Stage Success for Team Sunweb
Team Sunweb powered to victory on stage 13 of the 2017 Tour de France today, with Warren Barguil (FRA) winning the sprint from the breakaway group, a phenomenal victory on Bastille Day.
Throughout the Tour de France’s thirteen stages Team Sunweb remained calm and focused on the plan, which today led to stage success with Barguil storming to take a historical victory.
“This is an incredible victory to take, it hasn’t sunk in properly yet,” explained a euphoric Barguil. “We were close already on Sunday, but we kept our confidence and chosed an offensive strategy from the beginning today. After I made it up the first climb I knew that I wasn’t going to give up. Before I knew it I was at 800 metres to go looking at the other guys and I knew who would attack and when and I used that to my advantage as a lead-out for my sprint. I’ve been so close to the win quite a few times now so to have the winning feeling back today is incredible. Of course a victory on Bastille day makes this even more special.”
Team Sunweb’s Tour de France coach Aike Visbeek (NED) added: “We believed in the team’s ability to take a stage victory at the Tour and everybody has remained committed to that goal so it’s great that all of our hard work has paid off. Our aim today was for Warren to ride offensively both for the stage win and to defend his KOM jersey. He remained motivated and calm going into the final, pacing everything to perfection. This victory is great for the team morale and a well deserved win after some challenging days in the mountains.”
Bardet holds onto 3rd in the G.C.
Romain Bardet finished 11th on the stage today to stay at 3rd in the general classification, 25″ back from race leader Fabio Aru.
“It was a very tactical stage, more than physically challenging, and there were a lot guys marking each other, especially the guys high up on the GC, said Bardet after the stage. “It’s a shame that there is so much careful calculating going on in the middle of the second week. There is still a lot of the race to go, and we opened the door again to riders that we had already managed to distance, so I hope we won’t be biting our fingers in Paris.
“Personally, I felt very good, but it will be difficult to find any freedom now. And besides that, this final was not conducive to attacks. I just had to follow all day. It was a great race with real champions like Quintana and Contador, who have had their pride hurt a little these last few days. So they fought to come back into the game, as well as Landa, who is going to be very dangerous now. Behind, there was a lot of marking going on. It is a bit of a shame, but it should make the race even more exciting.”
Valuable Seconds for Yates
Youth classification leader Simon Yates finished fifth and stole valuable seconds in the stage.
After losing touch slightly on the final climb, Yates re-joined the yellow jersey group on the descent and attacked in the final to finish alongside Dan Martin (Quickstep Floors), 1 minute, 39 seconds down on Barguil.
“I enjoy days like today where you can really get stuck in and give it a go,” Yates said at the finish. “It was a short stage, very aggressive and I’m sure it was exciting to watch. Yesterday was more about survival because it was such a long day and you really have to worry about a lot of things and saving the legs.”
“I felt OK today, I wasn’t super on the final climb but I managed to get back and then it was a heap of games between the guys down the descent in the last 30km.
“I managed to sneak away, catch Dan (Martin) and we worked well to the finish. We put a little bit of time into some guys, it was only a few seconds in the end but everything helps.”
Sagan Goes to Poland
After his disqualification from the Tour de France, Peter Sagan is not wasting any time getting back on the saddle. The Czech rider will return to the Tour of Poland for the first time since winning the race in 2011.
“Although six years have passed since my last participation at the Tour de Pologne, I will never forget how I felt in 2011 when I stood on the final podium in Krakow with the yellow jersey,” said Sagan. “It was my first overall victory in a major stage race and one of my best moments as a young rider. I’m happy to announce that I will be back for the 2017 edition and I look forward to an exciting week of racing in Poland. See you in Krakow in two weeks.”
“I am happy to have Peter Sagan with us once again on the roads of the Tour de Pologne. It’s an honor to have the World Champion jersey here in the pack. All the fans still have an indelible memory of Peter’s great victory here in Poland in 2011; it was a thrilling edition full of surprises all the way to the final metre, with Marcel Kittel’s victories in the sprints and the battle between Peter Sagan and Daniel Martin for the yellow jersey. All these riders have become major champions, confirming the role that the Tour de Pologne plays in highlighting young talent and helping them emerge. I’m sure that this year, too, with his participation Sagan will contribute to making the race even more compelling and spectacular,” says the general director for the Tour de Pologne, Czeslaw Lang.