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.”