Pierre Latour begins this Tuesday at the Mercan’Tour Classic in the Alpes Maritimes. This is the block that will lead him to the Tour de France (July 1–24).

After the climbs of La Colmiane (7.6km at 6.9% and Col de la Couillole (15.9km at 7.3%), the mountainous Mercan’Tour Classic will take the Drome to the Col de Valberg (12.4km at 7.2%).

“I need to race before I can get back in a stage race. We’ll soon find out if the legs are healthy with two big passes and a final at the top. In this case, to win. This is in keeping with the start of the season, where Latour “rarely been so consistent, despite a mechanical issue on the last stage Paris-Nice (14th), and my fall in Basque Country”.

It will be crucial to eliminate Simon Geschke (Cofidis), Warren Barguil(Arkea-Samsic), and even Ion Izagirre [Cofidis] if you want to win at Col de Valberg. Even though the Dane is having a poor season, Thibaut Pinot, David Gaudu and Jakob Fuglsang, the headliners at Groupama-FDJ are still very important.

Aurelien Paret-Peintre ought to have been one the key men in AG2R Citroen. However, the Haut-Savoyard won’t be there at the beginning due to gastric problems. The Savoyard formation can still count on the Iserois Geoffrey Bouuchard.