By Shane Stokes in Bern
Philippe Gilbert may not have been able to hold off the Swiss steam train Fabian Cancellara at the end of Sunday's Tour de Suisse finale, but his second place showed that he is coming into top form in time for the Tour. He told Cyclingnews before the stage start that he was satisfied with his overall experience in Switzerland, even if one aspect of the organisation didn't appeal to him.
"My race went well. It was the first time here at the Tour de Suisse and it is nice. The only problem was the time of the finishes, they were very late...too late. It means recovery is not easy. Otherwise the race is perfect, not too hard.
"My condition is good and I was also climbing well. For me that is a good sign. Next week I will take it easy, do things slowly, and only ride the championship. I hope all will be perfect for the Tour."
He said that he will aim to ride strongly on the opening day of the French race. "The first day of the Tour is my birthday, so that is special for me. This year there are no bonifications, so it will maybe be very different. Everybody will do their best each day for the placings, and many riders can have the yellow jersey. So the racing will be hard."