Initially I wasn’t on the Tour team. The plan this year was always the Giro d’Italia. And then the pandemic hit. The whole world flipped upside down. When we got back outside again and started training I was still preparing for the Giro, and then probably some time through July I spoke with Whitey [directeur sportif Matt White] about the possibility of the race programme changing and me going to the Tour.

For the first part of my career I wasn’t thinking so much about it, and I was really enjoying going to successful Giros and successful Vueltas, with guys like Simon [Yates] and Esteban [Chaves]. The last few years I’ve definitely been very focused on getting to the Tour de France. As I get a bit older and my career draws into its final part, I really wanted to be part of the Tour at least once. It would be a real shame to have a long career, to be part of cool teams and successes and not having done a Tour de France. For me it means a lot; it means a lot to my family as well, they were really excited that I’m here - and upset that they can’t be

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