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“It seemed to me that I was not in an excellent shape and my result today confirms my feelings. Now, we have to keep the spirits up. There’s still a month before the start of the Tour de France," Peraud says

Photo: AG2R LA MONDIALE / Kramon










09.06.2014 @ 19:50 Posted by Andy Pedersen

Ag2r-La Mondiale had headed into their big home race, the Criterium du Dauphiné, with a two-pronged attack as both Romain Bardet and Jean-Christophe Peraud were aiming for the GC. Unfortunately, both riders delivered disappointing performances in the first mountain stage of the race.


For Ag2r-La Mondiale, the Criterium du Dauphiné is more than just a preparation race. Hailing from the region where the race takes place, the team has an ambitious approach to the mountainous event and has lined up two of its three Tour de France captains: Romain Bardet and Jean-Christophe Peraud.


Unfortunately, both were left disappointed after the first mountain stage of the race. Having limited his losses well in the time trial, Bardet could only manage 19th


“I was pretty good in the first seven kilometers of climb and then I cracked up in the final part," he said. "My whole body was racked with shivers, I was not in a good shape, and I had to move aside.
"This is a huge disappointment because I thought I was able to do much better than that. I felt well when we started to climb but I found myself completely drained when the pace began to accelerate. I lost a lot of time and it’s a disappointing day. I was ambitious today but the week is not over. We have to move forward."
For Peraud, things were even worse. Having already had a bad time trial, the getran could only manage 56th, losing almost 7 minutes to stage winner Chris Froome.


“It seemed to me that I was not in an excellent shape and my result today confirms my feelings," he said. "Now, we have to keep the spirits up. There’s still a month before the start of the Tour de France. This racing week is a good way to work with a view to July, especially because the level of performance here is same than in the Tour, I don’t see how leaders who are present here, can still improve their level. I keep the spirits up!”


The French team had Alexis Gougeard in the breakaway of the day, which was formed after the first categorized climb. The young Frenchman is making his WorldTour debut in the race after a number of strong showings and was pleased with his performance.


“The stage went well at first but it was a little bit more complicated in the last part, I was completely drained," he said. "I was glad to be in the break today, I like it and it’s a bit my trademark.


"Being in a breakaway in the Critérium du Dauphiné is not same as being at the front in the other races I have done so far. In fact, it was my first race with real climbs and it’s totally different. Now I hope to well recover from this stage and to try again to break away before the end of the week."



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