Warren Barguil still on course for a Top 10 

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) claimed a solo win the first Alpine stage of the Tour, marked by the presence in the breakaway of Amael Moinard. The Colombian moved into the top 10 of the GC. Warren Barguil, now 12th overall, admitted he was not on a great day but he is still in contact with the best and is on course to reach his objective.

Yvon Ledanois – sports director : « The big guns’ race started when Bernal (Team Ineos) attacked three kilometres from the top. Until then, the yellow jersey group rode a tempo but it was a fast race from the start. 34 riders escaped, including Amael Moinard. It was important that he was there. He gave everything to be in the front in the Col de Vars and Col d’Izoard and was there to feed Warren Barguil after Briancon. Warren was not on a great day and in these conditions, it’s good that he hung on and that he finished close to the best. Now there will be two races, the one to win the Tour and the one to be in the top 10, of which Arkea-Samsic is part.
The day Warren will be feeling good, he will have to race finely. Tomorrow and the day after tomorrow will be brutal with Ineos who will want to unsettle Alalphilippe with Bernal and Thomas. On the way to Tignes, it will be very difficult after a leg-snapping ride up the Col de l’Iseran.

Warren Barguil (12th in GC) : « I was good in the Izoard, I was not super in the Galibier. I was close to be up here with the best in the Galibier but I knew it would be hard to come back in the descent. I didn’t want to take too many risks. I’m at a good level, I was not that well today, I hope it was my bad day of the Tour.”

Amael Moinard : « Getting into the breakaway was the first big fight. It took a while to take shape. It went fast and with big names, it’s a good thing that I managed to be there. I hung on in the Izoard and I was caught in Briancon by Warren’s group. I was at my limit but I sheltered him fron the wind until the foot of the Lautaret, I gave him a last bottle and my job was done. I took my time in the last climb although I did not exactly had took time to enjoy the landscape. In the next two days there won’t be any surprises and I think it will be a fight between the top guns. Our goal will be to play first to be with Warren at the foot of the last ascent.”

Elie Gesbert and Warren Barguil in the front

Arkea-Samsic were everywhere during the 14th stage of the Tour de France. Elie Gesbert, who won the combativity award, was in the break all day and started the ascent of the Col du Tourmalet as the sole leader of the stage. He was reined in 10km from the finish before seeing his leader, Warren Barguil, attack and take ninth place that brings him closer to the top 10 in GC.

Yvon Ledanois: “I had a good day, it’s positive. We didn’t just show our colours, we took our responnsibilities and raced. Elie is getting better, he suffered a lot in the first two weeks and he was unhappy but he drew some confidence from his TT. I think it triggered him psychologically. IT’s great for him to be on his own like this in the Tourmalet. As for Warren, it was important for him to know Elie was there while he was also supported by Amael Moinard. When he attacked veryone was full gas so he was right to go. Seeing the differences at the finish if he had built a 40-second advantage he could have done something but he’s not far from the 2017 Barguil. The last week will be good for him when others will start to fade. It’s good that he went for him today. If he hadn’t moved he could have been fifth 20 seconds behind but now he knows he’s got good legs. He’s 13th overall tonight not far from the top 10 but he needs to stay focused on winning a stage, the GC will follow naturally.”

Warren Barguil : “In the Tourmalet, there was only Wout Peols (Ineos) to set the pace. Maybe I attacked too early. I thought it wass a false tempo and that it was good for me but it was not (laughter). At he end of the day it’s a good stage, I end up 9th. It’s good that Thibaut won, we thought on the road that it would be good if he could win. I come here often  and it felt good to be here in the finale, I’m happy with myself. After a tough 18 months, it feels good. I feel at the same level as 2017 but this year the overall level of the Tour is higher.”

Elie Gesbert: “I wanted to be in the break today. I went once with Nibali and Sagan but I didn’t overcook it andI waited for another group to come. 17 riders in the front, it was interesting but Groupama-FDJ controlled it and they never allowed us more than three minutes.
The first climb came fast and we were three with Nibali and Wellens – they wanted the KOM points. We were caught at the foot of the Tourmalet. Sicard attacked first, I went behind, caught him and went solo. For 5 km I enjoyed the cheers of the crowd, it was incredible and a real morale booster. At some point I realised I was ont he Tour de France in a final climb like the Tourmalet and I was the sole leader of the stage. The gap was small but you always need to believe in it otherwise you don’t take the start.I took some beating since the start of the Tour and today I had good sensations. Its a real pleasure.”

Elie Gesbert et Warren Barguil ont fait la course en tête

L’équipe Arkéa-Samsic a été omniprésente tout au long de la quatorzième étape du Tour de France. Elie Gesbert, désigné le plus combattif du jour, a été échappé toute la journée et a vécu un très grand moment en abordant, seul, l’ascension du Tourmalet. Repris à 10 kilomètres de l’arrivée, il a vu son leader Warren Barguil attaquer dans le final avant de prendre une très belle neuvième place lui permettant de se rapprocher à grand pas du Top 10 au classement général.

Yvon Ledanois : « J’ai passé une bonne journée, le bilan est positif. Aujourd’hui, on n’a pas montré le maillot, on a fait la course en prenant nos responsabilités. Elie Gesbert sort la tête de l’eau, il a été au bagne pendant deux semaines et il en était malheureux mais il s’est rassuré dans le contre la montre. Je pense que ça l’a débloqué psychologiquement. Il était échappé tout seul dans le Tourmalet, ça procure beaucoup de belles choses pour lui. Pour Warren, c’était important aussi de savoir Elie devant en étant soutenu jusqu’au pied du Tourmalet par Amaël Moinard. Quand Warren a attaqué, tout le monde était à bloc, il a eu raison de le faire. Au vu de l’écart à l’arrivée, en prenant un peu plus de temps, 40 secondes, il aurait pu jouer un coup mais il n’est pas très loin du Warren Barguil de 2017. La dernière semaine va être bonne pour lui quand d’autres vont décliner. C’est bien qu’il ait bougé aujourd’hui, s’il ne bouge pas il finit peut être cinquième et à vingt secondes mais il sait maintenant qu’il a de super jambes. Ce soir, au classement général, il est treizième, pas loin du Top 10 mais qu’il reste concentré sur notre objectif de gagner une étape, le général viendra avec. »

Warren Barguil : “Dans le Tourmalet, il restait seulement Wout Poels (Team Ineos) pour faire le tempo. J’ai peut-être attaqué un peu tôt. Je me suis dit que c’était un faux tempo et que c’était bon pour moi, mais en fait non (il rigole). Après, c’est une belle étape, je finis neuvième. C’est bien pour Thibaut Pinot, on s‘est dit en cours de route qu’il devait aller la chercher… J’ai l’habitude de venir ici, dans le Tourmalet et c’est bien que je sois dans le final, je suis content de moi. Après un an et demi de galère, ça fait du bien. Je me sens au même niveau qu’en 2017 mais le niveau de ce Tour est plus élevé.”

Elie Gesbert : “J’avais très envie de tenter l’échappée aujourd’hui. Je suis sorti une première fois avec Nibali et Sagan, mais je ne me suis pas enflammé et j’ai attendu qu’un gros groupe ressorte. 17 coureurs à l’avant, ça commençait à être interessant, mais l’équipe Groupama-FDJ a très vite contrôlé. Ils ne nous ont jamais laissés plus de 3 minutes. Le premier col est arrivé assez vite, on s’est retrouvé à trois devant avec Wellens et Nibali, ils voulaient surtout se disputer les points du grimpeur. On est repris par les poursuivants au pied du Tourmalet. Sicard a porté une première attaque, je suis sorti derrière, je l’ai rattrapé et je suis parti seul. Pendant 5 kilomètres, j’ai profité de la foule et des encouragements, c’était incroyable et ça fait un bien fou au moral. À un moment, j’ai réalisé : « Je suis sur la Tour de France, dans une montée finale comme le Tourmalet et je suis seul en tête ». L’écart était faible au pied mais il faut toujours y croire sinon il ne faut pas prendre le départ. Depuis le début du Tour, je me fais un peu taper dessus, aujourd’hui j’ai retrouvé de bonnes sensations, c’est un vrai plaisir. “

Kévin Ledanois était dans la bonne échappée

It was a stage for a breakaway. With two categorised climbs far from the finish and on the eve of a very important time trial in Pau, the favourites stayed quiet. Kebin Ledanois went into the 38-man breakaway without being able to stay with the pure climbers in the last climb, notably Simon Yates (Mitchelton Scott) who won in Bagneres-de-Bigorre.

 

Kevin Ledanois : « I was well positioned to go into the breakaway, which was obviously going to be interesting. It was a fight during 50km. I was happy to be in front but I spent a lot of energy just to get there. I quickly felt that I didn’t have great legs but on the Tour, when you’re in front it’s the head that commands the legs and you give everything. In Peyresourde, I was fine at the foot, less at the top and I recovered in the descent before conceding defeat in the last ascent. Five km from the summit, I had nothing left in the tank, I rode at my own pace and took it easy in the descent. My day was done, it was useless to waste energy to finish 25th. I was caught by the favourites 4km from the line. It’s always a pleasure to be in the breakaway in the mountains even if I’m disappointed I was not in a good day. We have 12 stages in the legs, it weighs in the key moments. Even on a good day it would have been hard to go for the win but with that kind of finale I could have managed to get a good result. We have 10 days left to do well.”

Warren Barguil claims top finish on the flat

Warren Barguil is restless. After benefiting from his team mates’ work after he was caught up in a pileup with 35 kilo;etres left, the French champion went with the sprinters in the streets of Toulouse to snatch an unexpected top 10 finish. No doubt, the Arkea-Samsic leader is in great form.

Warren Barguil : “With about 40km left there was a crash just in front of me. I managed to stop but a rider fell onto Anthony Delaplace, who fell onto me. We got started again as quickly as possible but when the peloton rides at 45 kph you can lsoe time fast. My team mates did a great job in bringing me back but they left a lot of energy for the upcoming sprint. In the last climb I told Andre to take my wheel, we were behind Jumbo-Visma but he ahd to brake in the last curve, too bad, I felt he was ready for a good sprint. I stayed in the line, I wanted to stay focused and take zero risk. I didn’t go fight with the sprinters. You have to be able to ride fast and working for a sprinter is somehting I like to do. Today is another story, I hope I will have the same legs as last week.”

Andre Greipel : «I was in a good position, not to win but to at least ride a good sprint. But I was slowed down by a chicane. Warren did a a great job!”.

Yvon Ledanois, sports director : « The rest day went well, the riders went for a ride with the team manager, Emmanuel Hubert, before resting. Getting things going again went fine. Today we had a little scare when Warren Barguil got caught behind Niki Terpstra’s (Total-Direct Energie) crash. He was in a third bunch but his team mates worked hard to get him back into position and he got a top 10 finish even if it’s not what we xpect from him. If a climber takes 10th place in a sprint finish it means he’s in top shape! Tomorrow he will be on his terrain. A breakaway will take shape in the first 120km and the pace will be high. It would be good if one of our riders could be in the break.
Then we will go up the Col de Peyresourde and if the pace is hight it will hurt. After a downhill the riders will be at the foot of the Hourquette d’Ancizans, which is a tough climb (10km at 8%). At the top, there will be 30km left before reaching Bagnères-de-Bigorre.”

“Winning a stage remains the goal” – TDF 10

A gust of crosswind, thirty kilometers from the finish, split the peloton into several groups and caused numerous casualties with Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), Fuglsang (Astana) or Porte (Trek-Segafredo)  at the wrong end of a split.  Flanked by Kevin Ledanois, Warren Barguil, who revels in these conditions, finished in the first group and moved up to   17th place in the general classification.

Warren Barguil : “It was a difficult day.  Before the last climb we had already raced well.  I was always well placed, the guys did a good job.  40km from the finish, we rode through a village and I always pay attention to road signs, I saw we would be taking a roundabout and be turning right.  I managed to take it well, and it started right after that.  Those who went to the left lost time.  I had a big gear 55-11 in the end it served me well, it was going very fast.  Then I got into Julian’s wheel to avoid all the traps.  We were in line, it must have slowed down a bit and I touched his wheel.  Landa was trying to go around my left hand side, I lost balance and touched him but not on purpose.  I lost my two pedals and he unfortunately ended up in the grass.  I found myself 5 meters from the group, Kevin saw him right away, he sat up and got me back into the wheels.  I avoided the crash miraculously.  Then I tried to hold on to the group.  It was a trying first week.  

Kevin Ledanois“I’m on the Tour to be with my leaders in these stages.  It’s not a victory to be in front, but I’m glad I did it today.  After yesterday, I was afraid of getting stuck in the end, but finally it was not too bad.  When Team Ineos accelerated before the final climb, I was well placed with Andre, who told us to stay there and not to back down.  Then we took the round about  on the right with Warren and we found ourselves in the top 15.  That’s when it started to go faster.  I went through a pot hole, I turned around and saw Warren.  I did not see the last kilometers pass, I was focused, I kept an eye on Warren.  It was a very intense day.  

Yvon Ledanois, sports director : “For us, it’s a good day.  Warren Barguil entered the Top 20 of the Tour and if I had been told he would do it before entering the mountain, I would have had a hard time believing it.  With what happened at the end of the stage, we will not scream victory.  I do not want to jump in the air, we cant be happy when our opponents go through a hard time, humility is part of our sport.  What happened to others can happen to us tomorrow.  The Tour can give you glory one day and take everything back in the matters of seconds.  Lets keep in mind that we have to go on like this, staying close to Warren.  He ended up with Kevin Ledanois who likes to fight for position and has been a reassuring support for our leader.  Some riders of our team like Andre Greipel could have been in front but they took a roundabout on the wrong side. Today, everyone was committed and that’s how we will get a result.  Anthony Delaplace told me midway through that he was cooked but he continued to work, he sacrificed himself, like all the riders on the team.  So tonight, we’re happy but the goal is to win a stage.  Warren will lose time in the time trial in Pau.  He may be more than five minutes behind after that.  He will not be among the most dangerous riders to watch and inevitably there will be an opportunity to seize.  The bodies are tired, it is a fact that must be taken into account.  We are happy to reach the rest day.  The guys will go, if they want, for a little ride in the morning.  It’s a super demanding Tour, if a rider does not want to ride tomorrow we will not ask him to. »

Anthony Delaplace : « If you listen to your body, you stay in the peloton »

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.”

Warren Barguil : “I’ve rarely raced that fast” TDF8

It was a crazy stage on the Tour de France and breakaway specialist Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) prevailed in St Etienne. During a very tough day, Warren Barguil confirmed he was in excellent shape by finishing in the first group of favourites while Maxime Bouet, who was with him until the last climb, is getting better and better.

Warren Barguil, 17th : “Today was a beautiful and fast stage. I rarely raced that fast on tough roads. I finished exhausted, it was a hard day. I thank the guys at Arkea-Samsic, they always helped me to be in a good position and to feed me. Tomorrow will be a special day because I will be riding with the French champion jersey on Bastille Day on the Tour de France!”

Maxime Bouet : “Not a flat part… Up, down, right, left, it never stopped. I lived in St Etienne for a couple of years when I was a young rider and I knew some of the roads. I knew it was going to be hard. Positioning was important today. You lose focus for a little moment and you can be trapped. Since I crashed on Paris-Nice I’ve got a bit of apprehension jockeying for positions but today I felt good. With 20km to go I placed Warren and made sure he didn’t need anything. Our role was to stay around him, I think we worked well for him. I feel like I’m improving day after day, it’s very motivating.”

Kévin Ledanois : “At the start in Macon we ambitioned to get into the breakaway but three riders attacked and the peloton went in control mode right away. Even by keeping a close eye on De Marchi, because we knew he was going to counter attack, the big teams locked everything and we could not go. When you see how it panned out there are no regrets. De Gendt was being De Gendt!
Warren Barguil is good, that’s what we take away from this day. Tomorrow is Bastille Day and it will be a special day. We’re going to try and seize an opportunity otherwise it will be all for our leader. We know that in our team he’s the one who can win fair and square. I find this Tour harder than last year’s. The route is different and the pace is very high. I take it day by day.”

Yvon Ledanois, sports director : “What a stage ! It was worse than a mountain stage and they did it at an average pace of over 40 kph. Respect to all the riders. Today we got confirmation that Warren was well. He was a bit tired at the finish but all riders were. Everything is going according to plan for him and if you’d told me he’d be there 10 days ago I would have signed for it. Our leader is gaining confidence staying around the top guns without being on his favourite terrain. He will have his say in the third week. We saw that all his team mates did their job and all of them finished the stage. Maxime Bouet suffered a puncture at the beginning of the stage but he was strong with Warren in the finale. This stage will take its toll and in this Bastille Day context, we’re going to stick to our strategy but it’s obivously a special day for the French riders. We’re going to try and be in the breakaway and go a long way!”