Tadej Pogacar hoped for a resurrection, but stage 17 of the Tour de France it turned out to be a torture.
The Slovenian lost almost six minutes to Tour leader Jonas Vingegaard and he can put the win out of his mind.
“I don’t know what happened,” Pogacar said. “I tried to eat as much as possible but it was like nothing would go into my legs, everything stayed in my stomach. I was feeling so empty after three and a half hours.
“If I didn’t have such great support around me, I was thinking I could lose the podium today. But I was fighting all the way to the finish line, and I am very grateful to my teammates for their support.”
“It doesn’t hurt that much, maybe it affected my body, but in any case today was not a good day.”
“Even the stage to the Granon was better,” Pogacar said. “Today was one of the worst days of my life on the bike. Marc [Soler] kept on encouraging me to keep on fighting and I hope I can recover and perhaps go for another stage win on Saturday. I have to keep fighting.”
“When you’re winning and you’re surrounded by the media singing your praises, you don’t need support. It’s now, in the difficult times, when you need to know that you have people you can count on.”