Wednesday 03 August 2011 at 21h49

The Tour de France 2011 has now ended since almost two weeks and, you must admit, we all miss it a bit to be able to see the stages on TV or to follow them on the roads of France like I've been doing!

A French rider got particularly noticed during this Tour de France and that was of course Jérémy Roy. Very often leading the race, just like this rider often has done in the races in which he participated, Jérémy Roy was chosen to be the most combative rider of the Tour de France 2011 and he talks about this title and his Tour de France for us.

We left Jérémy Roy after the first stage of the Tour de France 2011 when he was disappointed not to have been elected most combative rider of that stage. He remembers that but the rest of the Tour has allowed him to forget this disappointment ...

In the last interview you indicated you were disappointed for not having been chosen to be the most combative rider of the stage, I imagine you're no longer disappointed now?
Indeed, my most combative rider of the Tour prize is better than all prizes of most combative rider of any stage.

You are the most combative rider of this Tour, thanks to your numerous attacks mainly early in the stages. In the Pau-Lourdes stage you almost won it but Thor Hushovd prevented you from doing so. Were you very disappointed that day or were you expecting that?
Yes, 2 times the leading group of which I was part continued on up to the finish ( Lourdes and Gap ) and each time Thor Hushovd won!! But in Lourdes I was really close to victory: I arrived first and alone on top of the Aubisque and I thought I did the hardest part, knowing that I'm a good descender and a good rouleur. Unfortunately, Thor caught up with Moncoutié and with 2 riders against one in the valley and with head wind it was impossible to win. And that was indeed a big disappointment.

Jérémy Roy wearing the polka dot jerseyBeing "the most combative rider of the Tour" is a nice title, was it a goal for you at the start of the Tour or has it become one during the Tour? If so, at what time did you decide to go for this title?
Yes, it's a very nice title, a recognition for my way of thinking and riding. It was not a goal for me at the start of the Tour but it has quickly become one since I felt I was really in a good shape. To win this prize, long breakaways alone were not enough: I also had to go for stage wins and that's what I tried to do.

You often attack, as we have seen in the Tour de France 2011 but also in several other races since the start of the season. Isn't it frustrating that, except for the Grand Prix de la Marseillaise, this didn't lead to any more victories?
Yes, attacking is just part of me, I don't like to stay in the peloton: I become bored and when I'm in a breakaway I feel more secure as well!! But indeed the number of victories is quite low. But would I have had more victories by staying in the peloton?

Could you explain us why you like to be in a breakaway, either alone or with other riders?
I train alone, I like time trials, so it doesn't bother me to be alone in a breakaway. I'm happy being ahead, at least I feel I'm acting and not following.

Did you count the number of kilometers you've been in a breakaway during the Tour de France?
No, I don't count the number of kilometers in a breakaway, it's not a final goal for me. Apparently other people do that for me! (and apparently there've been over 700 during the Tour de France, which led Jérémy Roy to write on Twitter what many people must have thought: Cavendish 1km leading in the #TDF and 5 victories. Euh.. I've done 750...and still no victory.. ;-) lol)

Did you choose any stages of the Tour beforehand to be in a breakaway or does that always happen accidentally and based on how the race unfolds?
No, I didn't choose any stages, it depends on the circumstances in the race, the legs and the chances to succeed.

Jérémy Roy prepares a new breakawayThe most combative rider of each stage and the overall most combative rider of the Tour are elected by a jury in which people like Bernard Hinault or Laurent Jalabert have their word to say, just like for example a Dutch journalist. Do you see this title as a recognition from this jury and specially of someone like Bernard Hinault (who won the title himself in 1981, 1984 and 1986)? What does this title mean for you?
Yes, it is a recognition but fortunately I managed to break away twice in the Pyrenees, cause otherwise it wouldn't have been enough. But it's a great pleasure for me. This title fits me perfectly and pays back all my efforts.

This was your 4th Tour de France, how did it go compared to the others? What was different in this Tour? Which was the best one for you? Did the experience of 3 previous Tour de France help you?
Yes this was my 4th Tour de France: the first one was a real discovery trip (with a 2nd place in one of the stages, the stage Roanne > Montluçon won by Sylvain Chavanel with whom he was in a breakaway, Ed.), in my second one I got a good place in the general classification in the top 50, I was able to help Lemevel and Casar and we finished 6th in the teams classifications. My third Tour is one to forget since I fell the 2nd day and went through hell for the rest of the Tour. In my 4th Tour I took things how they came and I really wanted it to be a success to forget the 2010 Tour and to be able to show my real image as a rider who attacks. Not working for a leader gives some freedom ...

The weather hasn't really been good this year with only a few sunny days and quite a lot rainy days. How does a rider like you take this during the Tour?
It's difficult to stay motivated when there's no sun, but fortunately we didn't get rain every day either!! In fact, you get back in shape easier than with the very high temperatures we had the previous years! The rain adds a lot of stress however with the higher risk of crashes and the risk to get ill.

Jérémy RoySince the Tour you have participated in some after-Tour criteriums. You won one of them, the Ronde des Korrigans in Camors, ahead of the French Champion and former most combative rider of the Tour (2008 and 2010), Sylvain Chavanel. Did you go for the win or do you participate in those criteriums for fun mainly? Could you describe how you won this race? (apart from simply turning around the church? ;-)
Those criteriums are above all a show for the public: they are not official UCI race since the organisers decide which riders participate. However, once we're on the road, it becomes a real race anyway. The race in Camors was decided at the very end of it, following an attack by Chavanel. I managed to follow him and to get over him in extremis in the last few meters.

Just before you left for the Tour you became daddy for the first time. Wasn't it difficult to leave your wife and your daughter alone just afterwards? Did you manage to see them during the Tour? And do you realise better now you've become a dad since you came back from the Tour? The nights are short?
Yes, it was quite difficult, especially for the mother who had to manage everything at the same time with the birth of our first child. For me it was difficult too of course but fortunately MMS messages and webcams exist. And my 2 women came to see me twice during the Tour. My comeback à la casa was like getting back to reality with milk bottles in the middle of the night!! It's indeed tiring and I have big respect for the mother who has done that alone during 5 weeks.

In which races will we see you attacking in the upcoming weeks?
I'll get back to competition in the Tour du Limousin and than I go to Japan to participate in the Shimano Race (Shimano is a sponsor of the FDJ team for the bike equipments and shoes and that's why Jérémy Roy participates in the Shimano Suzuka Road Race on the 28th of August, Ed.). For September the calendar has not been decided on yet: it will depend on how I feel and on the jetlag!!

Thanks Jérémy for your answers and see you soon in the Tour du Limousin!!

UPDATE 8 August 2011 : we learned tonight that Jérémy Roy will finally not participate in the Tour du Limousin 2011.

door Thomas Vergouwen
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4 comments | 4075 views

this publication is published in: Catching up with Jérémy Roy


There are 4 comments!
  1. Jammer dat het niet in het Nederlands is. Grote lijnen begrijp ik wel, maar mijn Frans schiet me toch nog wel tekort. Hoe komt het dat vertaling niet mogelijk is? Geen tijd?..............?

    | Tonn Vergouwen | Thursday 04 August 2011 om 11h17

  2. Vertaling komt eraan ...

    | Thomas Vergouwen | Thursday 04 August 2011 om 11h45

  3. En nu ook ... in het Nederlands!

    | Thomas Vergouwen | Thursday 04 August 2011 om 23h59

  4. Thanks!
    Leest net wat makkelijker.

    | Tonn Vergouwen | Friday 05 August 2011 om 17h19

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