Andreas Klöden last rode the Circuit de la Sarthe ten years ago, but he remembered it well: "A nice stage race, well organised, and not too long for my preparations. So it was exactly right to help bring me in form for the Tour de France."
He took advantage of all that to bring about his overall victory, for which he lay the basis by being the fastest in the 8.8 kilometre time trial. Moreover, the race against the clock served a s a technical check-up. "I was able to use the short time trial to test various things on my time trial bike under competitive conditions," Klöden wrote on his personal website. "And the fact that I was able to beat the newly-crowned track world champion in the 40000m pursuit, Bradley Wiggins, was also very satisfying."
Nevertheless, the overall victory was not a piece of cake. "But it's not enough to win a time trial, in order to get the overall win," he noted. "The work really started for my team and me over the two last stages. Both stages were over 180 km long, and since the teams here were only six riders, instead of the usual eight, the work for my team wasn't any easier."
Klöden praised his squad for its support, saying, "It was really a very strong performance by the complete team." The next few days, the German will do some light training to recuperate, before seriously preparing for the Flèche Wallonne.