Frenchman Christophe Moreau did not have a good 2008 season. After his team not being invited to the Dauphiné Libéré, which he had won in 2007, the Agritubel rider failed to perform at the Tour de France, which he abandoned during stage seven. Now, the 37 year-old has decided to go for one more season in order to finish his career showing better performances.
Moreau, who has signed another one-year deal with Agritubel, explained to velo101.com that he had wanted to confirm his excellent 2007 season this year but failed because of the pressure he put on himself. "2007 had been so fabulous for me that it was difficult to level up to it," he said. "Maybe I put too much pressure on myself. By wanting to do as well – or even better – I missed out on my objectives."
The Frenchman explained that because his team was not invited to the Dauphiné Libéré in June, he needed to make up for missing race kilometres at the Route du Sud and dearly paid for it at the Tour. "My body just deserted me," he said about the way he abandoned the Tour. It was a hurtful experience for Moreau, as well as for the Agritubel team, which had to continue the race without its designated captain.
But the 2007 French champion did not want to end his career this way and chose to accept a lesser salary in order to try and restore his honour next year. "Finally, it made me want to come back even more in 2009, because this will most certainly be my last year, my last Tour de France," he explained. "I want to add some nobility to my career before leaving. I'd like to show myself at the Tour once again – maybe with a stage win, maybe with the polka dot jersey – to be able to leave without regrets after 15 years of racing. If 2008 would have been a good year, I might have chosen to retire this year. But I know I'm still capable of racing at the highest level one more season."
Moreau added that he thought the psychological circumstances would play in his favour. "I will have nothing to lose next year, I won't have any pressure," he said. "A champion has to finish on a good year. I hope it will be the case next year."