Published on : 07/19/2023
In a particularly exhausting stage, the leader of the Cofidis team struggled to stay in the places of honor in the overall classification. Present on the day's stage, he finished 14th, thus retaining his 11th place overall.
There aren't really any superlatives that still make sense when you've been plying the roads of France for more than two weeks, and when you've had to climb cols without counting the miles. The stage between Saint-Gervais-Mont Blanc and Courchevel was a cause for apprehension before it was even contested, and it lived up to its reputation. Two first-category passes, one 2nd-category pass and the dreaded Col de Loze: it took energy and enthusiasm to withstand this discharge of effort.
Guillaume, to the end of himself
The race became hectic from the very first kilometers. True to form, the Cofidis riders were among the day's leaders. Victor Lafay was among the first to break away. On the Col des Saisies, Guillaume Martin counter-attacked and joined him. A regroup took place before the climb to Cormet de Roselend with 33 riders, including the Norman. The gap then climbed above 3 minutes.
Then it was time to climb the Col de la Loze, with its 17% gradient. Guillaume hung in with the frontrunners for a long time before continuing the climb at his own pace. He crossed the finish line in 14th place, 4 min 47 sec behind the day's winner. Overall, Guillaume remains in 11th place, 22 min 53 sec behind the yellow jersey.
Tomorrow, the climbers can take a breather. The 184.9 km stage from Moûtiers to Bourg-en-Bresse has no major difficulties. It's a day that could prove favourable to sprinters, including Bryan Coquard, who has managed to preserve his energy over the last few days in order to be at the top of his game. And a chance to shine at tomorrow's finish line.
Guillaume Martin: "Today it was all down to my leg. I was in the right frame of mind, attacking for the fourth time in the Tour. It wasn't necessarily the plan at first, I was more interested in having a day on hold, but when I saw the move go, my nature took over and I made the effort to get back to the front. It cost me a lot of energy, but maybe that's what I'm paying for in the end. But I'm happy to have tried, to have been an actor again. The Tour isn't over yet, there's still an opportunity for me on Saturday and I'm going to keep giving it my all."