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Ben Healy got his first proper chance for himself at the Tour de France in the stage 7 TT and he really impressed on the road to Gevrey-Chambertin (Photo: Jan de Meuleneir-PN-Cor Vos)

Ben Healy (EF Education-EasyPost) has said he set an aggressive pacing strategy in the stage 7 TT at the Tour de France and tried to hang on all the way to the line in a bid to get the best result possible.

Though he paid for that approach a little towards the end of the 25.3km race against the watch from Nuits-Saint-Georges to Gevrey-Chambertin, his 9th place on the day was an excellent return for his efforts.

It was also notable that, having worked for the team over the first six stages, he took his first chance for himself very well on Friday, making a mark and underlining his quality at Tour de France-level in what is his debut in the race.

I had good legs today. I set an ambitious pace and went for it from the start. And then I just tried to hold on after the descent,” said the former Irish road race and TT champion.

I did pay for it, but like I said, I wanted to try. I went out with an ambitious pace, knowing that I had pretty decent legs. I couldn’t quite hold it to the finish, unfortunately, but that is what it is.

“At the moment, I enjoy doing what I do. I think being a GC contender is a pretty stressful job!”

Healy’s ride – finishing 59 seconds behind stage winner and world champion Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep) – also underlines his condition, at exactly the right time for the 23-year-old.

He has come into this race searching for a stage win to add to the stage 8 victory he took on Grand Tour debut at Giro d’Italia last year.

He is likely to get in some breakaways in coming days in a bid to that his hoped-for win, and judging by his TT performance, it will take a lot to beat him if he gets into a move that makes it all the way.

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