The aggressive FDJ rider has suffered punctures, crashes, illness and felt the weight of French expectations on his shoulders during every stage of the race after finishing third overall last year. He endured a rollercoaster race but managed to fight back and end his Tour on a high on cycling’s most famous mountain finish.
“I wanted to get to Paris with no regrets and I’ve done that now by winning. Now I can celebrate and hold my head high,” he said after his win.
"It’s my third win of 2015 and my third mountain top finish after also winning in Romandie and the Tour de Suisse. I’m proud of that and think it shows the kind of rider I am.
“We had a lot of trouble in the first week, but we knew that we were going to fight until the end and I feel that we deserve this victory, and it’s great for the team. We had a tough race losing William Bonnet and then Steve Morabito. It took us time to overcome the shock of William’s nasty crash. I’ve also been sick and had a mechanical on the cobbles. My morale was pretty low after the first four or five days but managed to focus again thanks to a good atmosphere in the team. I need a friendly atmosphere in the team to perform, and we had that at FDJ.”
Bardet has competed against his general classification rivals but also against his fellow Frenchmen Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin) and especially Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale), who won the mountain stage on Friday to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne.