#Danger #Flats #Crashes
"Very, very dangerous" is how Pasqua summarised the cobbled stage to Roubaix. The race was strewn with crashes all around and Pasqua has three flats himself. But all the Wanty boys made it to the end of the stage and will welcome the following rest day.
The Wanty guys missed the early break of ten, so Guillaume Van Keirsbulck partnered with former teammate Dimitri Claeys (Cofidis) to try to bridge across but never quite made the junction.
Wanty-Groupe Gobert experienced plenty of incident throughout the stage, with a crash for Guillaume Martin and a bike change for Yoann Offredo, as well as Andrea Pasqualon's flat tires. Dion Smith and Timothy Dupont were in the lead group, until Smith crashed with Landa. Dion made it to the finish in Roubaix, but went to the hospital for a check-up.
Dupont was able to stay amongst the strongest riders and sprinted to third place in the peloton, 10th place on the stage. Guillaume Martin arrived with Guillaume Van Keirsbulck over five minutes later. After Monday's rest day on Tuesday the race continues into the Alps between Annecy and Le Grand-Bornand.
"I did not force myself in the beginning of the stage. I also worked for our leader Guillaume Martin, but he had a hard time today. At a certain moment I decided to go for my own chances. I tried to follow as good as possible and I was spared from bad luck. I was held up a few times but could still stay in the favourites group. "
"My communication did not work anymore, so I did not know for which spot I was sprinting. Above all I am glad that I was still in the favourites group. With this achievement I prove that besides the sprint I can also take on the heavier work."
"It is a pity that I suffered from laryngitis this week, otherwise there something more was possible. But today I proved that I have worked well towards this Tour. I can ride reasonably uphill for a sprinter, so that should not be a problem in the upcoming days."
"I crashed, but I was able to finish the stage. I will know more about my condition tomorrow morning. I suspect a bruise on my right side and some pain my finger. It is good that there is a rest day tomorrow.
I did not have much luck in the first week. Many riders had their share of bad luck, but for me it resulted in a loss of time. I am not yet out of contention for a decent GC, but I want to attack in the mountains with an eye on a stage victory. But these last days were not optimal for my body.
I hope to find the right feeling in the mountains. I will have to wait and see. A new Tour starts on Tuesday!"
Highlights of Stage 9 cobbles
A.S.O. stage summary:
Two and half years after a life-threatening accident, John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) took his first Tour de France victory following six-second places in six participations. A Paris-Roubaix winner in 2015, he achieved his goal in Roubaix as he outsprinted yellow jersey Greg Van Avermaet and Belgian champion Yves Lampaert. Pre-race challenger Richie Porte abandoned the Tour de France in a crash before the cobblestone sections.
Check back tomorrow for more from inside the peloton at the 2018 Tour de France.