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92nd Tour de France - July 2-24, 2005
An interview with Mick Rogers, July 1, 2005
The harder, the better
On the eve of the Tour's first time trial in Fromentine, Cyclingnews' John Trevorrow spoke with Australian World Time Trial Champion Michael Rogers (Quick.Step) about his ambitions for the Grande Boucle and the future.
Cyclingnews: Michael, very exciting, with a couple of days to go before the start of what should be a special Tour de France for you. You obviously have the best form of your cycling career.
Mick Rogers: I am coming in here very confident and finishing second in the Tour of Switzerland has been good, and as I said, really looking forward to it. I think it will be a really hard Tour this year, just the competition and the amount of guys who want to finish in the top ten or top five is a lot higher this year, so I think it will be a great race.
CN: Switzerland was a bit harder than previous years, which was a great test for you for the Tour and you're climbing superbly, so it must give you great confidence for a podium finish.
MR: Yes that's right John, this year I have worked so hard in the mountains, that is what I was lacking last year and the work I have done has paid off and my time trialling is as good as it has ever been. Certainly you know I am aiming to finish in the top ten and if I don't finish in the top ten I will be somewhat disappointed.
CN: The opening time trial is a bit different this year being 19 km. Obviously you have checked the course out and how do you feel about that?
MR: It is a lot better for me you know, the ones that are under 10 km are a bit short for me. This year being 19 km is just that little bit longer and the course is very basic. I think there is one bridge and one roundabout to negotiate. I think the wind will be the only factor, but the harder it is for me, the better.
CN: One of the disappointing things for you in Tour of Switzerland, the team wasn't able to support you in the last crucial day. How do you think they will go in this TdF?
MR: Our team is more based around Tom Boonen. In Switzerland I was very unlucky not to have Patrik Sinkewitz in good condition. He wasn't feeling too well at the end of the day. A team like mine, there is not much they can do for me in the mountains. I just have to go in and bat for myself and that's the way it is and hang on to the front as long as possible. You don't know, but being in the right place at the right time and a good attack or a tricky move could be the deciding factor.
CN: The Team Time Trial is going to be pretty important?
MR: That's right, we have nine strong guys, they are all big guys, they are all good on the flat. I am expecting a good performance in the TTT. Obviously we are not going to win or get second, or anything, but we just have to try and limit our losses as much as possible for me, as GC would be a bonus.
CN: Lance going for no. 7, he must start favourite. Have you raced with him much this season?
MR: I saw him in the Pyrenees. I think he is in good condition, he wouldn't have come here if he wasn't in good condition, already at the Dauphiné he was fourth. In the last couple of weeks of the Tour he makes quite a big improvement. I don't think in his last Tour he is going to make mistakes. He has got a very good team, he has a very good director in Johan Bruyneel, who doesn't make many mistakes tactically, and I am sure he is prepared just as well as he has any other year.
CN: There have been a lot of rumours in Australia that you have signed for T Mobile for next season and it turns out that is not the case.
MR: No it is not the case. I have had talks with them but as of now nothing has been signed and I am going to wait until after the Tour before I will be making any more decisions.
CN: And a 1, 2 or 3 at the finish, might put another zero on the end?
MR: Let's hope so, (laughing) that would be nice!