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“That’s called a comeback.” Reactions as the overall rankings reshuffle

Published on 19/06/2019

Finishing in to Roscoff, emotionally drained at the end of an incredible Stage 3 on which he finished 13th, but nonetheless delighted to have held on to his overall lead in the 50th edition of La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro, Yoann Richomme (HelloWork-Telegramme Groupe) admitted that after the leading trio broke away at Alderney, he had no idea of how much time was ahead of them at the start of the leg.

As it was, the margins of between ten and 11 hours that he had in hand over Gildas Mahé (Breizhe Cola-Equithé), Anthony Marchand (Groupe Royer-Secours Populaire) and Alexis Loison (Region Normandie) pre-start were enough, although Richomme has had his cushion cut to one hour and 26 minutes and 14 seconds. Mahé is now second overall and Loison is third at two hours and 22 minutes 12 seconds behind Richomme who has led since the end of Stage 1 in to Kinsale.

“It’s completely unlikely to be 1 hour 26 minutes now behind Yoann and almost an hour ahead of Alexis, it’s crazy, it’s great,” rejoiced Mahe, who has made an incredible leap from 17th place overall second. “That’s called a comeback. Now I am in something much more like the placing I was aiming for when I left Nantes before the start.”

Yoann Richomme said: “I think it was a difficult leg for everyone except for three boats. It was very tough. I was probably no more than 300 metres away from the last guy who made it through the currents at Alderney so it was a bit disappointing. The tide just got too strong. There was very little wind. And then it was very difficult because I knew they were gone 50, 60 or 70 miles. It was tough.

“I did not know how far they were on the general ranking at all, if it was seven, eight or nine, ten hours. It is good for me they were ten or 11 hours behind before this leg. I only learned that just before the finish. It was quite emotional but that is this race. What can you do?

“I never think about winning the race now. We will just see at the end of the fourth leg. Everybody is very good. The level is very high. And the legs are very hard in this weather. It is easy to make mistakes. If I had not got my first two stages right that would be it for me. And that is it for a lot of people. I feel privileged to have these two good legs which have allowed me to have this mistake and still be an hour and something ahead. And you know in the Figaro this is a good lead to have. So we will see how the last leg goes. I am not making plans. I know I can finish on the podium, if it is winning it….great…but for now I don’t want to think about it.

“You always have to stay positive in this race. You never know what is going to happen. The racing is so hard. And you know, even if I had lost it and was fourth right now, and finished fourth in Dieppe, fourth would still be an amazing result for the time I have spent on this boat and the level is so high. I know it is not finished until it is finished but I am in the best position there is. But that does not mean it will work out for me. 
I was in the right spot at the right time to go around Alderney with the first group. I could not have got there better. But did I manage it well? Maybe not…I could have maybe managed it better. But if I got there 30th, ten miles behind I would be saying I did not sail great, I don’t deserve but we were fighting with the top group to get around those rocks and I did not make it. We missed it by a few metres. I can’t feel too sad about that.”

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