Derek Gee put on another trademark Derek Gee-performance on stage 9 of the Tour de France, spending all day at the front and ultimately powering to third place on the line.

“It was a real day out today!” Gee said after the line. “Of course, I would have liked to finish a couple of places higher up, but we raced on the front foot all day and I think we can be happy with that. Hopefully, the win will come soon.”

With 33.2 km of gravel awaiting the riders, everybody was anxious about what to expect. The IPT riders did well in covering all the early moves before the group with Gee finally managed to distance the peloton.

The break never got a gap of more than a few minutes as the fight for the general classification was constantly on behind. Jakob Fuglsang, Krists Neilands, and Pascal Ackermann were all part of the different chase groups, representing IPT in all the right groups.

“It was really touch and go all day. I was already in one move that didn’t get away, and at one point the top-3 GC guys even made it across to us before letting go again,” Gee explained before talking about the final part of the stage:

“It was only in the last 20 km that I kind of knew we would make it all the way, and even then, we weren’t really sure. I tried to give it a big dig on the uphill section into the crosswind, but then Jasper Stuyven (Lidl-Trek) came with a really good counter and got a gap. Luckily, we managed to bring him back, but we brought him back quite late, so it just ended up in a sprint and I missed out by just a little bit.”

Sports director, Steve Bauer, was full of praise for the way the IPT riders managed today’s stage.

“The guys rode a brilliant race today. I said to the guys this morning that this is the stage where we go all in and they did. Derek Gee was so strong, Jakob Fuglsang was covering all the moves in the chase group, and behind Pascal Ackermann and the other boys were right up there. I’m proud of how we raced today. We’re getting closer. Fourth yesterday, third today, that win is coming.”

With today’s impressive performance on the gravel, Gee has now moved up to ninth place overall ahead of Monday’s well-deserved rest day.

“I’m happy with how I have raced these first nine stages and I’m looking forward to the rest of the race. But I’m also really looking forward to the rest day tomorrow,” Gee said with a tired smile.