The two South African riders who will start the Tour de France in Brittany on Saturday, Nic Dlamini and Stefan de Bod, marked the occasion with simple, true statements that gave weight to the depth of the achievement of just making the starting line-up for the grand old lady of cycling.

“This race is the dream of every cyclist and I will enjoy every day of racing, even if there will be some hard moments,” said De Bod, prefacing that with some stuff that had obviously been written for him by the Astana-Premier Tech team media officer: “I am grateful for the opportunity to make my debut at the Tour de France together with a strong and experienced squad and I will give my best to pay back their confidence in me. I am excited to chase our team’s goals of winning stages. We had a good week of racing at the Tour de Suisse, where I felt already in good shape.” ..

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