Patrick Bevin will line up for the biggest race of his career at this year’s Tour de France, but until just a few days ago he wasn’t even considered as a Tour de France team member on the Cannondale-Drapac. We got to have a chat with him.
RC: First of all you’ve done a number of things in your career, but where does this stand in terms of significance for you?
Patrick: I have to reconsider that given the social media reaction in the last 24 hours! Being around big races a lot you forget just how big the Tour is to the New Zealand public. It’s different from any athletic achievement but in cycling it’s a ticket to the biggest show we have so in that sense it doesn’t get much more important.
RC: Had Tour selection been on the cards for you since the beginning of the season or was it something that you thought would be possible as things progressed?
Patrick: No. Right up until Tour de Suisse finished I wasn’t on the list. The results in Suisse is what changed that, on top of a pretty consistent run coming back to form from a disastrous spring
RC: So far in the line up for Cannondale-Drapac it looks like stage wins are a strong possibility, and Pierre Rolland has a good track record of being in and around the top ten on GC. What can we expect in terms of targets for the team?
Patrick: The team wants to animate the race. We have a strong GC rider but just like the Giro they want to have riders in the breaks as a stage win would be huge to the team. So when it is the right stages it will be about being active which is exciting; it really is an opportunity to be part of the race.
RC: You’ve got a bit of a reputation of being able to do a bit of everything, which was enhanced by the range of results you got in the Tour de Suisse. Physically have you noticed much of a change in you as a rider as you’ve built towards the Tour compared to other seasons?
Patrick: I didn’t have the luxury of ‘building’ up to the Tour. Suisse was earmarked as possibly my biggest race of the year so there was a big focus on getting it right there. Physically not a lot has changed, it has been much more of a learning curve managing everything outside of that i.e. being adaptable with a flexible race schedule and recovering properly from sickness. They have made a far bigger difference than the numbers I am seeing in training.