Published on : 07/12/2023
Fourth bunch sprint and fourth top 10 finish for Bryan Coquard. The "Coq" crossed the line in 4th place this Wednesday in Moulins, consolidating his 2nd place in the green jersey rankings. Tomorrow, the road rises again on the Grande-Boucle.
Television viewers may grumble a little when they learn that this is a "transition stage". The riders a little less so after the previous day's stage, in the middle of a heat wave, and in the face of a totally unbridled scenario. After enjoying a new crowd at the start in Clermont-Ferrand this morning, the peloton headed for Moulins. The 180 km route between Puy-de-Dôme and Allier included a bunch sprint.
Coquard, true to form
Bryan Coquard made his presence felt in the intermediate sprint, taking 5th place just behind Jasper Philipsen. A little later, in the final pack, he had to work hard to get back to the front. Bryan managed to sneak in and take 4th place. This is his 4th top-10 finish since the start of the Tour, after Nogaro (4th), Bordeaux (8th) and Limoges (6th). The "Coq" also consolidates his 2nd place in the best sprinter classification (178 pts) behind the day's winner, Jasper Philipsen (323 pts).
As no two days are the same on the Tour's roads, tomorrow's stage promises to be far more exciting. Between Roanne and Belleville-en-Beaujolais, there's no question of dwelling on the vineyards as far as the eye can see. The stage promises to be breathtaking and hotly contested, with the possibility of a breakaway going all the way. The five difficulties on the programme (three of which are 3rd category) are ideal for this scenario. After Anthony Perez, who tried his luck yesterday, the Cofidis riders will be keen to make their colors shine.
Bryan Coquard (4th): "It was a rather complicated sprint for me, but I still finished 4th. Obviously, you come to do better, but that's part of the sport. We were outclassed here! Alexis got away from me at 700 meters and then I tried to get through the mouseholes. Given the position I was in going into the last kilometer, it's still a good result!"
Bingen Fernandez, sports director: "It was a nice transition stage, with rain at the end of the course. Jasper Philipsen is incredible: he manages to put the ball in the net every time. He's to be congratulated on his performance since the start of the Tour de France. For our part, we were slightly behind in the final pack. Bryan managed to sign a fine place of honour by finishing 4th, and we can be delighted about that.