17 October 2021

Laurent Pichon: "I didn't let go of anything”

Laurent Pichon had a great race, but after a mechanical problem and a last minute start, he made a “remontada” on the Circuit de l’Aulne to get a 4th place that leaves some regrets.


Photo GettyImages

On the line


“4th is OK, but when I think about all the efforts made during the day I can’t help thinking that it could have been better! It’s a good result, my best place of the year, but I didn’t come for this, I had set myself the goal of this race, and unfortunately, the race didn’t go as I wanted. A group of 26 riders broke away from the peloton on the descent and I was not in the group. I wanted to keep my strength and after 50-60 km, I came out with a counter. We come back within reach of the group of 26, but then I have a mechanical problem. My chain got stuck between the frame and the cassette and I could not pedal anymore. I don’t panic, and I start the last one of the race almost. And from there I started my “remontada”, two minutes late. I catch up with the group that had broken away. I gave a lot to come back on them and I already made a good effort. I have done a lap with them and I come out three from the finish in another group of counter riders. We made the junction at the bell, and I was playing for the win. I thought I would be dry, of course, but I didn’t let go. I was counting on TotalEnergie and Unox, who were outnumbered, to sacrifice themselves to come back to De Wulf. In the sprint I don’t make any mistakes. Unox comes out, I take his wheel and dislodge him. I miss ten meters because just before the line, Madouas jumps me and on the line, it is Burgaudeau. So I am legitimately frustrated because I could have done better, without any pretension, if I don’t have to make all these efforts, I think that today I was among the riders who had the legs to be able to play for the win. But that is sport.

I honestly thought about giving up halfway through the race, but I didn’t give up and I did well because I got back into the race as the laps went by. The encouragement of my family friends who pushed me on made it possible for me to get this result. I would also like to thank my team-mates for their help. I remember this sentence from Élie Gesbert when I got back on the bus. “There you go, Mr. Don’t give up, who deserves his nickname more than ever”. And to hear that makes me happy”.