Ben O’Connor: I’m still going to be exactly the same bloke after this Tour de France

Ben O’Connor (AG2R-Citroën) during stage 18 at the Tour de France
Ben O’Connor (AG2R-Citroën) during stage 18 at the Tour de France (Image credit: Getty Images)

Ben O’Connor’s Tour de France debut was already a success from the moment he took flight on a damp, drizzly afternoon at Tignes to win stage 9, but the Australian might draw even greater satisfaction from the way he has battled to maintain a place in the upper reaches of the general classification in the final week.

Following a sparkling display on the Col du Portet on Wednesday, a tired O’Connor was a little more laboured at Luz Ardiden on stage 18, but the fruits of his afternoon’s work were roughly similar. Indeed, with Rigoberto Uràn falling by the wayside on the Col du Tourmalet, the AG2R-Citroën rider has moved up another place to 4th overall, 8:18 behind yellow jersey Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates).

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Barry Ryan
Head of Features

Barry Ryan is Head of Features at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation, published by Gill Books.