Clément Champoussin found a final breath, an ultimate surplus of energy to fly to victory, Saturday, September 4, on the 20e and penultimate stage of the Tour of Spain. He attacked less than two kilometers from the arrival in Mos. Castro de Herville while enjoying the apathy of the favorites that were observed behind him. He is ahead of Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) and Adam Yates (Ineos-Grenadiers).
The young rider from the AG2R-Citroën team, 23, will long remember his first career victory among the professionals. He landed it on a grand tour, the Vuelta, just that. “It’s a little unexpected”, he told Eurosport after the race. Champoussin, 16e in the general classification, was part of the morning break, joined by the group of favorites composed of Primoz Roglic, Adam Yates, Enric Mas (Movistar) and Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious).
When the group broke up six kilometers from the end with the objective of catching up on Ryan Gibbons (UAE Team-Emirates), alone in the lead, Champoussin could not follow. “When they left for the steep part, I couldn’t accompany them, it was going way too fast for me”, analyzed the Niçois.
“I was lucky they looked at each other”
But the climber managed to get back on Gibbons and the favorites, taking advantage of the marking of those who were playing the general classification. When Clément Champoussin joined this group less than two kilometers from the finish line, he attacked immediately. Roglic, Yates, Mas or Haig did not react, leaving the Habs to take several hectometers in advance.
“When I got a little over a kilometer away, I was lucky they looked at each other, admitted Champoussin. The last mile wasn’t very, very hard. I was able to keep the lead. Fortunately they did not want to sprint behind because the last 150 meters were very hard. “
Already third and fifth, respectively on the 10e and 14e stage, Clément Champoussin ends in style this Tour of Spain, the second of his career. The Vuelta 2021 is a success for the French as Champoussin imitates Florian Sénéchal (Deceuninck-Quick Step), winner of the 13e stage, and Romain Bardet (Team DSM), victorious on the 14e stage. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) is in 8th position overall.
Primoz Roglic, for his part, reinforced his red leader’s jersey and spun, barring an incident on Sunday on the last stage (a 33.8 km time trial), to a third consecutive victory in the Tour of Spain.