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Gallopin not impressed by hectic Tour de France beginning

By:
Jean-François Quénet
Published:
October 14, 2009, 15:52 BST,
Updated:
October 14, 2009, 17:06 BST
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Race:
Tour de France
Alain Gallopin, Astana directeur sportif.

Alain Gallopin, Astana directeur sportif.

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Opening stages don't take full advantage of windy coasts

Astana's directeur sportif Alain Gallopin, who will join Armstrong's RadioShack team next year, cooled down the comments about the hectic beginning expected at the 2010 Tour de France. "We haven't been much surprised," said the Frenchman in Paris. "I'm a little bit disappointed about the first week. I thought there were more possibilities to use the windy coasts of Holland and Belgium."

Gallopin was skeptical about the possibilities of stage 1 to create differences like it happened this year en route to La Grande-Motte on stage 3. "The polders are very far away from the finish line in Brussels," he said. "With 200km to go, if something happens, there will be a need for many riders to form the front group."

However, the future tactician of RadioShack stated he counts on the initial part of the Tour de France for gaining a time advantage on Alberto Contador. "In the climbs, Contador is unbeatable," he said. "He will be hard to beat. This Tour will crown a very complete rider."

The former mentor of Andy Schleck at CSC and Contador at Astana admitted: "I know our rivals more than I know Lance Armstrong." He also counts on his personal experience to know how to beat the supposed "unbeatable" Spaniard.

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