Without any tears Jumbo-Visma, with Primoz Roglic still in yellow, came through the 18th stage of the Tour.
Wout van Aert was happy that the mountains are largely behind him in the Tour de France. “I’m totally done with it”, said the Belgian top rider of the Dutch team Jumbo-Visma against the CCeit. He was well broken as well. “I don’t think there are any big things to expect from me in the next few days. But that’s how I usually think about it shortly after a stage”, said Van Aert.
There was satisfaction among the Belgian, who had already won two stages. “Sometimes I had a hard time today, but I managed to come back again and again. That gives me third place, that’s good. It wasn’t the most difficult sprint, but it was a nice job to get into this position”
Jumbo-Visma had certainly fulfilled the most important task. Van Aert: “Primoz Roglic managed to maintain his lead in the general classification. That is the most important thing. That’s our most important task on Friday
“It was hard work,” said Sepp Kuss, one of Roglic’s servants, after the last Alpine ride. “I had to suffer a lot to stay close to the top riders. It was a tough fight at the top and on the gravel“, the American analyzed the 18th stage.
“It was a good day for us“, he continued. “We could defend comfortably. It was a perfect race that we controlled well. We knew there would be attacks on the final climb, but we had it well under control” Kuss was happy that his team made it through the Alpine stages unscathed. “There was never any doubt,” Kuss said. “We have always remained focused, but it takes a lot of energy mentally to get through those weeks
After the final climb on the descent the riders had to deal with a separate surface: gravel. “I liked that, something completely different,” said Kuss, who commented. “It was a bit complicated in the last mountain stage. You don’t know whether you will have bad luck or luck. It’s nice that gravel, especially during training, but just a bit less fun if you don’t have any luck during the ride itself”
With two stages to go Roglic has a 57 second lead over his first attacker Tadej Pogacar. The Jumbo-Visma rider showed self-confidence and believes in a positive and good result for his team mate. “The time difference is big and we are happy with that, we have confidence in Roglic and the time trial
“On the last climb, the ground said ‘Paris 300km’, I thought I could still do that. I emptied myself and now I am tired“, laughed Robert Gesink.
The Dutchman from Jumbo-Visma is satisfied with the course of the last Alpine ride. “It went well today“, said Gesink. “Primoz is in good shape. He is a good guy and is grateful. A few more days of raking and then we will be in Paris“
Gesink: “Only good news today. The most important thing is that Primoz is in yellow. He will have to fight hard for it in the time trial, that will be a tough day. But we are in good shape