Tour of Oman (5th stage), Kévin Vauquelin: "I surprise myself”
Kévin Vauquelin 2nd, Élie Gesbert 3rd at the top of Green Mountain, the Arkéa-Samsic team has achieved a good result on this 5th stage of the Tour of Oman. Elie is now 4th in the overall classification, Kévin is 6th. Our team is 1st in the team classification.
On the line
“I have done very few mountain races in the last few years in the amateur ranks, and I didn’t think I would be able to do such things in the professional ranks, even though a climb is somewhat similar to the effort of a time trial since you have to hold watts over a given time. So it’s in my line of work. What could have played a role here are the percentages in relation to my size but I managed to negotiate them well, and to manage my climb in order not to put myself in the red. This second place is different from the one I got yesterday, because it’s a physical summit finish and of course I surprised myself. It’s also more merit because we finish one after the other. I thankl once again all the team fort the job and the support”.
“It was a stressful day, with no respite, starting with a curb cut which we responded to by being in front. We were always one step ahead, we were where we needed to be. Green Mountain is a demanding climb, personally, I might have been a bit carried away by Hirt when he attacked. I paid for it a little bit at the end, and I probably left there the few seconds I was missing to reach the podium. But the satisfaction is to see Kévin doing two and walking very hard. I still have some regrets about yesterday’s stage where I had a hot spell, and there too I am missing some seconds to reach the podium. But that’s sport”.
The DS debrief
“This stage of Green Mountain is always special with the possibility of an edge before the final bump, which was the case. Laurent and Amaury were really excellent in protecting Elijah and Kevin in this race situation. Green Mountain is a particular, steep climb that is really physical. Élie was present on this climb, and Kévin discovered himself again on this climb. He did a very good Tour of Oman. We came here to do better overall than in 2019, and this evening Élie is 4th overall, and has bounced back perfectly after the heat of the day. Kevin is in 6th place. We are first in the team classification, Kévin is second in the best young rider. The race ends tomorrow with a stage for the sprinters, and our card will be Amaury”.