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Matxin envisions competitive Saunier Duval

Iban Mayo (Saunier Duval-Prodir)

Iban Mayo (Saunier Duval-Prodir) (Image credit: Sirotti)

By Antonio J. Salmerón

After having a strong performance in the Giro d'Italia (four stage wins) with Simoni, Riccò, Piepoli and Mayo, Saunier Duval-Prodir is aiming for "winning a stage" in the Tour de France rather than focusing on the general classification, Joxean Fernández Matxin told today to Cyclingnews.

Iban Mayo is the only team member who is heading to the Tour after having done the Giro, while José Angel Gomez Marchante is the one rider who has the Tour's general classification in mind. "The most important thing for both riders is to have good legs and feel confident in order to be among the best; once we have reached that, and depending on the race development, we can think in taking a stage or in fighting for the general classification," the Saunier directeur sportif explained.

Saunier Duval-Prodir will arrive in London on July 7 with a squad that also includes David Millar, David De La Fuente, Juan José Cobo, Iker Camaño, Rubén Lobato, Christophe Rinero and Francisco José Ventoso.

"We have a great opportunity for winning the prologue in London with the Scot David Millar because we know that he will be very motivated at home," Matxin continued.

However, there are other interesting riders in the Spanish ProTour squad, such as De La Fuente, who played a very combative role last year in the mountains, as well as Juan José Cobo, who has won the 2007 Vuelta al País Vasco, or the young and promising Ventoso, who is becoming a top sprinter. On the other hand, Camaño, Lobato and Rinero will provide useful support to Mayo and Gomez Marchante.

"Maybe, winning stage could be more profitable from an advertising angle than to try for the GC, although it is true that in the Giro we were fighting for the podium while achieving victories, and it was successful. I won't say that the general classification is not as important for us as winning stages but I do not know how the Tour will unfold," Matxin concluded.