It was a very special day on the Tour de France as the race was stopped at the top of the Iseran after a hailstorm blocked the road in Val d’Isere. Warren Barguil was then in third place after just being overcome by Colombian Egan Bernal (Team Ineos), who claimed the overall lead, and Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott). The times were taken at the top of the pass and Warren Barguil lies 11th in GC.
Dans quel état d’esprit étais-tu au départ ce matin ?
Warren Barguil : There was a lot of frustration after yesterday’s stage. I saw the break go all the way and Quintana get back into the GC game and I was not there. This morning, I really wanted to be in front. We played it well, my team mates did a great job, I hadn’t worked before the Cote St Andre. In the first climb I gave a lot, some told me I was too generous, but that’s how I see cycling. In the second week. I followed the best even if I enjoyed myself in the Tourmalet. Today I was aggressive and I wanted to be all in.
Can you tell us how the climb to the Iseran was ?
Warren Barguil : Elie did a great job before the Iseran, he sacrificed himself, I thank him for that. Then I was unsure whether I should attack but when I heard Thomas was going for it in the yellow jersey group, I told myself I had to make a move myself. I was caught by Bernal 1.5km from the top and then everything went fast. In the last 500m I took the time to take a bittle and a newspaper to have a good descent but I started to hear in the radio that the race would be stopped. Then I didn’t exactly know what to do, you slow down but you see some riders go full gas in the descent. There’s a bit of frustration because I crested the Iseran with the top five riders of the Tour but when I climbed into my manager’s car I saw the footage and I thought it was the good decision.”
What is your assessment of today’s stage?
Warren Barguil : “On one side I rode a good stage but I think it could have been better because I had distanced Valverde, Porte, Quintana. I was on a good day but it did not reflect on the GC. It’s sport, I could also have crashed in the descent if the race had not been stopped. I look at the bright side and today I enjoyed myself: I attacked, I was one of the first at top of the Iseran, and was in Bernal’s wheel.”
Were you expecting to have such a good level in the mountains on this Tour de France?
Warren Barguil : “I’m proving to myself that 2017 was no fluke. I’m really happy to be back to my level I didn’t think it was possible and today I know I can improve. I was injured, I didn’t exactly know where I stood but I trained hard. I knew what I had to do and people around me motivated me.”
And tomorrow ?
Warren Barguil : “One more day to be at full gas, I’m going to give everything.”
Warren Barguil was up there again in a stage won by Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and he continues to climb up the general classification of the Tour de France. After a very fast stage marked by the presence of Amael Moinard and Maxime Bouet in the breakaway, the French champion is now 12th in GC. We’re now heading into the second rest day in Nimes, where the Arkea Samsic leader will see the summits of the Alps.
Warren Barguil : « It was another nice day but it was tough. I didn’t wanna overcook it at the foot of the last climb, Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) helped me bridge thegap with Fuglsang (Astana) and I thank him for that, and I end up with the Dane again like yesterday. I like the long climbs, and less that kind of shorther ascents but it’s ok, I’m happy. I raised my level. Now I’ll wait for the Alps after a well-deserved rest day.”
Yvon Ledanois : « It was another crazy day, the pace was super high from the start and it never stopped. I can say that the rest day is most welcomed for a lot of riders knowing that we will go from a chilly weather to a heatwave — 35 degrees in the Alps. The tired bodies will suffer and there will be more surprises. Amael Moinard and Maxime Bouet did a good job iun the break that featured 11 riders from the top 30 in GC. There was a lot of quality up there and the lead was never too high. It was full gas allday. The Port de Lers cost a lot of energy, the Mur de Peguere made the difference. We were expecting it would be very complicated for Amael and Maxime. In the last climb, Warren dropped out of the favourites group but he did a fine ascent riding at his own pace. He finished close to the yellow jersey and ahead of a rider like Uran (Education First-Drapac). Aparrt from Pinot who did a great climb, everybody was at the limit. Tonight Warren is 12th in the GC, he’s up one spot but I think there will be surprises. The Alpine climbs and the heat will suit him, I don’t have a crystal ball but I’m trust him to claim a top 10 finish in Paris. But before that we have a rest day and it feels good.”
Amael Moinard : « It did not stop all day, it was a very difficult stage. I would have liked the breakaway to take shape before the first ascent but we were full gas. I managed to take a spot in the break but I spent a lot of energy to get there. When I saw who was there I did not have much hope. My goal was to hold on until up the Mur de Peguere but I punctured 4km before the Port de Lers. I managed to get back into the group at he foot of the climbs but some riders started to attack. I felt I was lacking strength. I’m happy I was in the front for a while but it was not ideal as I went from being in the break to being in the gruppetto without being able to help Warren. Tomorrow we will recover but I can’t wait to be in the Alps to see what we can do for Warren. It has been a very demanding Tour so far but we raced well. We were in the front and we were with Warren in the key moments. For now, we’ve managed the race very well.”
Warren Barguil attacked in the final ascent of the sixth stage of the Tour de France to La Planche des Belles Filles
He was long shepered by Elie Gesbert, the French champion made the race harder and boosted his confidence before finding terrains that suit him better. The stage was also marked by Andre Greipel’s presence in the break.l.
Warren Barguil: “It was not the ideal day. Just when I was taking a bottle in the second ascent a rider crashed in front of me. With only one hand on the handlebars, I could not brake. I fell, it was nothing serious but I had to make a first effort to get back into the peloton with my team mates. Them I had a problem with my front wheel, Florian Vachon gave me his and here we go again chasing the bunch. The guys were perfect. Kevin Ledanois and Anthony Delaplace put me in a good position at the foot of the penultimate climb. Then Elie Gesbert did a great job at the foot of the last ascent.
I attacked with 3.5km left, maybe I got carried away but I wanted to enjoy myself. That’s how I see cycling. It first backfired but then I kept a good rhythm. In the last 500 metres I gave everything. It was a nice stage, tonight I’m happy I’m back to a good level.”
André Greipel : “Today was not the kind of terrain that suits me. But I’d rather be in the front than suffer at the back. I managed to take on the last climb at my own pace without suffering too much.”
Yvon Ledanois – directeur sportif : “Warren Barguil needs to attack. In this last ascent, Valverde worked for a long before pulling out and nobody maintained the pace. Valverde came back to the front again to instill a weird pace and Warren thought he could go. He was right. Landa caught him quickly and Ineos then really upped the pace and it hurt. Some leaders were in trouble. Our leader wanted to gain some confidence even on a climb that doesn’t exactly suit him. He prefers when it’s a biti less steep, and longer. On a team levels, in terms of mindset and in terms of results we are satisfied. We can always think it can be better but it’s not bad. Tomorrow will be a bunch sprint in Chalon sur Saone and there won’t be dozens of other opportunities for the sprinters.”