04 February 2022

Etoile de Bessèges (stage 2) : Connor Swift 7th

The British rider took 7th place in the second stage of the Etoile de Bessèges (Saint-Christol-les-Alès – Rousson). Photo Fred Machabert

“It was a nice stage, less stressful than yesterday’s in the wind with the curbs. We were able to recover a little from our efforts of the day before, and in the last fifty kilometers it went faster and faster. The Arkéa-Samsic team did another good job. I had a lot of speed coming into the final climb. I tried to keep it up until the finish line. But it was probably a couple of hundred meters too much for me. In any case I am in good shape and I am happy with my condition at the beginning of the season, which I know will improve. I’m happy with the legs I have right before the classics campaign.”

Yvon Caër

Yvon Caër (Sports director) : “Team Arkéa-Samsic got back into the mix well, just when it was appropriate to do so. The road was very wide. This finish was a bit difficult for Hugo. We knew that, but as he was in 2nd place overall this morning we had to allow him to defend his chances. Connor has speed, he wants to attack the foot of the hill quickly for him, compared to the others. So he approached this climb as he saw fit, because that way he doesn’t lose time on this hyper-punishing finish. The strategy was the right one for him, now he is in the right place for the general classification while waiting for Saturday’s stage at Mont Bouquet which will be more important than the time trial in my opinion. Tomorrow, I think that some teams will try to dynamize the race, which will be controlled and hard, that can leave traces in the organisms. So we will make sure, as we have since the start, to be vigilant.”