The ninth stage of Tour de France (2.1, 07-29/07) to Roubaix was an incredible one. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck started a counter-attack on 10 riders, but could not close the gap. Wanty-Groupe Gobert was not spared of bad luck, with a crash Guillaume Martin and a bike change for Yoann Offredo. Andrea Pasqualon suffered a flat tire. Dion Smith and Timothy Dupont were our representatives in the reduced first group, until Smith crashed with Landa. Smith finished in Roubaix, but went to the hospital for a check-up (update following).
UPDATE: Dion sustained a fracture in the left thumb, bruised ribs, a bruised cheek and cuts in his hand. They were stitched. According to our team doc Smithy would be able to start in the 10th stage.
Dupont was able to stay in the peloton between the strongest riders. In Roubaix he sprinted to third place in the peloton, good for a 10th place in the day’s results. Guillaume Martin arrived in the company of Guillaume Van Keirsbulck more than five minutes later. On Monday the riders get a well-deserved rest day. On Tuesday they will ride into the Alps between Annecy and Le Grand-Bornand.
“I did not force myself in the beginning of the stage. I also worked for our leader Guillaume Martin, but he had a hard time today. At a certain moment I decided to go for my own chances. I tried to follow as good as possible and I was spared from bad luck. I was held up a few times, a bit but could still stay in the favorites group. ”
“My communication did not work anymore, so I did not know for which spot I was sprinting. Above all I am glad that I was still in the favorites group. With this achievement I prove that besides the sprint I can also take on the heavier work.”
“It is a pity that I suffered from a laryngitis this week, otherwise there something more was possible. But today I proved that I have worked well towards this Tour. I can ride reasonably uphill for a sprinter, so that should not be a problem in the upcoming days. ”
“I crashed, but I was able to finish the stage. I will know more about my condition tomorrow morning. I suspect a bruise on my right side and some pain my finger. It is good that there is a rest day tomorrow.”
“I did not have much luck in the first week. Many riders had their share of bad luck, but for me it resulted in a loss of time. I am not yet out of contention for a decent GC, but I want to attack in the mountains with an eye on a stage victory. But these last days were not optimal for my body. ”
“I hope to find the right feeling in the mountains. I will have to wait and see. A new Tour starts on Tuesday!”