Christophe Moreau is much stronger for winning the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré this year than when he won the French event for the first time in 2001 by a single second from Russian Pavel Tonkov. For many years he has been France's main hope for a spot on the final podium of the Tour de France, but now he'd be happy with shining as the king of the mountains, he tells Cyclingnews' Jean-François Quénet.
It's been 10 years since any Frenchman finished on the final podium of the Tour de France. Yes, the last one was Richard Virenque in 1997 and the recent revelations, in addition to the Festina affair, have made clear that cycling in the mid 90s didn't have much in the way of credibility. No Frenchman has won the Tour since Bernard Hinault in 1985 - that's over 20 years France has gone without a local success in its own hallmark event.
Results from the Dauphiné however could suggest that Christophe Moreau (Ag2r Prévoyance) is able to produce a good final result, especially in the post-Armstrong era. Without the likes of Jan Ullrich, Ivan Basso and Floyd Landis, all gone because of their alleged connections with doping, one would think Moreau stands a chance on general classification. But Moreau is 36 years old and in his 13th season as a professional cyclist. While he's not exactly the up and coming champion highly expected in France, he's definitely the best Tour de France rider the country has to offer.
Read the full interview with Moreau.