's legacy and the rest of the contenders. Anthony Tan was there for Cyclingnews.

Q: Johan, it seems like Lance has a different mindset in this year's Tour. He seems a little more relaxed - has his mindset changed in this year's Tour after making a record sixth win, and is it affecting his racing at all?

Johan Bruyneel: He's definitely relaxed, but that doesn't mean he's less focused or less motivated. I think the only pressure he has in this year's Tour is the pressure is puts on himself. Last year, nobody had been able to win six and all the big ones had failed, so there was a lot of pressure; this year, it was himself who wanted to be here and when he decided to be here, he didn't come to be second. But I can feel he's more relaxed.

Q: What are the things that motivated him this year that he didn't have in the past?

JB: Well, I think the biggest motivation is that he wants to win and that he's a champion and doesn't want to lose. I think all the champions are like that, and it's certainly the case this year. I repeat that the fact that he decided to do another Tour is his biggest motivation; once he took that decision, he completely changed his mind and his focus and really started training very seriously.

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