After having been ill-fortuned these past few years with two injuries which made him miss out on much of the seasons' racing, French David Moncoutié is back in the peloton this year, and hopes to have luck on his side once again. The Cofidis rider, who won two Tour de France stages in 2004 and 2005, has travelled to Australia this week to take part in the first 2008 ProTour race, the Tour Down Under.
"I wanted to return to racing as soon as possible," Moncoutié told L'Equipe, explaining his early start. "Also, it's a different way of approaching the season, after 12 years as a pro. And then, it might be a way of not putting too much pressure on myself for now, on the other side of the world..."
Last summer, the gifted climber even had thoughts of quitting the sport altogether because of his broken left femur, a consequence of a crash in the Tour de Romandie. But in September, Moncoutié re-signed for anther year with his Cofidis team, and now looks forward to re-gaining his former level of performance.
"I don't give myself any margin for my come-back," he continued. "If I'm not competitive within three or four months, then I'll never be again. But I'm approaching this season as the others before, so I don't see what could prevent me from returning to my former level. Now, I feel even better than before my crash in Romandie last year. I think this experience has strengthened me."
As for his objectives this year, the Cofidis rider targets first and foremost another stage win at the Tour de France, but "any race victory would be a reward after what I've been through."