#Nerves #Crowd #Heat
201 KM - NOIRMOUTIER-EN-L'ÎLE > FONTENAY-LE-COMT - 4h23'32"
Today's stage was as flat as they come, 201 km through Vendee. Our man Pasqua ended the day 22nd and was happy to get through a nervous and dangerous stage without major incident.
The day was profitable for his team Wanty-Groupe Gobert, as one of their Frenchmen, Yoann Offredo, was able to get into the key break of the day with just two other riders Jérôme Cousin (Direct Energie) and Kevin Ledanois (Fortuneo-Samsic). The three went from the gun, however, their lead never went above four minutes and the peloton always looked in control. Fair to say we called it yesterday:
"Yoann Offredo might be a man to watch for the long breakaways"
Huge crowds all along the route and soaring temperatures over 30C dominated the stage. The break was ultimately reeled in by the sprinters' teams, but there were several crashes in the final km's as the GC riders tried to maintain position at the front of the race.
For his efforts, Yoann received the combativity award for the most aggressive rider and so got himself on to the podium at the end of the day. Thomas Dupont also sprinted for 12th, so overall not a bad day for the team.
Yoann Offredo on the podium for Wanty-Groupe Gobert
Here is what Yoann had to say about his break today:
"I was very curious about the start of the Tour. I only spent three days here, but I had the impression that I had to wait for over a week. This morning Thomas Voeckler warned me that the road was strewn with urban buildings and that there was a lot of wind. I did not intend to go in the break, but you never know what might happen in the pack."
"Thus I do not like to stay in the bunch. The breakaway is in the nature of mankind. The combativity is a bit the prize of the losers. But I really enjoyed it, especially the children's smile on the way. That was my real reward, it was great. "
Pasqua is happy with his form today. His personal objective is to keep out of trouble and get some speed into his legs for those couple of stages in a few days time when he feels he can really make his impression on this race.
Watch below as Offredo gets into the move of the day:
Meanwhile, here's how ASO summarised the stage:
Fernando Gaviria of Quick Step became the first Colombian to win a bunch sprint of the Tour de France and the second Colombian to take the yellow jersey, fifteen years after Victor Hugo Peña, as he outclassed Peter Sagan in Fontenay-le-Comte. The finish was reached at the fastest expected speed but not without damage for the favourites as Chris Froome, Richie Porte, Adam Yates and Nairo Quintana lost a significant amount of time in crashes and mechanicals.
Check back tomorrow for more from inside the peloton at the 2018 Tour de France.