The Dane duped the entire field and won the rainy 4th stage to Gstaad in a spectacular way solo in front of the sprinters.
Tour de Suisse: Was it your best day on the bike until then – despite the rain?
Christopher Juul-Jensen: Even with the rain! (laughs)
For someone who grew up in Ireland and lives in Denmark, the rain is part of it somehow – I don’t mind driving in the rain.
So this was definitely my best day in the rain – and on the bike so far! (laughs)
TdS: How well do you remember the rainy 4th stage of the Tour de Suisse 2018?
CJJ: I remember very well that I won! (laughs)
I mean, nobody including myself would have believed that the leading group could save the lead to the finish. That it worked out anyway is unbelievable!
TdS: You were in the top group of six almost the whole day. When did you start to believe in getting through and in a possible stage win?
CJJ: Every time you watch a bike race on TV, the outlier group is posed in nine out of ten cases.
Of the 150km that I spent at the front of the race, I only thought it would be enough for the last 80 meters.
TdS: On the climb to Saanemöser there were several attacks from the escape group, how did you experience these hectic moments?
CJJ: Hm, I came straight from the Giro d’Italia. Most of the time I am in good shape after a 3-week round trip – strange as it may sound – I am in good shape.
I felt during the climb to Saanemöser that I could trust my Grand Tour diesel engine. When the other riders launched their lively attacks, I kept to my own rhythm.
TdS: You then caught up with Nans Peters (AG2R) at the exit and were able to distance yourself. At the airport it was still close, the sprinters leading the field had you in visual contact. How did the last kilometer at the airport feel?
CJJ: I think what made the difference was that I was able to push my power in the downhill as well and mastered the wet downhill well. I had nothing to lose.
The last 3 kilometers were terrible! From the moment you turned into the airport, you could see the whole route. And the road was not only open but also so wide. I had nowhere to hide! (laughs)
Fortunately my sports director cheered me on and motivated me via radio. I told myself, just give it your all, there must not be a single watt left in you when you cross the finish line. If it is enough, all the more beautiful and otherwise you have at least nothing to regret!
TdS: For that it must be even more beautiful to cross the finish line solo, right?
CJJ: Yes exactly! And since I don’t win many races, I did all the poses I dreamed of doing in a triumph, all at once. (laughs)
TdS: What was the reason for you trying to get into the escape group exactly in the stage to Gstaad?
CJJ: For Michi Albasini and me it was clear that if we wanted to try something, it had to be in one of the first stages. In the morning before the race we were told by the team that there would be a wet day and that we should definitely have someone in the escape group.
I told myself there is no better way to stay warm than to ride in the breakaway group. (laughs)
TdS: What is your seasonal planning for the 2019 season, where is your focus?
CJJ: My first focus is on the spring classics where I will ride for the team and who knows, maybe there will be a chance again like at the Tour de Suisse?
TdS: What triumph do you dream of, what victory would you like to add to your Palmeras?
CJJ: After such a victory you naturally get hungry. Of course I dream of repeating something like in Gstaad at the Tour de France.
TdS: Thanks a lot Chris and all the best for your season!