By Brecht Decaluwé in Montélimar
Sylvain Chavanel is known for his attacks, this year we had to wait until stage 13 before he got into a successful escape. Unfortunately, the French rider couldn't finish the work in Montélimar. "There are still some chances to come, so why not try again tomorrow? That should be possible as we didn't ride that fast today, so I must have enough energy left."
The advantage of almost thirty minutes must have felt quite exceptional. "We also had such an advantage a few years ago but that was with a big group. With the five of us, it felt different."
The big time gap between the escape and the peloton also lifted Chavanel towards a top-20 spot in the GC. "I really didn't think about my GC (laughs), I was only focused on the stage win today. I don't know what to say; I'm really very disappointed. I'll try again... but [my new placing on GC] will prevent me from being able to escape again. I've been trying and trying for years now... I always enjoy hearing my name on the roadside. These fans aren't only there in my hours of glory, but also in difficult moments. I hope that my son, who is one and a half years old, saw me on television and cheered me on!
In the finale, he said, "I didn't want to be the first to attack. Grivko tried as first and he lost it." Afterwards the French rider tried himself but was caught by Quinziato. The Italian rider brought everybody, except for Grivko, back together. With ten kilometres to go, the Lampre rider tried it again. "When Quinziato attacked I still didn't panic and let him ride."
Pereiro attacked for the first time with five kilometres to go, followed by Voigt. Chavanel couldn't react to that acceleration, and accepted it. "Voigt and Pereiro Sio managed to get away in the end, so they must have been the strongest riders in the group."