After bad luck struck on the Classic de l’Ardeche with Watren Barguil crashing, our team was very determined at the start of the Drome Classic. All day, our leaders Warren Barguil and Elie Gesbert have been protected by their team mates. In a pulsating finale, both our riders have been on the attack in the climbs. In the last ascent, the mur d’Allex, Alexis Vuillermoz made the difference to claim a solo win. Warren Barguil, who was close by, caught Valentin Madouas, but the Groupama-FDJ rider beat him by the slimmest margin. Warren Barguil finished third.
Warren Barguil (3rd): «I wasnt too confident this morning. I knew I had worked well but my ribs were hurting after yesterday’s crash. It was a bit of a silly crash but it is what it is. Ce matin, je n’étais pas sûr de mes billes. Today it was just about racing my race and trying to win. The lads did a great job all day long after already protecting me all day yesterday. With 25km left, I attacked at the top of a climb with Calmejane and Bardet and then it was kind of a lottery, you had to be in the right position and make your efforts at the right moment. I found myself in the first group before the Mur d’Allex, but just before that I had made an effort to catch three riders and I paid for it in the last metres but Alexis Vuillermoz was the strongest in that climb. I attacked to try and come back but I ended up thirdI am happy that I showed the Tour de Provence was just a minor setback. And now, back to Brittany to prepare for Paris-Nice.
Elie Gesbert : « The finale was probably fun to watch on TV even if for us it was hurtful (laughter). My plan was to save energy to then blow up the race near the finish but even if lacked a bit of juice, I think we stuck to the plan. The last 20 km were really tactical. It was an advantage to be with Warren, we talked a lot to see who had to attack or jump into a group. There’s obviously a bit of disappointment not to be in the leading group in the last climb, there was a split on the flat at a moment when I was not in a good position and I paid for it. Warren was il there however and he managed t get us a result so at the end of the day it’s positive. We had a good Sunday, we watched the last 20 km of Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne in the bus and it was cool to see the guys were doing well in Belgium.”
Roger Trehin : « I saw a team that stuck together all day. In the finale, Warren and Elie showed good things, but if they were up there in the decisive moments it’s because the other five had worked all day. With 40km to go, we attacked, we wanted a fight and to make the race harder. The last 25 km were hard to handle with climbs but also flat sections. Warren’s intuitions were good. Had he stayed with Bardet and Calmejane, he would have fought for seventh. In the last climb, he attacked to catch Vuillermoz, but the difference had already been made. The whole team’s attitude was good, our leaders were here and got us a result. What we did today was good but there’s always regret when you don’t win. We know we can do better.”