Dylan Teuns says that he's ready to fully commit to helping Bahrain McLaren team leader Mikel Landa in his efforts to try to win the 2020 Tour de France, despite the Belgian having had the freedom to ride to a stage victory at La Planche des Belles Filles at last year's Grande Boucle.
"The team has a lot of ambition for the rankings with Landa, and we intend to help him," Teuns told Het Laatste Nieuws on Thursday. "Maybe I'll get some freedom here and there, but the initial intention is to ride in his service, and we have a strong team with Wout Poels, Damiano Caruso and Pello Bilbao."
While Bahrain McLaren have yet to unveil their final eight riders for this year's Tour, last month we evaluated the WorldTour team's possible squad, which included Poels, Caruso, Bilbao and Teuns to try to help Landa onto the podium in Paris, and which would make for a very strong team to take on the might of the likes of Team Ineos and Jumbo-Visma.
While Teuns said that he'd be happy in his probable role as a domestique de luxe at the Tour, the 28-year-old told Cyclingnews at the team's training camp last December that he would nevertheless one day like the opportunity to ride for the general classification at a Grand Tour.
"My stage victory in the Tour was a turning point in my career," he told HLN.be on Thursday, remembering his performance last year on stage 6 to La Planche des Belles Filles, where he outmanoeuvred Trek-Segafredo's Giulio Ciccone for the biggest win of his career so far.
"My status within the team has increased enormously. Also, among the fans, I've noticed that something has changed. I'm recognised more often; people who don't normally follow the racing do watch the Tour."
If Teuns has future designs on a Grand Tour victory, that could mean switching teams, although he said he'd prefer to stay with Bahrain McLaren as things currently stand.
"Staying is my first option because I feel very good here," he said, although he did admit that there had been offers from several other teams. "I won't name names, but there is interest.
"Normally, I'd be a bit nervous in this situation," said Teuns, whose contract ends after this season, with the added complication of the 2020 season having so far been cut short due to the coronavirus crisis.
"If you're at the end of your contract, you normally want to show yourself with some good performances as soon as possible, but now that we've been unable to race anyway, I've found it easier to put those concerns aside," he said.
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