Luke Rowe (Ineos Grenadiers) unfortunately completed his mission on the Tour de France. He missed the time cut at stage 11 and now his team will have a difficult task “That’s the Tour de France over for me. Over the time limit on stage 11 unfortunately.
I’ll be jumping in the car soon and heading to the airport to head home soon." "It’s a brutal sport and that’s the reality of it sometimes,” Rowe said in a recorded message sent out by his team on Wednesday evening, as quoted by cyclingnews
As he says at the beginning he had the necessary pace and speed.
However, he failed to keep up the pace he had and slowly began to fall among the last in the group “It was a solid start and there were a lot of attacks to go in the break. I felt alright through the day and as the moves were going, I felt like I was holding my own in those early stages."
"The plan from the outset was to try and take it on, and that’s the first time we’ve done that in this race, take it on to try and win the stage or move up in GC,” he added. “We didn’t get the stage but Billy [Carapaz] moved up a place.
So I started to ride like I’ve done a million times before. At that point, I was feeling solid and we hit the early slopes of the first major climb and it was like I hit the wall." "The lights went out and guys who I would normally outclimb pretty easily were leaving me for dead.
It was over 100km to go and I was on my own. I never lost the belief that I could arrive within the time limit but I missed it by five minutes”. This is his first time leaving the Tour de France because of a time cut.
However, there is still optimism in the team and he hopes that his colleagues will succeed in their goals “It’s just gutting,” he admitted. “This is the first time in my career that I’ve missed the time cut.
And what a race to do it in. It’s going to be hard to leave the guys and the seven boys with me going home." "I’m leaving them in a good place with us moving into fourth place so the Tour is a long way from being over”.