Team LottoNL-Jumbo took a back step to think about a second stage win in the closing three days.
“We wanted to spend as little energy as possible so we can go all out in the coming days,” Sports Director Nico Verhoeven said. “It was 120 kilometres to the foot of the Col de Vars. You need to survive those first kilometres, if you do that, you have enough time to finish within the time limit without going full-gas. We were able to do that, so we did a good job.”
Verhoeven and the team expected that the classification riders would take the stage win on the Col d’Izoard, which proved mostly correct.
“The rider who wins the Tour wants to show he is the best there. So, we thought it would be between them. In that case it would have been a waste of energy to let Primoz go in the breakaway.
“Today, it was not a day to escape with the eye on the coming days. It was not the right thing looking back at the past few days, which were very exhausting.”
The team has “some good chances” in the coming days.
“The smallest chance is in tomorrow’s stage, but if it comes to a sprint and Dylan survives the last climb on 50 kilometres, then we want to deliver him to the win.
“Primoz is one of the main contenders for the time trial win on Saturday. And then on Sunday, it is up to Dylan again in Paris. On the Champs-Elysees, he’ll have another good chance to sprint for a big win.”