Anthony Delaplace went into a 15-man breakaway and took 10th place in the ninth stage of the Tour de France in Brioude, just over two minutes behind Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott). It was the icing on the cake of a good opening week.
Anthony Delaplace, 10th : ” Obviously, being in the breakaway on Bastille Day is special, but it’s mostly being in the break on the Tour that is satisfying. We knew it could go a long way so we chased all the early attacks.The first climb hurt everybody but I rode up the bunch on the left side before the top and that’s when the winning move was made. When I saw who was in the group I told myself two things: ‘it’s going all the way’, and ‘I’m with top riders, it’s going to be hard to win. When I’m in a break I usually work a lot but today I tried to do as little as possible.There were a lot of riders and we were two Frenchmen, I received a lot of support. Being in front all day on the Tour is fantastic but with the team we try to only get into winning breakaway. Today I was in the right break but when the pace went up I realised I would be too short for the win. This morning my legs were hurting but after eight days of racing your head needs to take over your legs. If you listen to your body you stay in the peloton. Yesterday I was not feeling good but today I was on a good day. On the Tour you never give up. ”
Yvon Ledanois, sports director : ” I was happy that we had someone in front with Anthony Delaplace, it was our goal today. But even if he’s brave, Anthony is not the sprinting type so we knew it would be complicated but he always gives everything, he’s a generous rider. We tried to have him work as little as possible because he was with top riders and he played it well. At the end of the day it’s a logical result. Anthony got a top 10 finish on the Tour and unless you’re Peter Sagan it doesn’t happen 50 times in your career. For our team it’s a morale booster. In the peloton, at the exception of Romain Bardet who attacked in vain with a headwind, we knew it would be quiet. Warren Barguil had a quiet day and we had him well positioned at the foot of the last ascent just in case. IT should be the same tomorrow before the rest day. Then we will take up the challenge of the second week. Warren is composed and realistic. He will lose time in the TT in Pau but then he will have some space to make his moves.”
Warren Barguil : « After a very tough stage on Saturday it was a more relaxed day. I was tempted to go in the break but I knew some sprinters would be there. A rider like Michael Matthews is really keen to sprint. So I wait for the second and third weeks, it will suit me better. It was a demanding first week. There’s an extras 10,000 metres of altitude gain in this Tour and they have to be somewhere. It was the menu of the first week, there’s been opportunities for everyone before the high mountains. I like this route. At La Planche des Belles Filles I enjoyed myself, which was not the case in 2018.Being with the best was a great satisfaction. Riding the Tour with the French champion jersey is really cool. This jersey came as a relief. The second week will be interesting for me because I like the Pyrenees. My goal is the same – win a stage. The finish in Prat d’Albis suits me well and it could be a good opportunity. Before that I know I will lose time in the time trial in Pau. It will give me more freedom.”