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"This is a high-level performance but frustration prevails. We only lost 1.24. We were in the top 10 but we could have lost less than a minute. Christophe [Riblon] punctured after 2.5 km."

Photo: Sirotti








12.07.2015 @ 21:37 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Not known for their time trialling prowess, Ag2r did surprisingly well in stage 9 of the Tour de France to finish 10th, 1.24 behind winners BMC. However, they were set back by a puncture after two kilometres.



"This is a high-level performance but frustration prevails," sports director Julien Jurdie said. "We only lost 1.24. We were in the top 10 but we could have lost less than a minute. Christophe [Riblon] punctured after 2.5 km. We were forced to wait as he is a key motor for the team.


"Despite everything, the AG2R La Mondiale team was very homogeneous and solid today. Without the puncture, we would have lost less than a minute to the world champions. Nobody would have expected that.


"In the end, we competed with the best teams. We invested a lot of energy and time on the riders and equipment to prepare for this stage the riders have had some back luck and because of a puncture we lost maybe 40 seconds.


"Gaudin took the biggest turns up to three kilometres from the finish. He and Péraud were the strongest, and Bardet was strong on the climb. Gastauer raised his hand twice to indicate that it was too fast for him so I warned Romain that he had to slow down.


"This is the first time in nine days I had good sensations," Romain Bardet told L'Equipe. "It feels good. We managed to have a nice cohesive team. The disaster was the puncture. We didn't know how to react after this blow. We were collectively strong. We rode very fast, we took big tuns. This is promising for the final fifteen days. It was not a matter of being strong individually. With Jean-Christophe, I was the team's engine on the climbs. It's good because we reached the objective.


"We thought it was ruined after Christophe Riblon' puncture after only two kilometers. The seconds seemed endless, but we pulled together. The group was united and set a high tempo. Christophe is our road captain, we were told that if a puncture happened to a guy like him, we had to wait. No regrets, he helped us a lot in the finale."

"Yesterday, I went very deep and I paid a bit. Thelegs were still filled with lactic acid," Alexis Vuillermoz said.





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