Rider reactions: 2018 Tour de France

Sun 29 Jul 2018

The Tour de France is over for another year. We spoke with our seven finishing riders on their thoughts on the three-weeks of racing:

Jack Bauer:
“In my mind, stage three goes down as the most memorable day of the Tour. It was a big target of mine, we’d had a big crash the day before but we rose to the challenge and only lost by nine seconds. We were all really satisfied with that ride.

“In the second half of the race we were looking for stages, stacking the break and a couple of times we really came close.

“In summary, it’s been a Tour of close calls. But it’s a measure of a good team to pick yourself up every 24hours, re-motivate, re-calibrate and start again and that is what we have been so successful in doing this year.

“We haven’t had a win, but you wouldn’t know that at the dinner table or in the bus. We’re happy to be here, we’re happy to be teammates and barring a win or two we’ve enjoyed our Tour de France.”

Luke Durbridge:
“Well, another lap of France is done. Personally, I have had a few ups and downs from crashing, to nearly missing the time cut and then going up the road in a break. 

“The team didn’t have the Tour de France we dreamed of, but that’s professional sport. Things didn’t go our way, but not from a lack of trying.  The commitment from all the staff and riders was 100%. This can only give us more fire in the belly for next year.

“Today, I enjoyed one of the best feelings on a bike… rolling onto the Champs with my team. I’m looking forward to hanging out with my friends and family tomorrow, and a sleep in my own bed.”

Mathew Hayman:
“We came into the Tour de France with big ambitions. We really wanted to get a podium and we were upfront and confident we could do that, and there was no reason that we couldn’t. 

“The first nine days was big pressure for me personally to guide Adam. On day one we lost 50seconds and I thought it was the end of the world then, but we got to day nine and he was still in contention so from my point of view I felt like we ticked that box.

“We’ve had a good three weeks, we raced every day, and there’s no sad faces in this bus.  We would have loved a stage win, we have to be honest, so from that perspective is disappointing, but I’m pretty proud of the boys for the way we turned it around after we recalibrated and changed focus.”

Michael Hepburn:
“I was really excited to come to the Tour de France after a few years racing the Giro d’Italia. I’d heard a lot from my teammates how different this race is and how it’s the pinnacle of the sport. Whist all the Grand Tours are as hard as each other, I think this one is something special. The media following, the support from home in Australia, it’s just on a different level. 

“We had a really good Tour. With a little bit of luck we could have had a few stage wins -obviously with Adam’s crash, Mikel getting caught on the line and the team time trial just a few seconds off the win.

“I think we can take a lot of positives from the Tour this year. We had a great group of guys and staff, and although it didn’t quite pay off I think we can be quite proud of the effort we gave.” 

Daryl Impey:
“The Tour for me was really a roller coaster. The team and I came in with the some big and achievable objectives but we we’re pretty unlucky this year. The crashes between us all made it tough and it seemed that on the days we targeted, it really didn’t go our way. 

“It was a bit frustrating but it was great to always be around motivated staff and riders. We never gave up! We kept trying all the way and we wanted to win something here.

“It’s sport in general, you can’t have the rainbow without the rain. We have had a lot of success this year, it’s just unfortunate that it seemed to rain on us all Tour even though it was the warmest Tour I have done.

“It is still special and an achievement rolling into Paris with the team and deep down I’m proud of everything we did, even though the results don’t reflect it. 

“I’m super proud and stoked for Geraint to win his first TDF too as he is a good mate of mine.”

Mikel Nieve:
“It’s been a bit different than I had the last couple of years at the Tour de France, but it’s been good to learn how the team works and how we want to work in the future. 

“It’s been a Tour in the two parts. The first part the big boys worked really well saving Adam and we arrived to the mountains in really good position. 

“Sometimes you don’t have the results you want but with a bit more luck we could have had two or three stage wins. 

“We worked well, we gave everything we had. sometimes the results are not as you expect, but the way that we worked is the correct way and we have to try to continue to work like this. The results, after, will come.”

Adam Yates:
“It’s something pretty special to finish any Grand Tour. 

“This one didn’t go to plan but it’s been a good lesson and one that we can take to future races and future Tours. You can make small mistakes and they have big consequences. We just have to learn from it. 

We had some bad luck and I made some mistakes here and there but in the future we know and we can change things.”

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.