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Soler likes high mountain stages

Mauricio Soler (Barloworld)

Mauricio Soler (Barloworld) (Image credit: Sirotti)

2007 polka-dot jersey winner Mauricio Soler was a guest of honor at the 2008 Tour de France route presentation Wednesday morning in Paris. Soler also won the mountain stage to Briançon

The Columbian traveled to Paris by car after only recently undergoing a minor operation on his nose that should help him perform even better in 2008. Along with Team Barloworld manager Claudio Corti, Soler was obviously interested in the Tour route that will start in Brest on July 5 and end in Paris on July 27.

"It's not really up to me to judge the route of the Tour de France but I have to say that after a first look I like it," Soler said modestly. "The amount of time trials has been reduced because there's no prologue and no team time trial. There are lots of climbs but I wouldn't say it's a particularly tough Tour route. Fortunately for me there are lots of climbs over 2,000 metres and I'm used to racing and breathing at that altitude. There'll be lots of chances for me to attack."

"The mountains are interesting, above all the Alpe d'Huez – I would like to win that stage," Soler said to Cyclingnews.

Corti was hopeful for Team Barloworld's chances at the 2008 Tour. "We’re building a team that will strong in every kind of race. We've shown the professionalism of our team and riders this year and I'm hopeful that the Tour organizers will remember that when they decide which teams will take part in next year's race." South African Robbie Hunter also won a stage in 2007.

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