July 29, 2018 0 Comments
After some penultimate stage drama, where Pasqua was misdirected to the start of the individual time trial, he eventually finished with the second slowest time after incurring a 4-minute delay to his start. It was an anxious ride for the Italian sprinter, but all finished well as he was comfortably within the time limit, meaning Team Wanty-Groupe Gobert take a full complement of 8 riders to Paris, where Pasqua will sprint for a top finish. Otherwise, the team story was once again about the GC performance of Guillaume Martin, whose time trial performance cost him a few places in the General Classement.
The 20th stage consisted of an individual time trial between Saint-Pee-sur-Nivelle and Espelette. Guillaume Martin clocked the 76th time of the day. Damiano Caruso jumped over our Frenchman into the top 20 with a faster time trial. Medical examination showed that our French climber broke a right rib after the 9th stage to Roubaix. Thomas Degand finished 33rd in the time trial.
Anecdote of the day: Andrea Pasqualon was wrongly pointed to the departure and left too late! The Italian eventually started with more than four minutes delay in the time trial of his life. Pasqualon was anxious, but he set the penultimate time! Our Italian will be at the start of the final stage tomorrow!
"I am not looking for excuses, but my rib fracture certainly did not help during this Tour. This was certainly not the only reason for my lesser feeling during the past weeks. I probably started this Tour with a certain level of fatigue. My first week did not go as planned, because I was the victim of a split in the pack and a lot of lost time after a crash. "
"What I remember is that my goal of finishing top 15 has not been achieved. I cannot make a positive assessment of this Tour. But I am not going to grumble, it was not all negative in this Tour. I was able to show myself, despite the lesser feeling in the three breakaways. One of those three reached the finish, after which I finished an honourable 12th. "
"This year brought me new experiences again. I am only 25 years old, this is my second grand tour and two days ago I was still in battle for the top 15. I miss my goal, but it was not impossible to finish top 15! After this time trial I fall out of top 20. If I go for a top 15, the top 20 does not have much value anymore. So 20th or 21st? It does not change that much for me."
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Mark Cavendish’s welcome return to victory has led to calls for the Briton to be selected for the Tour de France, including the #CavToTheTour push on Twitter. There is a considerable emotional appeal to him taking part, but is it practical?