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Jakob Fuglsang and Michael Woods are the best-equipped riders to take a stage in the high mountains, although Woods is still recovering from a heavy crash in the first week. The Canadian remains in the race but was given a pass for stage 10 to Megève with the squad management keen for the veteran to recover as much as possible before a tally of mountain stages that litter the second half of the race.
“We’re going to give him more of a free day to pass through this stage and then see how he comes through the day,” sports director Rik Verbrugghe told VeloNews at the start of stage 10 in Morzine.
“It wasn’t serious or anything broken, just superficial but we just need to see. We won’t push him to the limit.”
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Simon Clarke claimed the team’s first Tour de France stage in franchise history in the opening week, when he won on the cobbles. The Australian is another possible contender for a stage win later in the race but Verbrugghe believes that Woods and Fuglsang will be expected to lead the line through the mountains.
“There will be one sprint left and that’s in Paris. Everything else will be breakaways or GC days for Pogačar and the favorites, but I think that we have a strong team to cover every stage from here until Paris. Let’s go for it,” he added.
The Belgian is also hoping for more from Chris Froome. The four-time Tour winner has yet to make it into a major break in the race, but has attempted to set up several of his teammates.
“This is something that you’ll see day-by-day with our strategy but we have two real climbers in Jakob and Mike who can do something either from the GC group or through a break,” he said. “They have good opportunities for the mountain stage. Chris too, as he’s getting better day by day. I think that we’ll see him getting more active in the next few days.”