Ben Hermans : "It was an advantage to know the finish"
7 août 2021 - 19:24 [GMT + 2]
“I climbed in a pretty similar way as in 2015. I got all my team-mates to push at the front and make the race hard before I’d take over. The other favourites followed my team. Finally, Tom Van Aesbroeck and Seb Berwick put themselves over the limit actually. Thanks to them, I managed to make a difference in the last sprint. It’s nice to win here again because I’ve won here before and I replayed this finish many times when I was riding on the rollers. I surprisingly won in 2015 because my adversaries never saw me at the front and suddenly I surged. Starting as a favourite this time, it was a really heavy weight on my shoulders. I’m so happy I could finish this off for the team. I knew that some of the last six or seven riders who were also at the front were more explosive than me. That’s why I went at 500 metres to go at 95% of my capacities. It’s good that I knew this finish. It’s cool to be the leader with one day to go. I hope I’ll enjoy tomorrow without too much stress. Time bonuses don’t make it any easier to defend the leader’s jersey but we have many sprinters on the team. I’m confident that my team-mates can take away the bonus seconds. I just hope to stay safe and avoid mechanicals like six years ago on the final stage.”