Christophe Le Mével is set to lead the Garmin-Cervélo team at the 2011 Giro d’Italia, along with Ireland’s Dan Martin. The Frenchman, who joins the squad from FDJ, has already tasted success at the corsa rosa, winning a stage in 2005.
“For now, I’m sure to figure at the Giro d’Italia, where I should have the role of co-leader alongside Daniel Martin,” Le Mével told Cyclism’Actu. “We’ll then have to look at my condition after this first Grand Tour and see if I am capable of going straight on the Tour de France, but for the moment my primary objective is the Giro.”
Le Mével finished 10th at the 2009 Tour de France but failed to repeat those heroics this year. While he is keen to return to the Tour in 2011, he insists that being the sole Frenchman in his new team is no guarantee of selection.
“My selection for the Tour hasn’t been discussed,” Le Mével said. “It’s possible that I might be there, but the merging of Garmin and Cervélo means that there are great sprinters like Tyler Farrar and Thor Hushovd together in the same team. The main objective of the team at the Tour will thus be the green jersey. The management will have choices to make and my nationality won’t influence that.”
In spite of his new surroundings, Le Mével will follow a familiar early season schedule.
“My start to the season will be 100 per cent French,” he said. “I’ll start at the Tour of the Mediterranean before continuing in the south of France with the Tour du Haut Var, Paris-Nice and the Criterium International.”
Later in the spring, Le Mével will be hoping to be competitive at the Ardennes classics, but his first major rendezvous of the season will come at Paris-Nice.
“Above all I’m going to try to be in very good physical shape [for Paris-Nice] in order to have a go at the general classification,” Le Mével explained.
The 30-year-old recently returned from Garmin-Cervélo’s first training camp in the Cayman Islands, where he had the opportunity to work on his time trial position with David Millar.
“I’ve already worked with David on my position on the bike,” he said. “I think that over the course of the year he is going to help me sort out certain details such as my position, my pedal stroke etc, so as to gain power in time trials.”