'I came in with too much speed and slipped away': Marc Hirschi rues return of bad luck at Tour de France

The Swiss youngster was riding himself into contention for the polka dot jersey until he crashed while descending on stage 18

Marc Hirschi after crashing on stage 18 of the Tour de France 2020 (Marco Bertorello/AFP via Getty Images)
(Image credit: AFP via Getty Images)

It was the return of hard luck for Marc Hirschi at the Tour de France, the Swiss youngster left to rue taking too much speed into a corner and crashing, just as he was making a run at the polka-dot jersey.

"I came in with too much speed and then I slipped away," Hirschi said of his crash, which saw him detached from the group containing stage winner Michał Kwiatkowski and his Ineos team-mate, the new polka-dot jersey-wearer, Richard Carapaz. "It was sh** because I'd taken some points already for the king of the mountains jersey, I don't know if I could have taken it at the end of the day...my legs were good but then I crashed.

The 22-year-old says he was using new tyres, which he wasn't used to and may have played a part in his fall, before adding he doesn't know if he'd have beaten Kwiatkowski to the stage win anyway as the Polish rider was so strong.

"I don't know [if I could have won], Kwiatkowski was super strong in the break, he did so much work, the legs were good but for sure Kwiato deserved to win."

Kwiatowski seemed to agree he had been doing the lion's share of the pulling, and with the former world champion possessing strong work ethic, he didn't appear to hold much sympathy for the younger rider.

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"He was fighting against Richard for the polka-dots so when he took that risk...he took that corner way too fast," Kwiatkowski explained. "I was behind him and had braked, at that moment it’s better to go at 99 per cent and stay safe rather than risk so much on the descent and ride away.

"He wasn’t keen to work before, we just wanted to race and not look behind."

Hirschi's sports director Matt Winston was full of praise for his young rider, who won his maiden Tour stage victory last week and has showcased his talents throughout his debut Grand Tour.

"He chased all day to come back to the leaders but it just wasn't possible in the end," Winston said. "But I think it showed a real committed effort and he was caught by the peloton with around 10km to go, finishing with the yellow jersey group. He showed his true grit throughout the stage."

"For sure but also I was a bit scared during the [subsequent] descent. I tried but then I saw the gap was growing and then I exploded," Hirschi added.

"I'm hurting for now but I'm sure I'll be okay for tomorrow. I will go on."

Jonny Long

Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races. I'm 6'0", 26 years old, have a strong hairline and have an adequate amount of savings for someone my age. I'm very single at the minute so if you know anyone, hit me up.


Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab, reporting about students evacuating their bowels on nightclub dancefloors and consecrating their love on lecture hall floors. I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).


I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.