Mads Pedersen had viewers on the edge of their seats throughout the final stage time trial in Alès at Etoile de Bessèges. The Dane was pushing his limits throughout the time trial, so much so that he came close to calamity when he overcooked it on one corner. Fortunately, Pedersen kept himself upright and quickly powered away, but with Kévlin Vauquelin setting the fastest time by a significant margin it would require a big effort from the Dane on the final climb to hold on to the race lead. Pedersen churned his way up the climb as the seconds ticked by and frantic viewers attempted to calculate if he could pull it off. In the end, an exhausted Pedersen crossed the line second fastest, but close enough to Vauquelin that he could wrap up the general classification by two seconds.
Speaking from the podium, Pedersen said: “It was a good day, it’s nice to have a GC victory this early in the season and the perfect way to end a week like this. The Team rode super nice the whole week and it’s great to finish it off with a strong time trial. It was a difficult situation to lose the front wheel in that corner but in the end we managed to make up for it and keep the GC within reach. Of course, two seconds is a close one, but last year we lost by just one second and this year we won with two, so we knew it would be a tight result. All in all, we’re pretty happy with this start to the season. The shape is where it should be and we’re looking forward to racing in Provence next week.”