14 July 2021

Élie Gesbert: "This stage was a lock”

Élie Gesbert and Nairo Quintana tried to break away behind the breakaway group on the climb of the Val Louron-Azet pass, but the general classification riders never let them get away.


Photo GettyImages

On the line…



“When I accelerate at the foot of Val Louron-Azet with Nairo in my wheel, our objective is to try to catch the breakaway group so that he can score the most points for the mountain classification. But Pogacar had ticked this stage. He has good legs and his goal was to win a stage with the yellow jersey. And he managed to do that.  In fact, it locked up the race and aborted our attempt at a counter”.

“I rode at the front of the peloton on the flat part of this stage so that the gap didn’t go beyond eight minutes before the first climb. That was the minimum gap we needed to have between us and the front men, so I set the tempo so that the time didn’t increase or even start to decrease. That was my mission today and Elijah had to accompany Nairo in the passes. All three of us gave it our all”.

Yvon Ledanois, Sport-director

“We took our responsibilities to try and score as many points as possible in the best climber classification of the Tour, and I would like to pay tribute to the work done by Connor, and then Elijah, but unfortunately today Nairo didn’t have the legs to keep up with the strongest riders in the race”.