Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s Frenchman looked back on two of his finest victories of the year.
“I had already won in rainbow one month earlier at Tirreno-Adriatico, but I came to the start of Flèche Wallonne very motivated to show that I had a strong head and to give everything for my goal of conquering the Mur de Huy again. In the first races of the season, I hadn’t won that much, and while this didn’t stop me from having fun every time I pinned on a number and proudly wore this beautiful jersey, I really wanted to raise my arms again, and Flèche was the perfect place to do it.”
“The team was again outstanding on that day, working hard, sheltering me at all times and putting me where I had to be at the bottom of the last Mur de Huy ascent. It’s the legs that make the difference on the Mur, and I was on top of my game when it mattered. The fact that I could taste victory again in more than a month at this race that I love so much made everything even more beautiful and gave me an extra boost for the second half of the season.”
“There I arrived with extra motivation after the birth of my son, Nino. That alone made the Tour de France even more special. I knew that the opening day, with its punchy finale in Landerneau, suited my characteristics, and I could once again rely on a fantastic team, who helped me navigate that nervous stage and make it harder for the fast men in the peloton.”
“On the last climb, the guys ramped up the pace and I went really early, sensing there was an opportunity to open a gap. A short glance over the shoulder confirmed that I had taken the right decision, as I already had a small gap, so I continued to push and push. Arriving alone at the finish and having plenty of time to dedicate the victory to my son is something that will always stick with me. The yellow jersey that came with it and the fact that the team celebrated its 100th Grand Tour stage win was just the cherry on the top of a perfect and unforgettable day.”
“I had four victories during my first spell as World Champion and every single one of these felt special. From Brabantse and Tirreno to Flèche and Le Tour – they were all unforgettable, as there’s never easy to win in the rainbow jersey. I am happy with how things went and I hope to enjoy another beautiful season with the best jersey in the world on my shoulders.”
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