'We just have to keep trying': Ineos Grenadiers ready to attack at the Tour de France

'You never know' British team's DS Steve Cummings says anything is still possible at French Grand Tour

Tom Pidcock on stage five of the 2023 Tour de France
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ineos Grenadiers believe that its opportunity will soon come to turn the Tour de France on its head. 

The British squad began the Tour de France with multiple cards to play in the fight for the yellow jersey including Dani Martínez, Tom Pidcock and Carlos Rodriguez, but the former two lost time to the likes of Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) and Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) in the opening days.

In the aftermath of Jai Hindley’s stunning win in Laruns on stage five and capture of the maillot jaune, Rodriguez sits ninth overall, 1-56 behind the Australian rider on Bora-Hansgrohe. 

Hindley took advantage of finding himself in the day’s breakaway, eventually dropping the other riders present including Trek-Segafredo’s Giulio Ciccone, soloing to victory in the Pyrenees.

Speaking to Cycling Weekly ahead of stage five, directeur sportif Steve Cummings hinted that Ineos may well attempt a similar move in the mountain stages still to come.

“You never know,” he said. “Maybe today, it could be maybe our turn to slip in a GC rider and gain three or four minutes.”

The former pro turned DS praised the performance of Hindley, but said that Ineos had been left satisfied with their stage five performance. Nevertheless, Cummings said that Ineos were still lower down the pecking order at the Tour than the team of the current race leader, Jumbo-Visma, and UAE Team Emirates. 

“Carlos [Rodriguez] was really good,” Cummings explained. “Although obviously he started the climb way further back than Hindley. Tom [Pidcock]  was also right there. So it's like they’re quite close but they're still a step away from them.”

“Everyone's good though. In general, they did very well. We can't question it, and the commitment was excellent. We had two riders in front, but we just didn't quite have the legs in the final. We just have to keep trying and eventually we'll be alright.”

Hindley is riding the French Grand Tour for the first time. In a similar vein to the Australian, Tom Pidcock took a stage win on Alpe d’Huez in his maiden outing at the Tour last year. Pidcock subsequently played down the significance of the win due to the fact it came from the day’s breakaway, not the group of overall race favourites.

Cummings said that the nature of Hindley’s win meant that it’s difficult to ascertain how he measures up against some of the Ineos riders, but also the other overall favourites including Vingegaard and Tadej Pogačar.

He said: “Vingegaard was really dominant [yesterday]. Jai Hindley won from the breakaway so you don't see or have the comparison to how he compares to our own riders.

“We don't know and we don't have the answer to that but Vingegaard is obviously tried and tested at the Tour de France.”

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Tom Thewlis

Tom is a News and Features Writer at Cycling Weekly, and previously worked in communications at Oxford Brookes University. He has reported from a wide range of races and events including the Tour de France and World Championships.