[James Shaw high on confidence after ‘big day out’ at Tour de France on stage six
James Shaw is high on confidence after rubbing shoulders with some of the best riders in the world at the Tour de France.
Shaw was part of a breakaway stacked full of talent – including Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal Quick-Step) and Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) – on stage six in the Pyrenees which was won by Tadej Pogačar.
The British rider was in the thick of the action on both the Col d’Aspin and Col du Tourmalet and felt he was one of the strongest riders in the group.
Speaking to the media in Mont-de-Marsan prior to stage six, Shaw said he now felt like other riders would be more aware of him in the Tour peloton.
“Yeah, it was good. It was a big day out,” Shaw said. “I think, big in terms of physically demanding, but big in terms of, like a stepping stone day in the Tour. I sort of feel like now I know and understand where I’m at with my form and my condition and stuff. I’m going to look forward to a few more days like that to come in the second and third week.
“Now I think people will be looking out for me a bit more as well going into those later stages and yeah, there’s quite a few more mountain days to go.”
The British rider had the perfect view of the duel between Jonas Vingegaard and Pogačar, and joked that it made for good photos for him to look back on.
“I mean as far as seeing it live goes, it was a front row seat,” he added. “Sitting behind potentially the two greatest Grand Tour riders of this generation got some good Instagram pictures as well, so all good.”
Reflecting back on his performance, Shaw explained that he felt he was one of the stronger riders of the group on the day, something which he said was notable as they raced towards Cauterets-Cambasque.
He said: “I certainly felt like I was one of the stronger riders of that group and come the finish it can go either way. So, yeah, I’m confident in my ability to try and push for that.
“It’s a funny one, really, because I expected to be given a bit more time. I didn’t expect anyone to come across the gap. Then at that point, yes, it’s free reign for the breakaway isn’t it, to fight it out. “
Before arriving in Bilbao for the start of the Tour last week, Shaw explained that the French Grand Tour had never been ‘part of the plan’ for him this year. Now after impressing in the Pyrenees, the 27-year-old’s value as a rider will have undoubtedly risen.
When asked as to how his performance will affect future contract negotiations, Shaw was coy on his current situation with EF Education-EasyPost and what his Tour performance may or may not mean for that.
“Yes, certainly your stock value goes up a bit there,” he said.