The last week of the Grande Boucle is back on track. Riders, staff members and followers quickly got back to their habits, this Tuesday morning in Carcassonne. The rest day was more than beneficial to relieve the bodies, to rest the organisms and to project themselves on this crazy week, with the Pyrenees as main course.
Geschke in the break of the day
For the whole team, the objective of the day was clear: to fight for the best climber jersey of Simon Geschke. The rider has been holding it for more than a week now and has already become the German who has worn it the most in history. But nothing can be taken for granted in the Tour de France and Simon knows it. From km 3, he was among the first to break away. It was soon the biggest breakaway of this Tour de France with 28 riders.
These are roads that Simon Geschke knows well: he won the first stage of the Ronde de l'Isard in 2007. It was in the Port de Lers (1st cat.) that the German made a big effort. He contributes to skimming the leading group and stays in the lead for many kilometres. His perseverance was rewarded: he took the lead and won 10 points. A few kilometres later, despite the heat and the ever increasing rhythm of the race, he took 2 more points at the Mur de Péguère.
A great battle that allowed him to consolidate his polka dot jersey. He now has 58 points, 19 more than his first chaser, Louis Meintjes. But Simon and the whole Cofidis team know that the battle to keep the jersey will become even more intense in the next few days. For the time being, he can enjoy the fact that he will keep the jersey for another day for a few hours.
Max Walscheid not starting
The German rider wasn't able to take the start this Tuesday morning. He was suffering from a sore throat on Monday evening, but evaded a Covid test that was carried out by the Cofidis staff. He tested positive and a second test on Tuesday morning confirmed it.
Max Walscheid is therefore leaving the Tour de France. The German rider had made a great comeback at the highest level, after being injured in a collision with a car last March. His resilience was once again visible during the first week of the Tour de France. During the cobbled stage, Max had a crash but got up again to take a respectable 12th place.
"With this jersey, I can't have several objectives. Today's goal was to score as many points as possible by joining the breakaway. I was focused on it despite the fatigue, the heat and the battle for the stage win. In the end, I can only be happy to have increased my lead a little bit. We will do everything to recover well tonight and try to keep it as long as possible. There are still two really tricky stages to go. I hope that luck will be on my side a bit.
Christian Guiberteau, sport director:
"After a rest day, it's always a bit tricky. But Simon was in the breakaway of the day and it started right away. He had a good race management and his climb in the Port de Lers allowed him to take 10 points. After that, the stage victory was at stake and Simon decided to save himself. He scores 12 points and that's satisfying. He continues to fight for the jersey day after day. Tomorrow we will have to wait for the scenario of the day to adapt and see how to protect the jersey."