“This first Saturday, we had the rain, the road which looked like an ice rink, the ice storm… And then the next day, we had the stage victory of Julian Alaphilippe, the yellow jersey, the resplendent sun, the beauty of the landscape, the public at the roadside, 90 to 95% of whom wore masks, ”he said. “Of course, in September, there were fewer people than if it were in July, but I was struck by the reaction from the side of the road: the decorated villages, the public…”
Prudhomme underlined the “intermediate” stages – those which were neither flat nor mountainous, such as stage 7 in Lavaur, stage 14 in Lyon and stage 19 in Champagnole – as having been particularly pleasant for him.
“Thanks to Peter Sagan, Sam Bennett and their teams [Bora-Hansgrohe and Deceuninck-QuickStep], this year’s fight for the green jersey has been the best in I don’t know how long, ”he said. When they are so long, the stage finals become too hard. ”
When asked how this year’s Tour ranks compared to other recent editions, Prudhomme argued that the 2019 edition – in which local French riders notably excelled – was a race apart, despite the hustle and bustle of the final time trial of the 2020 Tour.
“I’m not going to put it at the same level as last year, which was so exciting with the exceptional performances of the French riders,” he said. “For a while in Nice this year we dreamed of what might happen, but all the crashes in the first leg played a huge role.
“Even if he continued in the race, Thibaut Pinot moved away from the battle for the GC, like Romain Bardet and Nairo Quintana, then Egan Bernal was the biggest surprise”, declared Prudhomme of the champion of the Tour 2019. “I never expected him to give up the argument. “