Canadian Cyclist


July 7/24 14:52 pm - Derek Gee Interview - One Week Into the Tour

Posted by Editoress on 07/7/24

The Tour de France concluded its first week of racing on Sunday, with Canada's Derek Gee (Israel Premier Tech) finishing third in the 199 kilometre ninth stage, a result that pushed him up to ninth in the overall (GC) standings.

At 26 years 11 months and 4 days, Derek Gee is the youngest Canadian with a stage top-3 result in the Tour, beating Steve Bauer (28 years 1 month 14 days, 2nd in Paris, 1987).

Tomorrow is a rest day for the riders, and Derek took a few minutes for a brief interview with us.

Canadian Cyclist: After one week of racing in your first Tour de France you've had a strong start - third in Stage 9 and ninth overall; one of four top-20 results for you. Was this something you were looking or planning for?

Derek Gee: Sitting ninth is not really where I was expecting to be; I wasn't really going for GC, but also I wanted to test myself on the big tests, like the Galibier stage [Stage 4] and the time trial [Stage 7]. I haven't lost massive time [4:02 out of the lead], and today I just raced all in for the win, which is what got me into the top-10. So, I'm really happy and we'll see where it goes from here. But the biggest goal is still to win a stage.

CC: You did the Giro last year [22nd overall and four second places], so this isn't your first Grand Tour, but it is your first Tour de France. Is there a difference between the Tour and other races?

DG: The biggest difference is the spectacle. The amount of fans, the show around it, the stress because a win means so much; it's definitely a different level. You can see why this is the biggest race in the world.

CC: When we spoke before the Tour you told me that Stage 9, with it's gravel sections, was on your radar for a possible win - did it work out the way you planned for? Except for not quite winning by a bike length, of course!

DG: Yes, Stage 9 worked out exactly as expected. I was racing on my front foot and going for it. I obviously came away a little bit short, but I'm happy with how it went. Just a little disappointed with how it finished.

CC: Now you are sitting in the top-10 of General Classification, does that changes your and the team's plans about going for a GC result?

DG: Yes sitting in the top-10 of GC ... we'll see how the rest of the race plays out. But that's not something you give up [a win for], something that you sit up and don't go in the break for stages. It's a top-10 after the first week of the Tour and that's a pretty special place to be in.

So, I'm not going to fully focus on the GC, but for sure it will be in my mind for the rest of the race. But the goal remains to try and win a stage.

Stage 9 Results


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