"Nobody is happy about that" - Wout van Aert unhappy with day without action at Tour de France

Wout van Aert is far from a pure bunch sprinter but he has been giving it a go in the flat finales of the Tour de France so far. Today he was not overly far from victory, but laments the lack of attempts from anyone in the peloton to make the race hard.

"It was a very easy stage, but I felt okay. It is a shame that such a stage is still in between, because nobody is happy about that, I think," van Aert said in a post-race interivew. As a rider who is looking to improve his form, he was hoping for some more efforts on the tenth day of racing, but no-one even dared to form a breakaway on the day and the peloton rode at a constant speed throughout the entire day. Only the fear of splits raised the average speed to a normal level.

It is a very unusual situation where it appears that in this Tour, less and less are riders willing to attack in the early hours of the race. Obviously chances will always be low of succeeding, but even a few non-World Tour outfits don't take the opportunity for the massive TV exposure, combativity award and respective trip to the podium, and other benefits that come with taking the risk. "It starts with the riders who have to believe in it, I think. If you are riding in front and you survive the echelons section, then you effectively have a chance. But there are no teams that can or want to try that;" the Belgian accesses.

Van Aert doesn't stand many chances in a pure bunch sprint, and wished that the race would've split. With 60 kilometers to go there was a tense moment but it didn't lead to the peloton losing riders and the pace slowed back down. "There was a chance of a echelons, but crazy things happen with guys who attack and then drop back down again. While it is a big race, I would really like to have the freedom to try something. I focus on my sprint and of course they won't let me go, but there are enough teams that can do something else? Besides the sprinters' teams and the classification riders"

In the final sprint, the Team Visma | Lease a Bike rider was definitely under the radar this time around, and sprinted to a fourth place on the road - his best result in a bunch sprint so far this race. "Third place was definitely possible, but I'm happy with it. When I came out of the first bend I let myself do too much and a few guys slipped in front of me, which caused me to lose a few places in that second bend. That was a shame, because Christophe Laporte did a really good job there. He could have launched me as well, so that's a shame."

It was another day of shooting for a win, but he rues what he believes to be " a missed opportunity. If I could have sprinted next to Philipsen, then you really know who is the fastest. Now he is the one who is brought and then it is impossible to make up for it."

Place comments



More comments

You are currently seeing only the comments you are notified about, if you want to see all comments from this post, click the button below.

Show all comments