07 July 2021

Sébastien Hinault: "Dan and Clément went all the way".

The stage of Mont Ventoux was merciless for Clément Russo and Dan McLay who were injured since their crashes at the beginning of the Tour de France and had to leave the race. Nairo Quintana is still in the polka dot jersey.


Photo GettyImages

On the line…

“I made a big effort at the beginning of the stage and went in a breakaway with Alaphilippe who could be a contender for the polka dot jersey. The sprint for the mountain classification was special because it was held in a wall with a high percentage. A bigger group came out afterwards. Inéos-Grenadier rode in front of the peloton all day in order to replace Carapaz in the general classification. They locked the peloton in place. I then managed the rest of the stage to keep my strength for the next stages”.


“I had never climbed Mont Ventoux up to the observatory. We had to climb it twice today with the first real heat on this Tour de France. The Inéos Grenadiers set the tempo all day in the peloton in order to replace Carapaz in the general classification. The average speed, like every day since the start of this Tour de France, is once again high. I am sad to see Clément give up, I was in the room with him and I know the way he hung on and showed great moral strength to ride all these stages since his crash. He has a broken rib and it was him who cheered me up last Saturday. Clément is my team-mate but he has also become a friend over the years. It’s really hard to see him leave the road of the Tour, which is a very tough race this year”.

Sébastien Hinault, Sport-director
The debrief…
“Clément told me this morning on the bus that his back was very sore. His pain from his broken rib has increased over the last few days, and we knew that the outcome of the day would unfortunately be a retirement. He couldn’t push it. Dan was also able to hold out for a few days but with the accumulation of fatigue his body also said stop. We knew that our two riders could be on probation, that they were “survivors” of the crashes in Brittany. But I would like to salute their courage in having gritted their teeth to go so far in the race, and above all the respect they showed towards the Tour. They have gone to the end of themselves. The good news of the day is that Warren and Elijah had the capacity to be in front, they didn’t stay there until the end because it wasn’t easy and the big teams made tempo. To see them again at this level and with the sun that they are back on the pedal gives us new openings for stage success. Nairo still has the best climber jersey tonight and that is also an objective”.