I caught up with my fellow Canadians Svein Tuft, Cameron Evans and Andrew Pinfold of the Symmetrics team at the start of stage 4 of the Tour of Missouri. Tuft put in a great time trial the day before to put himself into third spot on GC at 44 seconds behing Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Chipotle). Sprinter Pinfold has been in the top ten with an eight and fifth place so far in the bunch sprints in the first two stages and is looking for another opportunity to imrpove his results.
What is the plan for the rest of the week? Are you going for stage wins with Andrew Pinfold or mostly protecting your GC position?
Svein: We’re going to do a little bit of both, we’re going to look to throw some guys in the move if that even happens at all but you never know, you’ve got to roll the dice sometimes. We have guys that can do everything here so, we’re going to protect our overall and Piner’s been stepping it up every day so yeah, it looks good for us.
Do you think a break will got today [stage 4]?
Svein: I think that’s the way they’re going to have to roll it if they’re going to let things settle down they have to let the right move go and just feather it and then, I foresee maybe Columbia trying to hit them a little bit early on and then something settling and then Slipstream doing the majority of the work and Columbia finishing it. The finishing circuits if they are wet and slippery, it could be a difficult finish.
Great ride yesterday and at the Olympic Games, so what makes you a good time trialist?
Svein: Well I just think that you have to be able to turn your brain off and I’m very good at that.
Is it that simple?
Svein: It seems to be the only way that works for me.
Is the fact that you raced a lot less this year compared to last year where the Symmetrics team traveled all over the Americas?
Svein: That helps. It lets you go home a bit, recover and get refreshed and recharged about racing again and be excited. I mean last year we were just traveling so much that you never felt that you were getting on top of it. I find if I can go home for a bit or at least be somewhere where life is a little more simple than traveling and all the other business, it really helps with the head. I think physically, yeah we were sick here last year but it’s your head that really controls a lot and I found that my head was right out of it and as soon as that happens to me, it’s over. You have to be motivated because you always hurt no matter how good your physical form is, you have to be able to control your mental side of things.
What is the plan for the team going forwards?
Cam: The biggest thing is that we want to have Svein stay where he is, defending that will be our first priority and then other than that, if there is an opportunity to go in the break, but it’s probably not to likely that it’s going to succeed with Columbia wanting a sprint finish.
How’s your form?
Cam: This time of year, I think you always have a bit of fatigue from the season but yeah not too bad.
What’s the plan for the sprint finishes?
Andrew: Just try to put myself in a position where I can win I guess. As good as he [Cavendish] is, eventually he will have an off day and maybe it will be today, and maybe I’ll be able to take advantage of it. But other than that, I think he’s head and shoulders above everybody, you can’t win everyday, well, you can sometimes, but…
How’s the form?
Andrew: Legs are good, riding well. all I can do is put myself in position so I can get up there and then see what happens. Everyone loses at some point but I think he’s on a bit of a streak.