Cypriot champion puts in tough miles on the Tour's longest day
Antri Christoforou, who a couple of months ago was riding on a different team and did not have any races scheduled for July, spent 150km in the Tour de France Femmes breakaway today, before finally being caught in the final three kilometers. This is Christoforou’s debut race with Human Powered Health.
Christoforou, national champion of Cyprus, was one of the many riders who tried to attack at the opening of the longest stage in the race. Eventually, a break went clear, powered by Christoforou and three other riders.
“Our big plan was to make the breakaway, and me and the girls tried a lot of times. Finally, two girls went, and I tried to join them.”
The quartet worked well together and built their advantage steadily.
“We all worked together, we talked and we did a great job and got a good gap. We almost got it!”
It would always be a tough task to outrun the sprinters’ trains on the last stage of the race likely to end in a bunch kick. Eventually, Christoforou was reeled back in inside the final 10km, after being one of the final two riders left ahead of the chasing pack. Christoforou never lost faith in the move, however.
“I believed we could win because the other girl with me was really strong too. Finally, we were swept up by the big bunch.”
Christoforou sat up and rolled in a few minutes after the peloton. She was greeted in the mix zone by her teammates and congratulated for her massive, courageous ride.
There was a large crash in the peloton midway through the stage and Lily Williams was one of the riders most impacted. Williams rode on to the finish, crossing the line 19 minutes down on eventual stage winner.