LE TOUR DE FRANCE 2017: TOP TALKING POINTS FROM THE DIMENSION DATA TEAM PRESS CONFERENCE

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    On Friday 30th June, ahead of the start of the 104th edition of Le Tour de France, Dimension Data’s Team Principal, Doug Ryder, alongside Steve Cummings, Mark Cavendish and Edvald Boasson Hagen, addressed the world’s media.

    Here are some of the key talking points touched upon by Mark Cavendish and Steve Cummings as they prepared for the race start in Dusseldorf.

    Mark Cavendish

    On his fitness…

    “Obviously I’m not in ideal condition, but the good thing about being a sprinter is sometimes you can win on luck. If you pick the right wheels and you get the right run, there is a chance you can win. So it’s worth coming here with that chance as a sprinter.”

    On his expectations…

    “Every year I know exactly where I’m at condition wise, to be able to come and say I expect to win stages. But this year I come here and I know I haven’t done what I need to do to go out and be bullish that I’m going to win multiple stages. I’m quite realistic. But there is an opportunity I can win a stage at least. But let me stress, there is an opportunity. Just an opportunity there. There are 200 bike riders that will start this bike race that have a chance of winning a stage.”

    On the competition…
    “For sure Marcel Kittell is the man to watch in the sprints. He’s got the strongest team and we see that who usually wins has the strongest team there. So I think the pressure is on him to deliver, especially with the start here in Germany. And he looks in good form for that.”

    On Eddy Merckx’s record…
    “Last year it became a realistic target. It became more than a number and became a goal for me to aim for. Before last year I hadn’t thought about it. One Tour de France stage makes a rider’s career let alone winning a stage every year… If I’m only good enough to win one more in my career than so be it. If I’m good enough to win 20 more in my career then I’ll try my best to do that. We’ll just see what happens.”

    Steve Cummings

    On his fitness…

    “My arm is not 100 percent. I’ve got pretty much 95 per cent movement which is enough. The strength in my arm is good. 70 per cent now, maybe, so again that’s fine. It still hurts, it still aches but it’s getting better and it’s at a point where it will just carry on so it’s kind of rehab as we go.”

    On his preparation…

    “Ideally you have this preparation and mine hasn’t been ideal, but that’s the way it is, and three weeks is a long time. So if you do the right thing and really concentrate during the three weeks, I hope I can build my condition better than what I started with and just be on the level that I have been over the last few years.”

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