Anthony Delaplace: "A lonely moment of one and a half hours”
Only Anthony Delaplace closed a gap of nine minutes to the breakaway of the day, which was seen again only ten kilometres from Pontarlier. Elijah tried to force the destiny on the Larmont, just like Nairo Quintana who was offensive on this difficulty and also solo in the final, but the sprint was like the previous days inevitable. Nairo finished 6th.
Sur la ligne
« Il avait été décidé ce matin lors du briefing après deux jours à faire des efforts de ne pas prendre la course en main sur ce Tour du Doubs, nous avons suivi ce plan à la lettre en début de course. Le souci c’est que ni Ag2r-Citroën, ni Groupama-FDJ n’ont voulu assurer la poursuite derrière les coureurs échappés, et l’écart a grimpé au-delà de huit minutes. C’est à ce moment-là que j’ai décidé de relancer la course, de créer un peu de mouvement. Mais, voilà, personne ne m’a suivi. Après cela a été un petit moment de solitude qui a duré une heure trente pour rentrer sur la tête de course. J’ai effectué un gros effort, après j’ai eu un besoin légitime de souffler. Ma présence en tête de course a permis en tout cas à mes coéquipiers de ne pas rouler au sein du peloton. Une fois notre échappée reprise, j’ai pu aider Élie quand il attaque avec ce qui me restait dans les jambes. J’ai donné le bout d’énergie qui me restait pour lui passer un bon relais. Après Nairo se classe 6ème, la bosse finale était un peu courte pour lui. Nous avons effectué de belles courses durant trois jours, c’est bien même si bien sûr nous aurions préféré en gagner une ».
“We had planned to ride at the foot of Larmont in full gear, and that’s what we did. It was also to anticipate our opponents and in particular the teams with sprinters like Cosnefroy, Godon. This climb is certainly difficult but it doesn’t allow us to make a difference, especially because this year there wasn’t much race before we tackled it. Usually, when there is a fight, there are only twenty riders at the top of the Larmont. I have never seen that there, we were still sixty riders. In the end, it was more puncheurs than climbers, but we tried…”.
“I have done three days of racing in this region and I have been on the attack each time. I have worked hard, I have tried many times to arrive alone, because I knew that if I finished in a sprint, I would be beaten again by riders with more power than me. I tried in the climb, and again in the final, but there were still a lot of riders in the peloton and they joined forces to catch me in the last kilometres of the race. I made the sprint and I finished in 6th position. As I said, the results of these three days are good, with two places of four and one of six. I have a good form, the sensations are good too and it bodes well for the races to follow”.
“We thought that the race would be a hill climb in Le Larmont, and this is what happened. Our ambition was to get there very quickly in order to launch Nairo. The race was divided in two phases with a big intensity in the final and then, at the beginning, a big breakaway in which we were not represented. When we saw that the gap was getting bigger and bigger, Anthony went there. He did a fantastic job, a “chrono” of almost an hour and a half to make up nine minutes. He was still in the lead on the col de la République, and his group was caught again with only ten kilometres to go. The last climb wasn’t hard enough for Nairo to make the difference and on top of that, there was a headwind, so he couldn’t make the selection as we hoped”.