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French veteran Christophe Moreau (Caisse d'Epargne) signs an autograph
Experience the key for oldest rider on the race
Frenchman Christophe Moreau is the oldest rider at this year's Tour de France, his 15th edition of the race. The 39-year-old is the oldest man on the start list, closely followed by Lance Armstrong and Jens Voigt, and is pleased to be back at his national tour with the Caisse d'Epargne outfit in what could be his final Tour.
"We in our later thirties are still in good shape," Moreau told Cyclingnews before the start of stage two. "Just look at Armstrong, he's the same age. It's great to still be here at our age, it just goes to show that age is not a limiting factor.
"It's more a psychological barrier: we may be a little less strong than five or ten years ago, but we still have great resources. The riders in their thirties are definitely not the less competitive ones!"
Dutchman Joop Zoetemelk holds the record for the most Tour participations with 16 but Moreau isn't far behind. "It's a number that gets a lot of attention lately but I don't really think it's that important," said the mercurial Frenchman.
"What is important to me is to do well in this Tour, to finish it in Paris. I certainly want to have a good time and take advantage of all these beautiful moments. That's my motto for this Tour."
In support of Caisse d'Epargne leader Luis Leon Sanchez, Moreau will do his best to "be active in the race, to experience beautiful stages and to go for a stage victory, of course. We don't have a unique leader this year at the Tour, so our team is very open to attacks and more opportunistic than if we had a single leader for the podium in Paris."
Moreau hasn't finished all of his 14 previous Tours, although his best result was a fourth place overall in 2000, with his victory in the 2001 prologue netting him the maillot jaune for two days. In his 15 years of being a professional rider he has gained a massive amount of experience, which he is now happy to share with younger charges.
"I like my new role of road captain inside the team. I like to work with younger people and share my experience of the Grand Tours, together with my other Spanish team-mates that are also a bit more experienced," he explained.
This year's event could be the last one for Moreau, who only has a one-year contract with the Spanish squad. "I think I have thoroughly experienced everything the Tour has to offer, so I won't have any regrets if this is really my last one," he said. "This year, I want to be present once again and show myself from time to time, and just have a good time."