Connor Swift: "The finish was very nervous"
In Parthenay, Connor is 9th, Thomas is 13th. Thibault Guernalec was caught in a big crash with five kilometres to go and despite the help of his samaritan Laurent Pichon, he lost some time on the first reduced peloton that had to win.
On the line
” It was a long day in the saddle with head wind and cross head wind majority of the journey meant it wasn’t a super fast day in the saddle. A break away established but it was only small. In the final before the circuit the tempo was higher and there was a lot of battling for position. However we was all very well placed thanks to the good work of Anthony and Laurent. The last lap was chaotic and we stayed well placed due to the small roads in the last 9km. Unfortunately there was a big crash and Thibault was caught up in this and lost time. However I was still in the front group with Thomas, Anthony and Donavan. The group was small and the objective for me was to not lose any time on GC today and this was achieved.”.
“I gave my bike to Thibault just after he crashed, but unfortunately it happened five kilometres from the finish and when such an incident happens you know that it will be complicated for the end of the stage. It’s a pity for Thibault because he represented a good chance for the Arkéa-Samsic team for the general classification, but afterwards all is not lost because we had Connor and Anthony in front, and they also have good time trial qualities. We have lost one leader out of three, but tomorrow, with perhaps a few moves in the pack, the cards will be reshuffled in favour of Thibault. The truth of one day in cycling is not necessarily the truth of the next. How did I give him my bike? Like Alan, Dino or Anthony I had worked well for the team, and at some point I found myself a little further back in the peloton, but still well placed in case I needed to give the leaders a helping hand, and that’s when this crash happened. When I saw Thibault fall, I immediately gave him my bike so that he would lose as little time as possible. He had derailed, and it was easier for him to take mine and for me to put his chain back on and then leave with his”.
The debrief ‘
“The first stage of the Tour du Poitou-Charentes in New Aquitaine was windy but there were not many clear sections, which contributed to the lack of racing at the start. However, the pace picked up as soon as we entered the final circuit, which was made up of small roads, and it was a race to find the best places, which led to a crash. Thibault was unfortunately caught up in it, and he fell after three kilometres, so the time lost is accounted for. This is the only disappointment of the day for us Thibault, now it is unfortunately part of cycling”.