Fresh from taking overall victory at the Tour de l’Ain on Saturday, David Moncoutié (Cofidis) has hinted that he is likely to continue his career for another season, having previously suggested that 2011 would be his last year in the professional ranks.
“I’m no longer ruling out the possibility of riding next year,” Moncoutié told L’Équipe.
Such was the state of Moncoutié’s morale after the Tour de France that he even considered ending his career at the Tour de l’Ain itself, but he rediscovered his zeal in the Alps, as testified by his impressive raid in the company of stage winner Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) on the Grand Colombier on Saturday.
“I came out of the Tour physically and morally exhausted, and I thought then that the Tour de l’Ain would be my last race,” Moncoutié said. “But I’ve refound my desire and my legs.”
The Frenchman is now set to line up in Benidorm next weekend in search of a fourth consecutive Vuelta a España mountains title, and he was hopeful that conditions in Spain would suit him better than they had at this year’s Tour de France.
“It was a rainy Tour and I don’t like the rain,” Moncoutié acknowledged. “All of my victories, including today, have come when it’s been 30 degrees. It’s also for that reason that I like the Vuelta.”
According to L’Équipe, if Moncoutié does continue in 2012, he will not ride the Tour de France. His best showing in this year’s race was second place behind Thor Hushovd at Lourdes on stage 13.
Moncoutié was overpowered by the world champion in the finale, but was criticised by sections of the French press for supposedly aiding Hushovd’s pursuit of lone leader Jeremy Roy (FDJ) after the descent of the Aubisque.
“That hurt me,” Moncoutié said. “Whatever I did, I would have been criticised. I was in a tough position. I never forced it when I took my turns on the front, and nobody would have understood if I had stayed passively on Hushovd’s wheel.”