This year, Patrick Konrad of BORA – ARGON 18 - known as "Koni" to his team mates - will be giving Conquista daily updates from the Tour de France, taking us inside the race and showing us the things the outside world never sees.
Patrick, who is riding the Tour de France for the first time this year, joined the team in the second half of 2014. He immediately put in an impressive ride at the Tour of Austria, taking 4th place overall and winning the white jersey as the leading young rider. In 2015 he took 5th overall in the Tour of Denmark, and finished 10th overall (and 3rd young rider) at the Abu Dhabi Tour
2016 has been a year of further successes. Patrick took 5th in the young rider classification at the Tour of Oman, a very impressive 15th overall at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and 5th on GC at the Giro del Trentino after finishing in the top ten on all four stages.
Conquista sat down with Patrick on the eve of the race.
What are your roles and responsibilities over the three weeks of the Tour?
“My job is to be there for Emmanuel, our GC rider. But for the first few days my aim is just to try to do everything right in order to lose as little time as possible. I hear stories that the first week is always really nervous, with lots of crashes. And in the first three stages, we expect a lot of crosswinds, so it will be important to stay near the front. All that means: avoid crashing, and recover well between stages. ”
How have you planned your build-up to the Tour?
“I didn’t race for six weeks after Liège-Bastogne-Liège. We stayed at altitude in Livigno for two and a half weeks during that time, and the first race back was the Dauphiné - certainly the toughest race I’ve ever done. The break was important to recover from the early season and get ready for the Tour.”
Are you looking forward to it?
[Laughs] “It will be interesting to see how my body reacts to the full three weeks.”