Revenge is a dish that Tadej Pogacar prefers to serve hot. The group had challenged him in the prelude to the Alps: attacked in the wind, left to suffer together with teammates, not helped by anyone and stressed to avoid throwing the Tour into an ordinary day. However, the first alpine race is enough for the young Slovenian champion, arriving in Le Grand-Bornand 150 km after the departure from Oyonnax, to make it clear who is the strongest. In the final, Côte de Mont-Saxonnex, Col de Romme and Col de la Colombière are concentrated (7.5 km at 8.5% average gradient): in all, 21 km very tough concentrated in 38, before the final dive towards the arrival.
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Pogacar does not wait for the last climb
With over two weeks of Tour on the horizon, one would expect some pinpricks on the Colombiére, almost demonstrative. A bit of modern cycling so to speak. But Pogacar is not an accountant and, already on the Col de Romme, he blows up the Tour: his teammates, McNulty before, Formolo then, they give a rhythm that costs everyone dearly. They give way more or less sharply van der Poel (the feeling is in the future will attempt a specific preparation for the Tour), from Aert (very good at keeping second place overall), Vincenzo Nibali and many others. Then the Slovenian does it alone: Carapaz, the last bastion of the battleship Ineos, is the only one capable of jumping on the wheel. With hindsight, a half mistake, because on the relaunch of the action, the Ecuadorian packs up (he will reach almost three and a half minutes). Salt of your own pace Alaphilippe, but what seems to be wisdom does not gain seconds, on the contrary … Also for Alaf he is the first Alpine woman to irremediably send dreams of glory to the archive.
The stage goes to Teuns
When Pogacar attacks, there is a large group of attackers in front with a margin of apparent safety. Woods, the very good Mattia Cattaneo, Guillaume Martin, Nairo Quintana, Poels (who works with the successful intent of conquering the polka dot shirt), Simon Yates, Ion Izagirre, Teuns. On the Colombiére, Pogacar takes them back one by one: the only one who is on the top of the front is Dylan Teuns, a few meters that, combined with the possibility of taking a few more risks downhill (even too many, there is no lack of a couple of endless thrills when cornering), allow him to conquer a prestigious victory. Pogacar, cautious, is joined by Izagirre and Woods, but the fact of not hitting the podium of the day is the least of the problems for him.
That truck on the way up. Thomas and Roglic over half an hour
A lot of rain, a lot of climbing and a lot of effort accumulated on the previous day. These are the ingredients of the stage. There is no need to get to the final triptych of Gpm, the group tends to crumble at the first accelerations: Roglic he had already given up in the previous stage, renews the drift and keeps him company Geraint Thomas, another favorite that raises the white flag. Both will reach almost 35 ‘. On Mont-Saxonnes the thrill is given by a truck, a little too big, obstructs the road in a hairpin bend. A nice problem that fortunately is solved in time for the passage of the runners. All in all for Carapaz and company it would be better if he had stayed there. In fact, a few km later Pogacar …
Order of arrival
1. Dylan Teuns (Bel, Bahrain Victorious) in 3h54’41”
2. Ion Izaguirre Insausti (Esp, Astana – Premier Tech) a 44″
3. Michael Woods (Can, Israel Start-Up Nation) 47″
4. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) 49 “
5. Wouter Pools (Ned) 2’33”
6. Simon Yates (Gbr) 2’43”
Aurelien Paret Peintre (Fra) 3’03 “
8. Guillaume Martin (Fra) s.t.
9. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) 4’07
10. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) 4’09
13. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) s.t.
21. Wout Van Aert (Bel) 5’45
37. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) 18’55
41. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) 21’47
44. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) st
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo, UAE Team Emirates) in 29h38’25”
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel, Jumbo-Visma) a 1’48 “
3. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz, Astana-Premier Tech) a 4’38”
4. Rigoberto Uran (Col) at 4’46 “
Jonas Vingegaard (Den) at 5’00 “
6. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) a 5’01”
7. Wilco Keldermann (Ned) a 5’13”
8. Enric Mas (Esp) at 5’15 “
9. David Gaudu (Fra) at 5’52
10. Peio Bilbao (Esp) a 6’41
23. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) at 17’20
24. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) at 18’51
26. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) at 21’32 “