With just over 24 hours before the start of his first Tour de France, New Zealand's double Olympic medallist Hayden Roulston caught up with Sarah Christian of RoadCycling.co.nz to share his thoughts on the Tour, his team and the role he will play.
RoadCycling.co.nz . Congratulations on being selected for the Cervelo Tour team, what does it mean to you personally to be on the eve of your first Tour de France in your first year back in a pro team?
Roulston. It's hard to explain the feeling I have right now. I'm hugely honoured and just so grateful to be here. 9 months ago I was riding the Tour of Southland asking myself if I could win a 3rd title. Now I'm starting the Tour de France. It's amazing, I'm really happy.
RoadCycling.co.nz. Your team has dual leaders and dual goals in Carlos Sastre and Thor Hushovd, which would have made it even harder to get selected. If your primary goal is to help Hushovd with sprint leadouts, what support role will you play for Sastre?
Roulston. Well to be honest we are really yet to talk about all this. That will happen over the next few days. I see myself supporting Carlos in the early hard days, and beyond. Who knows how far I can go, I would like to be there for whenever Carlos needs me. However my primary goal is to help Thor in the leadout, but if the boss needs me I will be there also.
RoadCycling.co.nz . There are likely to be opportunities for breaks in some of the stages. Will we see the team ask you to be out front like you've done in other races this year?
Roulston. Well it all depends on the race tactics of the day. If there is an opportunity and my body feels good I wont let up a chance. Lets leave that there!
RoadCycling.co.nz . What stage are you looking forward to most, or least?
Roulston. Well the prologue will be amazing. My family is here, my partner who is pregnant is here, her children, my mother - it is really going to be special. The least stage? Well I hope everyday I wake up ready to go, no matter what the stage!
RoadCycling.co.nz . The opening TT's with it's bends and hills wouldn't be the most suited TT for you would it?
Roulston: In 2 hours time we are riding the course, I will know then what I am capable of. It is a hard course for sure! I feel super though, really really good. We will see. For sure no one expects anything, but I expect a certain performance and if I can deliver that I will be very happy.
RoadCycling.co.nz . How do you rate the Cervelo TestTeam leadout train against Team Columbia's? We haven't seen them go head to head much this year.
Roulston. We will take them down for sure.. [laughs]. I feel our train has more power and strength. [Mark] Cavendish is so fast there is no denying that, perhaps the fastest ever. I feel Thor is in great shape and we will do all that is possible to deliver him to the line first.
RoadCycling.co.nz . When did you arrive in Monaco?
Roulston. I arrived here on Wednesday night. We had the official medical control, blood test, health test etc first thing Thursday morning.
RoadCycling.co.nz . We are loving the Cervelo TestTeam documentaries, they give an amazing insight into your team. You always seem to have your say in them too, which is great. The early documentaries highlighted the Test Team aspect of the team. Can you tell us about what part you have played, if any, in testing new Cervelo products.
Roulston. Really? I have not seen any! Well, I guess with this team we are super lucky. We have a team that has some great equipment. Well super equipment is better actually. We test a fair bit of equipment.
RoadCycling.co.nz . Finally, what do you think of the new Cervelo TT bike and the new white uniform.
Roulston. I love it. It looks great. It looks like we are ready and we are. The time trial bike is very nice. I'm lucky to have this great gear!
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