Monday July 16th, 2012

Stage 15Samatan / Pau

Start 13h50 GMT 2+

Pierrick Fédrigo: The victory of a comeback after a year of illness

interview16.07.2012Stage 15- Samatan / Pau

Each of his four stage victories in the Tour de France has a special meaning. But after a year spent battling Lyme disease he knows what suffering really is...

"There are days like this, when one feels that something will happen. And the closer it got, the more motivated I got. When we found ourselves up front with strong riders like Vande Velde and Sorensen, a cunning man like Voeckler, and a fast sprinter like Dumoulin, it is complicated to create a strategy. Sometimes I have to wait a bit to decide how to manage it all. This time I launched the last attack with five kilometres to go. I was going on feel, and I thought it was the right time. And then we had to hang on to our advantage and I bet everything on the sprint [against Vande Velde].
“Each stage that I have won offers something special. The first is always moving. The second was in Tarbes, a few miles from my house, which obviously makes it memorable. The third was the Queen Stage of the Pyrenees in 2010, with the Tourmalet, the Aubisque, Aspin and Soulor mountain passes – they are beautiful places for me as I'm from this region. And this is the victory of a comeback after a year of illness, and that means a lot.
“What I had last year, was more difficult to cope with than riding the Tour de France. Of course we know the painful moments of the race, but [Lyme] disease has taught me to suffer differently.
“There were 198 riders in the Tour, and there are 21 stages and there isn't something for everyone – and even less for riders like me. So when you get to win on this kind of stage, when we have targeted it, the satisfaction is even greater. The team started winning with Thibaut Pinot in the first week, and that took some pressure off me. Now we still have to defend his 10th place overall, and why not to take him a little higher. So I will continue to stand beside him to help.”

Stage 15 Samatan / Samatan

All about the stage key moments

Jersey wearers after the stage 20

Classifications after the stage 20

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