Jèrèmy Roy may have been very disappointed for not having scored a stage victory in this year's Tour de France despite getting into six different attacks throughout the race, but the FDJ rider has been honoured as the most aggressive rider on the podium in Paris on Sunday.
An official jury voted in favour of the Frenchman, who spent more than 700 kilometres in front this year. "I'm proud and happy to get this prize," Roy tweeted when the news came out. "It suits me well."
Earlier on Saturday, Cyclingnews caught up with the Frenchman who said he was very happy with his Tour even without knowing of the honour. "I did a lot of breakways, including two beautiful days in the Pyrenees which I hadn't expected at all. I wore the polka dot jersey for a day, which was absolutely fabulous. I hadn't even dreamed about something like that. The support of the public and the media was incredible - I will always keep this as a great memory," he said.
Roy had been on the escape since day one to the Mont des Alouettes, then repeated in stage four to Mur-de-Bretagne, stage five to Cap Frèhel, stage 13 to Lourdes where he finished third, stage 14 to Plateau de Beille and then again in stage 16 to Gap, where he finished seventh.
The 28-year-old still had "a little bit of regret" about the lost opportunity in Lourdes, where he got caught by Thor Hushovd (Garmin) and David Moncoutiè (Cofidis) in the final kilometres after having been out front the whole day. "But I'll try to keep only the good memories," he shrugged.
Roy succeeds his fellow countryman Sylvain Chavanel in the honours of most aggressive rider. The Quick Step rider took the prize on two occasions: last year and in 2008. Asked whether his riding style compared to Chavanel's, Roy partially agreed.
"I don't compare to anyone except myself," he smiled. "But yes, I think my characteristics as a rider are similar to Chavanel's. He also likes to get into crazy breakaways like me, even in the mountains although he is not really a climber. I like that."
Asked about his future plans, the 28-year-old didn't reveal any particular goals. "I just want to win races, take pleasure racing and getting on the attack."
All in all, it has been a very good Tour not only for Roy but also for other young French riders. "It's great to see all the French talent going out there and showing themselves," he commented. "It was amazing to see Pierre Rolland win on Alpe d'Huez, he confirmed his talent and his abilities as a climber which we saw before he became a pro. Coppel and Jeannesson are also in the top 20 of the classification, so the young French riders are really breaking through. Perhaps there will be a future Tour de France winner amongst them!"
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