Belgian could target points classification if still in contention after stage six
Philippe Gilbert lost the lead of the points ranking on Tour de France's stage 3 to Redon, but looks in a perfect position to take it again today at the top of Mûr-de-Bretagne. However, Omega Pharma-Lotto is not going to take all of the responsibility during the stage. "I don't think we have to take the whole pressure," directeur sportif Herman Frison told Cyclingnews yesterday after the finish in Redon.
The Belgian team knows Gilbert is expected to win on stage four, even more than he was before stage one, given that it is a typical uphill finish suited to the Classics specialist.
The Mûr-de-Bretagne climb is two kilometers long with an average gradient of 6.9 percent, with the first half kicking up to 10 percent.
Omega Pharma directeur sportif said the lead of the peloton during stage 4 must go to Garmin-Cervélo. "We'll work if it's requested, but they have the yellow jersey, so it's their responsibility."
Frison tried to dampen media enthusiasm and asserted a lot of riders can win atop the Mûr-de-Bretagne. "The finish could suit a strong sprinter like Matt Goss or perhaps Alberto Contador himself." The Spaniard had shown himself in a similar uphill finishes in the Giro d'Italia, although they were not important days for GC. However, he wanted to test his legs and boost his team's confidence.
After today's finish, Gilbert may be in a good position to continue a pursuit of the green jersey, but Frison said that it was too early to know whether this could become one of the team's goals.
"We will see with Philippe what we have to do, because the green jersey was not an official goal for us before the start of the race," he underlined. Initially, Omega Pharma-Lotto hoped for stage victories and a strong GC placing for Jurgen Van Den Broecke.
Frison said Gilbert might take the race day by day after Lisieux. Asked about his rider's chances to succeed on the medium mountain course to Super-Besse on stage eight, across the Massif Central, the directeur sportif responded that it would be "hard". The day's parcours includes two Cat. 4 climbs and one Cat. 2, the ultimate ascent to the finish being 1.5km long at 7.6 percent.
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