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Argos-Shimano rider previews difficult day to Bagnères-de-Bigorre
Rolling across the line more than 30 minutes behind stage winner Chris Froome (Sky) was of no real concern to Argos-Shimano's Koen de Kort who, in this exclusive video with Cyclingnews explained that the stage to Ax 3 Domaines was simply a matter of surviving. Today's stage from Saint-Girons to Bagnères-de-Bigorre however, would not be so simple. The 168.5km stage may not split the GC riders up as much as the previous day but with the stage constantly going up and down and with five categorise climbs; one Cat.2 and four Cat.1's, making the time cut is going to be even harder.
"With such a long flat section to begin with you know you are going to finish in time. So it's not too difficult, it's actually all right today," De Kort told Cyclingnews.
"I didn't really have a role today," added De Kort after stating the main objective for Stage 8 wad to simply "survive". "I guess that's going to happen in the next week when we get the sprinter's stages again."
"Tomorrow [Stage 9] is going to be a pretty tough stage. It's going to be really hard to finish within time cut because it just goes up and down all day. That'll hurt definitely. I'm not looking forward to that."
The Dutchman has enjoyed a busy week looking after the team's sprinters Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb on the flat stages but intends to chase some personal glory before the race reaches Paris. Starting the three-week race with a minor illness meant De Kort has not been at his usual level but if he can get his normal legs back, he'll look to challenge for a stage win in one of the upcoming tougher days.
"I haven't been feeling good at all and still not feeling the way I'm supposed to feel. It's a little bit hard to pinpoint any stages, I'm sure I can do my job in the sprint again for Marcel in the next week and then hopefully when the stages get a little bit tougher I can find my legs again and I'll be able to do something."