Today was the longest stage of the Tour de France between Belfort and Chalon sur Saone. Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo Visma) won a bunch sprint at the end of a long day on the saddle after a rough stage in the Vosges and before another tough ride to St Etienne. Warren Barguil contributed in support of Florian Vachon, Kevin Ledanois and Andre Greipel.
Yvon Ledanois, directeur sportif : “It was 230-km long with a head wind, it was a bit boring… There were two riders in the front but we knew the scenario, it was to be a bunch sprint. We don’t like this kind of stages but the distance and the hours in the saddle will take their toll before a stage like tomorrow’s. Today’s stage was an opportunity for the sprinters and Groenewegen seized it. Tomorrow will be a stage for the top breakaway specialists, like De Marchi (CCC). In this Tour we go from the mountains to the flat before following up with a very tough stage. The bodies will be affected. To prepare Andre Greipel for the sprint the guys worked well and Warren Barguil came to the rescue in the last kilometres. Our riders have been working well and they have been following the plan. They left their sprinter where he wanted to be. He finishes 12th again. Saturday’s stage from Macon to St Etienne is a bit scary. It’s a series of climbs over 200 kilometres, it’s going to be very tiring. I think a 20-man break can go very far. As far as we’re concerned we’re going to see the riders in their rooms and assess our strengths because tomorrow we’re going to have to dig deep.”
Kevin Ledanois : “It was a weird day, tonight I don’t feel tired but I know the legs are going to be heavy tomorrow. Every flat stage is an opportunity for Andre and every time we give everything for him. Today Warren helped us with five kilometres to go, he strung the peloton. Then I took the relay and Florian Vachon left him in the good wheels. We don’t have the strength to take him to 400 metres to go so we use a different tactic.”