Tour de France. What is the recipe for a good escape? – Tour de France



Sylvain Chavanel, Tony Gallopin and Lennard Kämna: each of them has already had success in the Grande Boucle, like Bob Jungels on Sunday. Although the German Kämna, almost a second victory on Friday, is only 25 years old, Tony Gallopin has already awarded him his specialist diploma: “As soon as he is there, he plays for the victory. »

course dissection

The beginning of the Tour de France is not conducive to the races, which generally intervene once the gaps have been created, “with everyone’s state of fatigue”, explains the retired Sylvain Chavanel. “The profile also counts, of course, it is preferable that it is mountainous”, says the winner of the triple stage in the Grande Boucle.

“When the stage is flat, it’s a lottery”, develops Tony Gallopin, winner at Oyonnax in 2014. “You have to catch the right wave and therefore success. However, we must not be too selective, according to Kämna, caught less than 200 meters from the finish in the Super Planche des Belles Filles. “I do not choose a particular stage. It happened to me at the Giro, I really wanted to be in the breakaway because it seemed like the perfect day. I missed it because I was too active before the right move.”

Multiplication of experiences

The correct movement cannot be predicted, according to Kämna. “You can not feel that it is time, it is different every time. You have to try a lot. I also miss many shots that I would like to be in, he assures. Except that there is no one to see it. »

One of his greatest successes, on Etna in May at the Giro, is the result of chance. “I hadn’t planned on being in the breakaway. So it happened, the opportunity presented itself.” Even if luck can be provoked, Sylvain Chavanel slips. “If we guess interested riders and get along with them, we argue. There are small fixes, codes.”

Collective intelligence

The fate of the fugitives is largely due to the composition of the group. “Everyone has to be motivated,” insists Kämna. To play to win, there is no place for commercial breaks or riders present following instructions and to have the peace of mind of your sports director.

Among the chosen companions, he spontaneously cites “Kaspy” Asgreen, “a nice guy”. “When I see him on the run I’m always happy”, he says of the Dane who accompanied him. during the seventh stage. “There are always crafty riders, whom we know, and there are others with whom we like to ride, summarizes Gallopin. The main thing is to get along. Once we get to the final and the win is decided, it’s different, it becomes tactical.”

Low target sample

The number of victorious breakaways has skyrocketed in recent years – eight on average over the last three editions – under the influence of a route designer, Thierry Gouvenou, who assumes “not to do too many sprints”. However, the window remains narrow, with a multitude of parameters having to be matched.

“In 18 Tour de France I only have three victories, recalls Sylvain Chavanel. The target is very small. When you know the breakaway is going all the way, you absolutely have to score. Without there being a secret. “There is pressure but you have to stay calm”, describes “Mimosa”.

Kämna has no more recipe than the retired Chavanel. “I look at how other people look and try to find where I can separate myself from them,” he explains. But above all, never underestimate your opponents. This is my mantra.”

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