Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal), who had already won in Toulouse, claimed victory in a bunch sprint un the 16th stage of the Tour de France marked by the searing hot temperatures and the withdrawal of Dane Jakob Fuglsang (Astana). Before the race heads to the Alps tomorrow, Warren Barguil is 11th in the genral classification.
Yvon Ledanois : « It was a good day, a bit stressful but it was a headwind in the last 25km so there was not much to fear. The team managed their efforts well and in the finale, Warren Barguil, Kevin Ledanois and Florian Vachon worked for their sprinter. Warren positioned them well with 10km to go, Florian sprinted at the flamme rouge and screamed for Andre Greipel to follow him but that did not happen. The day was marked by the withdrawal of Fuglsang. Crashes are part of the race and we don’t take any joy from it. We know how it feels to lose your leader on a stage race. Tomorrow is not an easy stage, it will be full gas from the start to the finish. With the heat, it will leave traces. We are now focusing on Warren. Getting into a break is not incompatible with our project but we will not do it at all cost. However, we are ready.”
André Greipel: “I lack self confidence, that’s all. The team did everything for me and take me as far as possible but today I was not good enough.”
Florian Vachon : “It was suffocating and nervous today. To fight against the heat, there is no miracle, you have to spray yourself with water and drink, about two bottles an hour. At the feed zone, our assistants had prepared ice cubes so we could put them at the top of our backs. There was a lot of tension when we arrived in Nimes but we were well positioned. Everybody was around Andre. We tried to bring him further than usual and I made a big effort with 1.2km to go. It was good team work, we’re sticking together. In the mountains we will keep the same mindset. On a climb Warren can manage on his own but before that we will do the maximum to be around him.”