By Jean-François Quénet in Morzine
In just a few days of glory, Cyril Dessel has become the most encouraged rider of the Tour de France. The public has recognized in him the incarnation of good old cycling courage. But he had to step down on the Joux-Plane, going from 4th to 7th place on GC. However he might become even more popular for crashing on the downhill, though.
"I took the corner too wide," he admitted. "And I went into the grass. It may have been spectacular but I wasn't hurt at all. I'm more disappointed because I lost around about thirty seconds. That might cost me a lot in the time trial."
His position on GC is even threatened by Christophe Moreau, his companion at AG2R who rode as a domestique for him the day before but didn't wait this time. "This is normal," Dessel stated. "I've got nothing bad to say about that. He had good legs, it was a big war in the climb, he was right to go. I was missing a little bit of strength."
He was still smiling at the finish though. This is his nature. He's a friendly and usually happy man. "What happened today isn't a drama. I'm not targeting the honorary title of first Frenchman anyway. For me, making the top 10 of the Tour de France is an enormous result. Now I can truly hope for it."