Published on : 07/16/2023
Like yesterday, the leader of the Normandy outfit was part of the day's breakaway. After taking 7th place on the stage, he is now in the top 10 for the 1st time this year (10th), on the eve of a well-deserved rest day.
Another high-flying stage. Another high-altitude stage, pushing back fatigue and giving it everything. This final stage of week 2 was just like the rest of the Tour de France: fast-paced and relentless, even in the face of a succession of difficulties. And, as has been the case since the start of the Grande Boucle, the Cofidis riders showed what they were made of.
Martin, bis répétita at the front
Ion Izagirre and Guillaume Martin were part of the day's breakaway, which included some twenty strong riders. The former won four days ago, and is proving that he still has the energy to get to the front. And then there's Guillaume Martin, who is patiently closing in on the "top 10" overall. Despite having worked hard right up to the finish yesterday, he did it again on Sunday, switching places with the frontrunners on the Col de la Croix Fry and then at the top of the Aravis.
On the final climb, the "Normand" native kept pace with the leaders. He crossed the line in 7th place, 3 min 32 sec behind the day's winner. In the overall standings, Guillaume continued his ascent. After gaining two places yesterday, he regained two today. The team leader is in the top 10 for the first time. In tenth place, he is 14 min 18 sec behind the yellow jersey and 11 seconds behind the ninth-placed rider.
Tomorrow, the peloton will take a break. A day to breathe, rest and recuperate after this crazy week. Then it's time to look ahead to the final week of competition. With a head full of dreams and the desire to relive the joy of victory. And the certainty, acquired with Victor Lafay and Ion Izagirre, that nothing is impossible.
Guillaume Martin: "At the start of the race I wasn't feeling great, I still had a bit of yesterday's stage in my legs. I'd given a lot, so I tried to be intelligent so as not to use up too much strength and get into the breakaway in the best possible way. It was a great breakaway, with Ion along for the ride. After that, things got better and better as the stage went on, and we were lucky enough to have a nice advantage over yesterday. I realized quite quickly that I didn't have the legs to win the stage, so I concentrated on making up ground in the general standings."
Cédric Vasseur, sports manager: "Guillaume was there, and we know that his strength lies in endurance and stamina. Today, he showed his intelligence by using the same strategy as yesterday and the one that's been working for several years, i.e. to slip into the breakaway. He was heroic because it was difficult to compete with Wout Poels and Wout Van Aert. In the end, he finished in a fine 7th place and, above all, he made another great leap forward in the overall standings by breaking into the top 10 this evening, which was one of our objectives. Now there's a week's racing left, and we're going to have to get to grips with the time trial on Tuesday. We can still count on Guillaume to get into the breakaways on stage 17 in particular, with the finish in Courchevel and then on the Markstein on stage 20. Guillaume's objective for this week is to continue to lead the way he did today, with perhaps in the back of his mind the desire to try and win a stage.