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"At the end of the day, I moved up to third on GC and I limited the damage very well. Chamrousse is not the kind of climb that suits me really, it's a bit too rolling, so I'm happy the way I got out of it," Bardet says

Photo: Sirotti








18.07.2014 @ 21:11 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Ag2r continued to play a key role in the Tour de France when Romain Bardet and Jean-Christophe Peraud both finished in the top 10 in the first stage in the Alps. While Peraud suffered in the heat, Bardet looks forward to the climbs in the Pyrenees that suit him better.


All year Ag2r have played a big role in almost every stage race on the WorldTour and these days they are having their best Tour de France ever. Today Romain Bardet and Jean-Christophe Peraud faced their first big test in the Alps and they both passed as Bardet finishied 7th and Peraud took 9th. Bardet retained the white jersey and moved into third overall while Peraud is now sixth in the overall standings.


Bardet was pleased to have survived a hard stage with climbs that didn't suit him well.


“I didn't know the Tour de France was going throughout the Sahara desert this year," he said. "Maybe last year there have been hotter days but not with uphill finishes. I think everybody got a heatstroke in the last climb.


"At the end of the day, I moved up to third on GC and I limited the damage very well. Chamrousse is not the kind of climb that suits me really, it's a bit too rolling, so I'm happy the way I got out of it. Compared to Tejay van Garderen who is a time trial specialist, with whom I managed to regain time towards the end of the climbing, I lack power for this kind of effort.


"I'm motivated by tomorrow's stage. I'd love to take part in a fight up to the col d'Izoard, a climb that suits me better, but I doubt it'll happen. I also know the ascent to Risoul well. It's also rolling. I'm looking forward to climbs with more important changes of rhythm in the Pyrenees.


"Nibali is the strongest rider in the race, in fact he was won three stages. But as I came to the Tour, I didn't pretend that I'd beat Nibali. I'm only 23 year old. I'll keep fighting every day. I'll never give up.


"I preferred to manage the climb regularly instead of blowing up by following moves at the foot of Chamrousse. Given the percentages it was difficult to gain time on the opponents. Nobody wanted to ride with us and that is why I tried to attack at the end. I'm glad to have finished only with Van Garderen and have been able to gain some time on riders who dropped me at the bottom of the climb.


"I'm only 23 and I still measure the work that I have to do to follow Froome, Contador and Nibali. I just try to get closer every year."


Peraud admitted to have suffered in the heat.


"It was a very hard stage," he said. "The heat was exhausting. I really suffered a lot. With the temperature, the body overheats and the climb does the rest. I did what I could but I had cramps. I did my best, I hung in there. The goal was to limit the gap with Thibaut (Pinot) but I didn't have the legs to take turns. I did what I could. I survived.


"It was a grueling day with a brutal heat. I tried to ride a bit with Romainn but I had cramps, I was a bloc. After that, it was survival. I attacked with Frank Schleck and stayed 100 meters behind Romain before exploding and then fell back the the group with Van Den Broeck and Mollema. It's a shame because I could have gained a few seconds on my chasers. It was really hard, not a day for me for sure."



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