Wearing their special white kit with multi-coloured sleeves, the riders of UAE Team ADQ faced the questions of the press in Clermont-Ferrand on the day before stage 1 of the Tour de France Femmes. Cyclingnews spoke to Erica Magnaldi and Olivia Baril about the team’s plans for the race and how they would handle having several cards for a GC result.
Magnaldi was the team’s best rider at the Giro d’Italia Donne earlier this month, finishing fifth overall in the Italian stage race – but the time trial that concludes the Tour means that the team has Baril and Silvia Persico target the GC instead.
“Olivia and Silvia are super strong, they also have good strength in the time trial, so the team thinks that they have a chance for GC. I can be a good support for them, but we also know the Tour de France is quite unpredictable. Things can change day by day,” Magnaldi said.
“Until stage 7, the GC can change every single day, it’s really, really open. We want to protect them, but winning stages is a big goal too, we will try to be aggressive and play our cards.”
Baril added that having two GC riders was an advantage in this Tour with its parcours that is anything but formulaic, and that Lady Luck played a role as well.
“To do well on GC, you need to be a little bit lucky, and the Tour is very long. In terms of crashes and illness, you need to get through the Tour to do well in the Tour. That’s why I think that it’s the smartest decision that we’re going into the race with two GC riders. And if you lose a lot of time on the first day or the second day, it doesn’t mean that you can’t catch up later on,” added Baril.
“We just need to fight every day. This is one of the most aggressive races of the year, and we need to prepare for that in terms of strategy.”