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Tony Gallopin: “The World Championships are on my mind”

After two seasons with RadioShack-Leopard, Tony Gallopin decided it was time for a change, so in the Summer he signed a contract with Lotto-Belisol. After enjoying the biggest victory of his career at the Clasica San Sebastian, the French rider will focus on the one-day races in 2014, at least in the first half of the season, where he will try to leave his mark on the Spring Classics. Of course, the Classics will not be the only goals of Tony Gallopin, who hopes to shine in a couple of stage races, but also in Ponferrada, where the 87th edition of the World Championships will take place.

– Tony, how is the training camp?

It’s good, is almost over now, the weather was fine and another important thing is that I got to know all my teammates by now. I did normal trainings, without working on anything particular, and I’m very happy that the team is so well organized.

– What made you sign with Lotto-Belisol?

I’ve developed personal ambitions. It was difficult to continue with RadioShack-Leopard, because Fabian Cancellara was the big leader for the Classics. There were also leaders for the stage races, so I’ve decided to come here for a new experience, for opportunities and for the mentality Lotto has as a Belgian team.

– Did you get to talk with the manager of the team, will you be the leader in some races?

Of course, I will be the leader for the Spring Classics, but I won’t have all the team for me. I’ll be protected, but not like a big leader.

– Do you know your programme for the first months of the year?

I will start in France with the Grand Prix La Marseillaise and the Etoile de Bessèges, then I will go in the Tour of Oman and before the Classics I will race in Paris-Nice. Afterwards, I’ll do all the cobbled Classics, except Paris-Roubaix. Then I’ll be back for the Ardennes Classics.

– So, the Classics will be more important next year than stage races.

Yes, that’s the plan for the first part of the season.

– Do you have any hopes for the Tour de France, especially that some stages should suit you?

First of all, we have one of the best sprinters in the world, so we’ll have to work for him. Also, we have a rider for the general classification. Then, if I’ll get some freedom and have an opportunity, I will try to make the most of it.

– What did you lack in 2013 and you feel you have to improve for next season?

I need to progress in the Classics, to become a little bit stronger and to be up there with the best. Also, in the second part of the season I would like to progress in the mountains and maybe lose some weight, so that I can get some good results in the Criterium du Dauphiné.

– Will the World Championships from Ponferrada be one of your goals for 2014?

The road race is already in my mind. I saw the profile and I really like it. It’s true, I need to ride there in order to get a better picture, but it’s a good course for me.

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