Do you measure the enthusiasm of the public around you?
“It’s pretty incredible, especially this year, I was really touched by what I could feel physically from the French public. They were exceptional, so welcoming. It makes all the effort I have been able to make worthwhile, to see how people can be inspired by comebacks like mine. It is the greatest joy that I receive during this Tour de France. “
How do you explain your dominance in the sprint?
“I remember buying bicycle magazines when I was young to read the instructions on how to take a sprint. Today, it was done exactly that way. My teammates Dried Devenyns and Tim Declerq did everything to put me in an ideal position. When you have a train like that, everything becomes easier. Afterwards, you have to succeed in keeping control. They didn’t just do their job, they do it with their hearts. I am proud of the whole team. “
You are always at the highest level …
“As always, I’m just happy to take my racing bike, to put on my DQS jersey on the Tour de France. I am 36 years old and I find myself running with these young runners… If in my turn, I can bring more joy, I am delighted. ”
How did you experience your difficult start to the season?
“During the first 20 km of the race, this year, I wondered what I had come back to do here… And then, every year, we forget the reality, every time we arrive in Paris, we have only one want to come back to it. I have always been a professional, always done my job. When I am called for a race, I am ready to go. Before arriving I knew I was physically ready, I didn’t know if I was able to pass the mountain, but I knew I could be competitive for the sprints. “