Bram Welten: "My first professional victory”
And that’s ten! By winning the sprint at the end of the Tour de Vendée, Bram Welten signed his tenth victory of the 2021 season for the Arkéa-Samsic team.
Photo Bruno Bade-LNC
On the line
“There was no time out in this Tour de Vendée and in the final Laurent Pichon and Dan McLay helped me perfectly and I thank them for that. In the last kilometre, Dan made an effort to reduce the gap on the Groupama-FDJ rider who had gone alone in the lead on the penultimate lap around La Roche-sur-Yon. The last kilometre of the race was a long false flat and I had to be well positioned, which I did by putting myself behind Evald Boasson-Hagen. The Arkéa-Samsic team is doing well at the end of the season, Alan and I have just won two races in the space of a week. Today is an exceptional day for me, because usually I am assigned to the preparatory work of the sprint for my teammates like Dan and here I was able to benefit from the work and support of my colleagues to get this success. This is my very first success in the professional ranks and I am happy to offer it to the whole team for my last race with Arkéa-Samsic”.
“A classic pattern in this Tour de Vendée with a breakaway of four riders with good rouleurs who resisted, but at mid-race TotalEnergies dynamised the race in the sector of Chantonnay which is quite hilly. At that moment, there were riders from everywhere and I followed the move and found myself in a breakaway of eight riders, Bram made the jump to get in, which meant that he was very strong. Then it started to look at each other, so Dan came back with two laps to go with a group of six. My mission was not to ride and to accompany the moves because we had two cards in the sprint, Ag2r Citroën and TotalEnergies were outnumbered in the final, but they weren’t riding. So we took our responsibilities and went for the Groupama-FDJ rider, who was caught in the sprint. Bram wins, which is great because he is a rider who has given a lot to the team during four seasons. He leaves us with a great success. There are two races left and we will try to continue this good momentum”.
“Laurent was a superb road captain, we worked out several possible scenarios, given the lack of sprinters in this race, we knew it was going to be unbridled. Laurent Pichon organised the race very well and in the final I told them to let TotalEnergies and Ag2r Citroën, who were outnumbered, ride, which they did, but when I saw that they weren’t riding fast enough to catch the breakaway, that they were reaching a plateau, I asked my riders to activate plan “B”, i.e. that they should go and ride, which Laurent and Dan did to close the gap. The riders were united so that we could take the victory, which belongs to all the riders, even if Bram is the one who took it today, which is well deserved”.