According to Dutch daily newspaper 'De telegraaf' Tour
director Christian Prudhomme was impressed by the strong performance of Dutch Skil – Shimano team. Sports director Rudi
Kemna said: "I also heard rumours that there is a 90% chance we will start at the Tour."
Especially young gun L'hotellerie
will have attracted Prudhomme's attention. L'hotellerie was active at almost every stage of this years Prais – Nice
and won the mountain classifiaction of the French stage race. The 21 year old was also 11th overall. It was no coincedence
that L'hotellerie won the mountain classification. In an interview with Belgian based website wvcycling.com, L'hotellerie
said: "That was my goal for the race. I never thought it would be possible to achieve a good overall result. Until now I wasn't
L'hotellerie said he started
as a mountainbiker. "Through the mountainbike I fell in love with the world of cycling." The Skil – Shimano rider from
Charleville-Mézières added: "In 2000 I had my first license." L'hotellerie said that he combined mountainbiking with cross
in the beginning of his career but "I noticed pretty fast that I was better in cross." L'hotellerie belonged to the top in
cross races. He is a three time French national champion with the juniors. In 2004 he won bronse at the cross World Championships
In 2007 L'hotellerie quit with
cross races and said: "From now on I will focus on the road." In 2006 L'hotellerie was a trainee with Credit Agricole. The
team managment did not sign the than 19 year old rider: "to young." At the end of 2006 suddenly Skil - Shimano contacted L'hotellerie.
The Dutch team signed the young gun. "The advantage of this team is that although I am young I am the captain at certain races.
Also the experience you can gather at real top races is very important. On top of that Skil is a team that concentrates on
schooling of young talents. The ideal team for the type of rider like I am."
"That I am riding this good
at the moment can partly be explained because of last years race programme. The races in nice sunny weather were exchanged
for hard weather conditions in the north. An investment for the future. In the end it made it possible for me to better develop
the things that didn't really fit with my character."
In 2007 L'hotellerie won the
young riders classification at the French stage race Tour du Limousin and won the mountain classification at the German stage
Next year L'hotellerie would
like to sign with a bigger team. "Next season I want to go to a bigger team. I have already had contact with a few teams.
Credit Agricole already spoke with me. The team managment said that if I will continue to develop like I do now, there will
be a place at the team for me in 2009. The will follow my progression very carefully and when they are convinced they will
make me a concrete offer. So I know what I will have to do... learning and continue to develope as a complete rider. That's
my goal for 2008."