“The podium will be complicated”, dashed hopes of David Gaudu

“The Tour is still very long. The Alps will be decisive. » Leaving the Pyrenees on the evening of the 6thAnd stage, David Gaudu made an appointment shortly after to take stock of his start to the Tour de France. Sunday 16 July, after the first two alpine days, mass is said: 9And 8 min 46 from the third place of the Spanish Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos-Grenadiers), the Breton is already out of the fight for the top 3.

“Aiming for the podium won’t be an easy task, but I have to be the best of the outsiders”, he warned, however, before the great departure from Bilbao (Spain), keeping Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) and Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) away from his reflection. His second place at Paris-Nice in March, behind the Slovenian but ahead of the Dane, had nurtured legitimate ambitions just a few months away from fourth place in the 2022 Tour. Penalties (30And in the general classification, 25 min 49 behind the winner, Jonas Vingegaard). “We have more or less found the reason, we will necessarily keep it to ourselves”he said during his prep test in early June to explain his setbacks.

His efforts to help Valentin Madouas win the French champion title on June 25 had it “reassured”, in his own words. Except that the first two weeks of the Tour seemed to bring out David Gaudu’s flaws, at least to hope to compete with his direct opponents, i.e. those not called Jonas Vingegaard or Tadej Pogacar.

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In a fight during the first Pyrenean stage in Laruns, since then he has continuously lost time on his opponents: in Cauterets-Cambasque (Hautes-Pyrénées), at the puy de Dôme, at the Grand Colombier (Ain), despite having avoided the worst on the explosive stage between Vulcania and Issoire (Puy-de-Dôme). However, on Saturday the rubber band ended up breaking on the slopes of the Col de Joux Plane (11.6km at 8.5%), definitively burying his hopes of participating in the Paris Protocol on 23 July.

“We know that the podium will be complicated. We have to stay clear, he admitted after arriving in Grand-Colombier where he finished forty seconds behind Australian Jai Hindley, first of the outsiders on the 13And stage. The goal of the beginning will be very difficult to achieve. We had hope and it was no joke to announce what we had announced. »

“A stage win would be nice”

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