WorldTeam Harry Sweeny reaches out hand to stage win at the Tour
Lotto Soudal rider Harry Sweeny finished third in stage twelve of the Tour de France. In a 160-kilometre stage between Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux and Nîmes, an early breakaway fought for victory. After its leader Caleb Ewan crashed out of the Tour, Lotto Soudal went – as so often in this Tour - on the offensive and had two riders in the breakaway: Harry Sweeny and Brent Van Moer. After a tactical game, it was Sweeny who – together with three other riders – reached out his hand to the stage victory. The neo-pro had to settle for third in the end as Politt soloed to victory in Nîmes. Brent Van Moer finished 8th.
“To be honest, it felt a bit surreal to fight for the stage victory today. I didn’t expect to be at the Tour this year, let alone to be performing at this level”, explains Harry Sweeny. “I knew I was capable of doing this but tactically, it’s another thing. Maybe I made a few mistakes in the final, but I can’t be disappointed with this result. It really was a tactical game at the end and maybe I showed my strength a little bit too much. Politt saw that and took a little advantage of that. However, I have only been pro for six months, so I have to be satisfied with third place.”
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“I was hoping that the final climb would be a little harder. I attacked there and hoped it would be a little too hard for the others but they made it back and that is where I lost my legs a little bit. I knew I wouldn’t have a good enough sprint to beat those guys so I had to try something. I’ve done everything to try and win the stage, so I can be happy. We’re quite deep into the Tour and I’m still feeling ok, which is a positive sign.”
Behind the four-rider move, it was Brent Van Moer who played the team tactics perfectly. The 23-year-old Lotto Soudal rider eventually finished 8th.
“We were the only team with two riders in the front group so we could play it tactically. And that is what we did because when Harry attacked in the final, I did my work and tried to slow things down in the chasing group. I am happy for Harry but when you’re with two in the breakaway, you want to win of course. Everybody knew the start would be hectic and that is why we had to be attentive from the gun. Soon, it was pretty clear this wouldn’t be a sprint stage and the early break was formed quite early. It has been a nice Tour for me so far, but Paris is still a long way and the team has brought me here to attack, which has turned out quite well. But we keep trying the coming days”, concludes Brent Van Moer.
Images: Photo News.