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View from the sidelines

Rabobank team manager Theo De Rooy

Rabobank team manager Theo De Rooy (Image credit: Anthony Tan)

An interview with Theo De Rooy

For Theo De Rooy, general manager of the Rabobank cycling team, each of his 22 or 23 Tours de France (he's lost count) he has either ridden in or directed are now memories, he says. He's very much a man with a focus on the now and the future, and that's how he's managed to sooth Thomas Dekker's disappointment after being replaced at the last minute, and at the same time, keep his two Dutch veteran thirty-somethings Erik Dekker and Michael Boogerd feel as if they were racing their first Tour de France. Cyclingnews' Anthony Tan caught up with De Rooy at the team's presentation in Valkenburg.

CN: Are you very confident of the team that you're sending to this year's Tour de France?

TDR: Ya. If we start with Denis Menchov, last year his preparation for the Tour was not 100 percent. He was not 100 percent in the Dauphiné; when we were training in the mountains before the Tour, he was not 100 percent; and when we reached the Tour, he was not 100 percent. But luckily we had Weening and Rasmussen, so it was not very visible, because we had others who were performing well.

This year, Denis did a very good Dauphiné; he did some mountain stages afterwards and he's still feeling very good. Last year, he won the Vuelta and he certainly wants to prove that his Vuelta victory last year was not because of luck or because of the disqualification of Heras, but that he's just a very good rider.

The second rider, Oscar Freire, he abandoned last year's Tour of Switzerland on June 16, and he didn't race again until Majorca this year. The last couple of months has been going fairly good with Oscar; in the Spring Classics, he lacked a little top form, but if you haven't raced for three quarters of the year...

We had to establish after the Spring Classics that he was missing a few percent to achieve 100 percent form. But in Switzerland this year, the way he won the stage, I think we can expect the old Oscar Freire again in the Tour de France.

Click here to read the full interview.

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