After a tough spell through the Pyrenees, the peloton has arrived at the much-needed second rest day at the Tour de France on Monday in Nîmes. The riders took an opportunity to get out for an easy spin and met the press to talk about what they expect in the final week of the race.
Deceuninck-QuickStep's overall leader Julian Alaphilippe was on hand to speak about his performances during the first two weeks, along with his anticipation of a challenging final week in the Alps before reaching the Champs-Élysées in Paris on Sunday. While he was chatting about his dream of winning this Tour de France, his teammates such as Elia Viviani were out enjoying a ride in the warm temperatures.
Movistar's trio of Nairo Quintana, Mikel Landa and world champion Alejandro Valverde, held three separate press conferences. Tensions arose between them when Quintana fell off pace on the Col du Tourmalet at the end of stage 14 on Saturday, particularly after his team spent considerable effort setting a blistering pace on his behalf. It seems there may have been some miscommunication, as Quintana says he notified his team that he was having difficulty before the final climb.
Team Ineos also enjoyed a team ride around Nîmes, while co-leaders Geraint Thomas (defending champion) and Egan Bernal also spent time speaking with the press about their prospects for the third week of the Tour.
Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), who won the stage on top of the Tourmalet, has repositioned himself just 1:50 behind Alaphilippe heading into the last week. He will be kicking himself for losing 1:40 on a flat, crosswind stage during stage 10. But he has shown the motivation and the strength to make up for that loss and has moved himself back up into contention for the yellow jersey.
Teams that did not have as many media obligations, such as Wanty-Gobert Cycling, enjoyed an easy spin and a splash on the pool on the second rest day at the Tour de France.
Click through the gallery above to view images from the team rides and press conferences in Nîmes.
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