He held on until the end, resisting the repetition of the efforts, the fatigue that accumulates and the pressure of prestigious pursuers. Anthony Pérez has achieved one of the best performances of this early season. With a concentrated and determined face, he didn't let anything show as he went on for miles and miles, striving to keep his precious lead until the end.
38 km alone before the victory
Anthony Perez rode a giant race this Sunday afternoon on the roads of the Faun Drôme Classic. With 300 meters to go, he finally shook his fist with his right hand before savoring the moment, crossing the line as one man and falling into the arms of his father who had come to encourage him.
At the beginning of the race, the man from Toulouse benefited from a great collective effort when he had to resist the wind. Soon, a group of 30 riders took the lead and Cofidis had 4 riders in this group. Thanks to this surplus of riders and his malice, 'Antho' then tried his luck, with 38 km to go. Behind, the winner of the day before, Julian Alaphilippe but also David Gaudu and Romain Bardet never managed to come back.
What followed was a lesson in resistance, against the headwind. At 31 years old, Anthony Perez offers himself the 5th victory of his career, certainly the most impressive. It is also the 4th success of the season for the Nordic team, all achieved by different riders. Antho' joins Bryan Coquard (4th stage of the Tour Down Under), Simone Consonni (5th stage of the Saudi Tour), Jesus Herrada (2nd stage of the Tour of Oman). All of this will help to give the whole team a great dynamic in the run-up to the major events at the beginning of the season: Strade Bianche, Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico.
What they said
Anthony Perez: "I am very happy. The team trusted me and I'm really happy to have won. I do not realize yet, I will see when I wake up in the next few days. My dad was there and it was really emotional. We were still four riders in the second lap and then it went down to the leg. I knew that the course suited me well and it did. It's nothing but happiness!"
Benjamin Giraud, sports director: "There is obviously a lot of pride in seeing the outcome of this race. The whole team behaved very well. However, the wind made the beginning of the race very complex and we had to work hard to get through the wind without any trouble. We found ourselves with four runners in the group of 30 runners who were in the lead. It is this overcrowding that allowed 'Antho' to try his luck. To be able to hold on for 38 km alone in the lead is quite a feat, a great performance! The team did a great job and this is their reward. We can see that the group works well, that the team is competitive on all fronts, that there is a good dynamic. It pulls up and bodes well for the future!"