Armel Le Cleac’h: “I want to finish the job well”

Published on 08/09/2020

Joined this Tuesday morning as he raced along northern France’s Opal Coast, Armel Le Cléac'h, the good leader of the second stage of La Solitaire du Figaro was a few hours from the finish in Dunkirk. He spoke of his strategy and the final miles.

“Last night was a little bit rough, we had a lot of wind, a lot of gybes to do, but I managed to sleep to keep some energy for the home stretch and a finish in Dunkirk that I do not know not too much about the area. We will have to try to negotiate this narrow corridor well with some gybes, we will have to not do anything stupid there is not as much wind as forecast which is better. We will be be against the current until off Calais, so that means that we will surely have to stay in close to the coast. This morning, it was grey, then cleared a bit and we can see the coast and the cargo ships off the coast. I haven’t seen many people since off Cherbourg, a few fishing boats last night. We will probably have more when arriving in Dunkirk.

I am focused and determined, I will try to finish the job well. I am happy to be here for now, because it is a beautiful image to have my mates behind me and the finish in a few hours. The objective is to stay ahead and to put some time in the general classification up on the others. I’m going to be careful, but the stage has gone well so far. I’m happy with what I did, with little options, some good speed under spinnaker. It is nice to find sensations that I had had in 2010 during victory when I won three stages, I have the impression of having recovered this feeling.

On the first night I was quite determined, quite certain of my moves, I really wanted to position myself in the north of the fleet to anticipate the shift in the wind, it went well and it allowed me to cross in the lead, to pass Eddystone at the first pace and behind to escape. When I felt that it was starting to ease off before Start Point, I took the opportunity to press hard, I steered a lot, because I knew these metres gained there were going to count double. “


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