By Gregor Brown in Briançon
Carlos Barredo joined Quickstep this year to learn from the Classics' best, Tom Boonen, but he is anxious for his turn when the 94th Tour de France approaches his home country of Spain
"I feel good," the 26 year-old told Cyclingnews on Tuesday. He noted his relaxed rest day in Tignes, "Yesterday we made some good training, three hours. "We did the first climb of today [Col de l'Iseran] and the climb up to the finish of stage eight, the Tignes. It went well, three hours was good for my legs. I road with Garate and the others. If we did not do the training yesterday then the stage today, leaving from Val d'Isère, would have been very difficult."
He is eyeing escapes and stage 12. "If there is an escape I will try to go with them," he continued in his friendly voice. "It will be difficult but if an escape of 15 to 20 goes free we have to be in the escape. We have to have a Quickstep man in the escapes. ... Wednesday and the day after will be a day for Tom and Gert."
The Tour is wearing on many, including Barredo. "This morning I felt tired. I don't know if it was because of the altitude, or the Tour, or... I don't know. However, I think that all the riders are equally tired." He is not giving up on the Tour and, in fact, he has the fighting spirit of an experienced professional. "I have looked at the road book and I like the stage for this Friday, stage 12 to Castres. It is a stage with many small climbs and the final climb of second category."
Cyclingnews explained to Barredo how Stefan Schumacher and Filippo Pozzato were eyeing the 178-kilometre stage to Castres and he laughed. "A lot of riders want to try. We will see how these next days go."
Perhaps the inspiration could come from his family when they arrive for the Tour's second set of mountains. "I think they will come for the three stages in the Pyrénées. For Saturday, Sunday and then Monday," Barredo concluded with a smile.