Such a performance exceeded all expectations that AG2R-Citroën had of their signing, who was initially hired for the aggressiveness he displayed during the Giro d’Italia 2020.
Even O’Connor couldn’t have conceived a fourth place finish in France, but, upon reflection, the 25-year-old is now hoping he will someday wear the yellow jersey too.
“Would you have bet money on my fourth place in the Tour?” I don’t think so, ”O’Connor said.
“It is by far the most difficult race I have ever done and will ever do. Mentally it’s very exhausting, you have to stay alert, focused, really be careful not to make mistakes.
“The Tour is much more ruthless than the Giro or the Vuelta, it was painful.
“Le Ventoux and yesterday in the time trial were pretty horrible. For me in this Tour de France, managing it mentally was the biggest challenge.
“Yesterday my mentality was just to never give up or crash. It’s the same today, so in addition, watch out for the Champs-Elysées. And then there you go, finished.
“The yellow jersey was far away, another level and another game. I hope that one day I will be able to wear the yellow jersey, but I would have to progress as I did this year to get there.
” We never know. “
O’Connor will now take a month-long hiatus before a potential return for the Deutschland Tour and, possibly, II Lombardia.