It was a crazy stage on the Tour de France and breakaway specialist Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) prevailed in St Etienne. During a very tough day, Warren Barguil confirmed he was in excellent shape by finishing in the first group of favourites while Maxime Bouet, who was with him until the last climb, is getting better and better.
Warren Barguil is good, that’s what we take away from this day. Tomorrow is Bastille Day and it will be a special day. We’re going to try and seize an opportunity otherwise it will be all for our leader. We know that in our team he’s the one who can win fair and square. I find this Tour harder than last year’s. The route is different and the pace is very high. I take it day by day.”
Yvon Ledanois, sports director : “What a stage ! It was worse than a mountain stage and they did it at an average pace of over 40 kph. Respect to all the riders. Today we got confirmation that Warren was well. He was a bit tired at the finish but all riders were. Everything is going according to plan for him and if you’d told me he’d be there 10 days ago I would have signed for it. Our leader is gaining confidence staying around the top guns without being on his favourite terrain. He will have his say in the third week. We saw that all his team mates did their job and all of them finished the stage. Maxime Bouet suffered a puncture at the beginning of the stage but he was strong with Warren in the finale. This stage will take its toll and in this Bastille Day context, we’re going to stick to our strategy but it’s obivously a special day for the French riders. We’re going to try and be in the breakaway and go a long way!”