July 27, 2018 0 Comments
The 18th stage of offered a last chance for the sprinters before the Champs Elysees. The 171 kilometers from Trie-sur-Baïse to Pau were colored by a strong break. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck jumped into the leading group, which never got a big advantage from the sprinter teams. With Durbridge, Hayman, Terpstra and Boudat, GVK only got a maximum advantage of 2 minutes. The peloton finally caught the break on the last climb of the day, with 19 kilometers to go. The sprint was won by the French rider Arnaud Démare, Timothy Dupont finished 10th. On Friday, the last mountain stage will cross 200 kilometers from Pau to Lourdes, with climbs of Aubisque and Tourmalet.
"I wanted to do better than a 10th place, but the sprint was very chaotic. I originally had to launch Pasqualon, but we lost each other in the last kilometers. So I decided to take my chances. I was very well placed, but in the last corner a rider closed the door. Then it was impossible to get back in front. It was really nervous and complicated to position yourself well. "
"I am looking forward to Sunday. When I see Champs Elysees, I always think of the camera on the side of the road. I am happy that I am still in the peloton. These three weeks were a huge challenge. A lot of other sprinters are already home. I hope that there will be some strength in my legs on Sunday. "
Guillaume Van Keirsbulck:
"This day went very fast. I attacked from the start and thus we were five in front. We rode à bloc for 30 kilometers, but the peloton never gave us some free space. It seemed like a team time trial! It was impossible to stay in front because we never got more than a minute and a half. My legs still feel good. I am improving day by the day. I could still ride a fourth week (laughs). Last year I tried to attack the Champs Elysees, but that is very difficult. I will look at the possibilities in the last lap, otherwise we will concentrate on the sprint. "
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