By Gregor Brown in Montgailhard
Filippo Pozzato may have the Milano-Sanremo and Het Volk on his palmarès but that does not mean he stands a chance in the hot and demanding stages of the Pyrénées. The Italian from Veneto, winner of the Tour de France stage to Autun, is looking to pass the Pyrenean climbs and is focused on his last three stage possibilities.
"It was calm and very cool," Pozzato explained to Cyclingnews of the time trial around Albi. He was one of the many riders who road in the rain over the 54 kilometre test but fortunately there was no pressure on him to perform. Just like in the current mountain stages, he is looking to save himself for the flatter days to come. "I will need to save myself and I hope for the best."
His Byelorussian teammate, Aleksandr Kuschynski, tried his luck in the stage to Plateau de Beille while 'Pippo' rode in the gruppetto to finish 34 minutes back.
"After the mountains there are two nice stages and then Paris. I hope to be able to do something good," said the tall, 25 year-old. The Tour will finish with closing circuits on the Champs-Élysées as normal. "I would really enjoy winning in Paris because Paris is a grand bel arrivo but I have to arrive there first."
Pozzato had pointed toward stage 12 to Castres after his win in Autun but he was a little held up in the finale, where he ended fourth behind team-mate Murilo Fischer. "We had a problem with the round-about after the last kilometre banner and we lost a little bit. It was also a little bit of a mess in the sprint; I bumped against Ballan but it was fine, the same."
The next chance for Pozzato will come on Thursday, with the 188.5-kilometre stage to Castelsarrasin.