David Moncoutié is set to continue his career, aiming at another success in the Vuelta a España next season. Having already taken the last four mountain jerseys of the Spanish Grand Tour, the 36-year-old Cofidis rider will aim for a fifth title in 2012, thereby possibly equalling the feat of José Luis Laguía, the only rider ever to have won five mountain classifications at the Vuelta.
"There will be other important things [in 2012] but the Vuelta is my race of reference," Moncoutié told Velochrono after concluding his first team gathering with Cofidis this month. "It's a gamble that I've come to enjoy! Three jerseys, then four... why not five? It's one of my main objectives for the upcoming season, together with the Criterium du Dauphiné."
The French climber will thus continue in the same vein as in previous years, except for racing the Tour de France - as he admitted his participation this year had been a mistake. "There were several circumstancial issues. One week prior to the Tour, at the French Championships, I crashed... The next day, I couldn't walk. I spent the first ten days of the Tour a bit handicapped. Then there was the bad weather, which I don't like. I wasn't at my best, either," said Moncoutié who nevertheless counts his 2004 and 2005 Tour stage wins as "the best victories of my career."
Moncoutié's 2012 season will therefore be centered around the Tour Mediterranéen, the Tour de l'Ain (both of which he won in 2011), the Criterium du Dauphiné and the Vuelta a España. The Frenchman added that meticulous preparation was necessary in order to achieve his goals. "At the Vuelta, I looked closely at all the places where I needed to be in front. I calculated every day. When you're strong, you don't think about it, but when you're not going great, you have to spend your energy wisely."