The stage of the day was particularly awaited, between Troyes and Bar-sur-Aube with 126,8 km and these trails worthy of the Strade Bianche, these rough climbs where the riders had to show the agility of the cyclo-cross specialists. Rachel Neylan was able to stay with the favourites during the whole stage and to finish in the same group.
Gaël Le Bellec, the team's sporting director, gave us an overview of the first 4 stages.
"The level of this Tour de France, for the last 4 stages, has been of an incredible level, never seen in previous races. Today, we tried once again to get into the breakaway. It wasn't enough but we will try again and I am convinced that we will be able to do it again. During the first three days, the girls were particularly unlucky. We couldn't be at the front and yesterday, in a stage where we could have been ambitious, Rachel unfortunately fell in the final. We were able to bounce back today to improve our mid-tour record. We have two girls who tried to get into the breakaway but they were thwarted. Rachel finished with all the leaders of the Tour. We are finally a bit more in our place.
For the rest of the race, we will just try to show the jersey. We saw that the peloton let us go today, we hope that it will be the same tomorrow with 175 km. We will fight like every day to get into the breakaway and keep Rachel warm. She's in good shape and that will be precious before the final weekend."
ETHIAS - TOUR DE WALLONIE
On Belgian soil, the Ethias Tour de Wallonie ended today after a 5th and final stage composed of 8 cobbled sectors. The Cofidis team, which was present around Guillaume Martin, who made his come back 2 weeks after his departure from the Tour de France because of Covid, was able to be a part of the race every day.
For Guillaume, who was "keen to get back into the race quickly" after his early departure from the Tour de France, the feeling was very good and he was able to "be a player and be part of the best" on a course that favoured the puncheurs rather than the climbers.
On this last stage, the team, well placed until now, was trapped in the last cobbled sector with 10km to go after a crash and crossed the finish line 40 seconds behind the peloton. Guillaume, still 5th this morning, finishes this Tour de Wallonie in 9th position overall.
A race that, despite everything, confirms his "good legs" for the next races that will be more to his advantage. And this starts on Saturday at the Clasica San Sebastian.