TOUR DE FRANCE - STAGE 15 GUILLAUME MARTIN HOLDS ON UNTIL THE END
This Sunday, when the temperature was almost 30°C, the riders had to show lots of courage and self-sacrifice to make it through. During this much-feared 15th stage with the breathtaking climb of the Grand-Colombier, Guillaume Martin was giving his best right until the finish line, just like he did since the beginning of this race.
The support of Jesus
However, the leader of Cofidis team had to slow down just before the Grand-Colombier pass due to a mechanical problem that forced him to change his bike. But he was able to benefit from the precious work of Jesus Herrada. The Spanish vice-champion, who was part of the day's breakaway, had previously come first and then second in the first two climbs of the day. Then, he accompanied Martin into the first foothills of the Grand-Colombier.
After, Guillaume did everything he could to keep up with the impressive pace imposed by the Jumbo-Visma. He finished 14th of the stage, 3 min 25 sec from the winner, Tadej Pogacar. In the general classification, Guillaume Martin gets closer to the 'top 10' (11th at 6'45'') and remains 1st Frenchman.
Now, he will focus on recovering during the rest day on Monday. Then, it will be time to look forward to another intense week, with the Alps and the Jura on the program before heading to the Champs-Elysées.
Guillaume MARTIN: "There is obviously a lot of frustration. The scenario of the day would have been different without this mechanical problem just before the final climb. I lost time because of it and had to put in a lot of effort to get back to the front. It was this effort that didn't allow me to go with the best afterwards. But I'm not giving up and I'm hoping to have a chance to compete for a stage victory in the third week."
Cédric VASSEUR, general manager: "The stage was promising to be difficult, and it was, as the many changes in the general classification show. On our side, we played a good game by putting Jesus (Herrada) in the breakaway. Unfortunately, Guillaume (Martin) was the victim of a mechanical incident at the bottom of the last climb. That did not facilitate his progress, especially with the very strong tempo imposed by the Jumbo-Visma. But he did his best and made all he could to limit the damage. The rest day comes at the right time, just before the start of the last week with the main objective of a stage victory".