#Short #Sharp #Shock
No-one could predict how the historically short stage 65 km stage 17 could have played out. Of the 65 kilometres from Bagneres de Luchon to the top of the Portet, no less than 38 were uphill. After a quick start the peloton exploded on the Val Louron Azet. Guillaume Martin became the victim of the acceleration of AG2R and could never return to the favourites group. Martin avoided the crash with Peter Sagan on the descent to Saint-Lary-Soulan. He eventually reached the top of the Col du Portet on the 29th position and retains his 15th place in the General Classification. On Thursday, the peloton moves to Pau in a transition stage to Lourdes.
"I am clearly disappointed because I lose eleven minutes. I did not have a great day, but in the beginning I had the right feeling. I felt a bit less on the second climb. On top of Val Louron Azet I gave up 200 meters, which I never could recover again. Sagan crashed in the descent and I nearly fell over him.
I slowed a bit down in the descent. I was able to maintain a good pace from the foot of the last climb, but the last 5 kilometers were very difficult. We experienced a very intense stage, interesting for the public but particularly exhausting for the riders. I arrived in one piece, that is already something. Now I will try to choose the right break on Friday, the goal is to keep my top 15 overall."