Tiesj Benoot (28) did not experience the day of rest he had hoped for. After Jumbo-Visma had already lost Roglic and Kruisevik, he also fell to the ground on Sunday. The result: abrasions all over his right side. Exactly now that the Pyrenees are approaching and the mercury fluctuates around 40 degrees in France.
“I haven’t slept even that badly,” Bennott said yesterday. “I already took a sedative. If I slept on my left side, it wasn’t that bad, but if I turned unconsciously, I woke up in pain.” However, Benoot went for a run yesterday. “I had no other choice, or else you’d be totally stressed out and that’s clearly not what you want on the tour.”
Benoot is not considering giving up at the moment. He would have preferred to keep helping Jonas Vingegaard until the very last moments. “My hip is swollen from the shock. We’ll see what it gives, but it’s not serious enough to throw in the towel. I know I’m being tortured. Especially with that heat. Those scratches make me lose more moisture, and if I cut the water over them, the salts wouldn’t make it any more fun. The advantage is That because of this new pain I may experience less pain in my leg.” (Laugh)
By the way, there were more victims at Jumbo Visma on Sunday. Roglic and Kruisevik are also no longer among them. Roglic had already surrendered before the beginning of the fifteenth stage. He never fully recovered from his fall on the cobbled road to Arenberg. Kruisevik came down on Sunday and dislocated his shoulder.
“There was a collegiate section inside the whole team on Sunday evening,” Bennott says. “Fortunately everyone is fighting me enough to click quickly. It’s very motivating to have these two shirts on the team. I want to do my part until Paris. I was good, but I can’t appreciate what I still have to give. I won’t know until Tuesday.” In any case, I would be very proud to be part of the team winning the Tour. I greatly appreciate that.”
Today, Jumbo-Visma will start the trio of Pyrenees for this tour at a lower power. “The decision can be made in any of these three stages. It gets very cheater. We expect to be bombed from all sides. If we find ourselves in a similar situation on Thursday evening, we are one step closer to our goal. Then it’s up to Jonas himself on Saturday’s time trial. Hopefully we can get him there with enough bullets to fend off the Pogacar.”
Wout van Aert already had enough progress in his pocket. He will soon be mathematically certain of greenery. In principle, this is already possible today, but the gap with Pogacar and Philipsen is likely to be final only tomorrow or the day after. “Wout did some songs here again. You’d rather have him on your team than race against him. Together with Pogacar and Vingegaard – each in his own field – he is currently one of the top three riders in the world,” concludes Benoot.