First hills of Tour's stage 7 reassure the Breton rider
Christophe Le Mével attacked from the group of the favourites towards the top of the last climb to Les Rousses during stage 7 of the Tour de France. He was caught with 500 metres to go, but feels like he's back on track despite the heat and the injuries he sustained in stage 2.
"This was another hard stage because of the heat," Le Mével said as he dismounted his bike while standing on melting asphalt. "Since the climb was almost over, I decided to try something. I didn't succeed, I hope I'll make it next time."
"Earlier in the race, I didn't have good legs," the Breton rider from FDJ said. "The heat was difficult to handle. That was our number one enemy. This stage was harder than we thought. It was supposed to be a leg-loosener, but it was much more than that. I was afraid of what could happen in the last climb but I felt better and better, which is a good sign for the coming days."
"If it's hot again, it's going to be very hard tomorrow," Le Mével said. He's currently 22nd on the GC and the second Frenchman at 3:58 behind his compatriot and race leader Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step).
Considering that he only regained contact with the peloton 100 meters before the finish line in Spa on stage two, his placing is a bit of a miracle. His teammate and roommate Wesley Sulzberger had saved him from losing a lot of time in stage 2.
Le Mével was the only Française des Jeux rider in the front group on the way up to Les Rousses. As co-captain Sandy Casar was cruising two minutes behind. The French team appears to be focused on the GC this year rather than on sending riders in promotional breakaways with no effect on GC.
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