Connor Swift keen to keep Nairo Quintana safe on Tour de France route to Paris

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Connor Swift, right, of Arkea Samsic in action on the Col de Marie-Blanque on the ninth stage (Photo: Alex Whitehead / SWPix.com)

This is the verdict of Connor Swift, a man who can help the Colombian today and tomorrow from Ile d’Oléron to Poiters, but who can only applaud on the sidelines of the penultimate stage of the race. Saturday week.

Swift de Doncaster is taking part in his first Tour within an Arkea-Samsic team built around the ambitions of the yellow jersey of Quintana, double winner of the Grand Tour which only misses the Tour de France from its list of achievements.

One of the main reasons Swift, 24 – the former British road racing champion – is in the French squad is to protect Quintana from coastal cross winds over the next two days, an unpredictable element that can break up the peloton and ruin a runner’s race.

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“The forecast winds don’t seem to be as strong, but we’re at the edge of the coast for the next two days so that could still be a problem,” said Swift, delighted to have reached the first day of rest of the race. . yesterday.

“As long as we’re close to the front and avoiding any crashes, we should be fine.

“The next two days are going to be interesting.”

Quintana is currently fifth overall, 32 seconds behind race leader Primoz Roglic. This could be his best chance to win the Tour given that the penultimate stage is an individual mountain time trial and Quintana is a renowned climber.

“The ideal scenario is that we bring him closer and he turns yellow that day so we can get back to Paris together,” Swift said.

“It was a good start, we put Nairo in fifth place overall and everyone is really happy with it. He still has many difficult stages to catch up.

“On a personal note, I’m super happy to have reached this stage and to be in a position where I still feel good. The first day of rest is a good step to reach.

“We started yesterday and I felt broken at the start of the race and I was really worried I wouldn’t make it, but I have a little life in my legs after about 40 minutes and it was okay.

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