145 km to go: They continue to Galibier, where they climbed most of Wednesday. The organizers showed little mercy. Those three permanent days in Denmark feel like a long time ago. The advantage of the leading group starts quickly, once around two minutes. It’s a scary climb, but the peloton, starting to break up at the back, is motoring on, with Van Aert leading them, and Vingegaard hiding but occasionally coming off the rock.
152 km to go: Guy Hornsby relates: “What a day it was yesterday. That last 5km took the race apart. It was a tactically perfect day for Jumbo and a frustrating day for the already depleted UAE. As for Pog, he must you think the others will feel they can attack him now. But Pogacar is also such a strong rider that something will definitely come of it. There’s a really good review on the Cycling Podcast that says Pog tactically was a bit naive, for example going after Roglic when not needed and also maybe attacking at the end of the stages but was it worth it?
“But well, just Alpe D’Huez today. It can get very complicated. Or it can turn on its head. Days like yesterday really make things so interesting.”
It’s hot, and there’s a small group leader but Wout van Aert manages to pick up the little points on offer from an average sprint that otherwise has little to do with the rest of the series. Kobe Goossens took the first position ahead of Oliveira, and Van Aert takes seventh by avoiding the peloton and collects seventh.
155 km to go: A quick prang, which suggests that they are going bravely. Yves Lampaert is one of the contributors, as is Steven Kruijswijk. Nothing too serious, but some operational repairs are needed. Powless remains at the front, joined by a group of: Anthony Perez (Cofidis), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Kobe Goossens (Interarche-Wanty-Gobert), Matis Louvel (Arkea-Samsic) and Sebastian Schonberger (B&B Hotels-KTM). .
160 km to go: The first checkpoint of the day will be Le Monêtier-les-Bains, where today’s intermediate sprint takes place, only 11 km or less into the stage, the reason being that the rest is up and down the dale.
The stage starts with a steep climb, and while Christian Prudhomme pulls them apart, Warren Barguill makes an early display before Nelson Powless takes the lead. And moving forward, Americans. Those in the peloton will not thank him for these early efforts. Chris Froome appears to be at the front of the pack. Do you remember him?
When they are in Briancon near the depart réel, a reminder of how up and down the stage can be. There is a rain shower all around, something we can do in London.
Richard Moore, at Étapewrote the following about this famous victory for Colombia.
Herrera remains calm, modest and humble; on the other hand, Hector Urrego, not so much on his success in l’Alpe d’Huez. He can remember it like it happened yesterday. Talking about it now creates the same passion and emotions. When he remembers Lucho’s great victory, he moves in the present, as if to relive it: ‘In the last three kilometers, Herrera just goes. Impossible in the cycling world, but true! Herrera goes to victory with the Colombian flag on his shirt! Millions in Colombia and around the world watch the birth of a new champion from Colombia, South America. We are happy! We are the best at the moment!’
Pogacar, which is not long ago As he waved to the camera and ate his snacks, he said the following in the final line:
Maybe I ran less today or had a bad day. Everyone has a bad day all the time [sometimes]. I felt good until the last climb but far from finished, if. I was attacked by Jumbo-Visma. They played well today [and] tactically they did a very good job. It was tough on the last climb, but we’ll see tomorrow. I want my revenge. The tour is not over.
What did Bernard Hinault do the other day? after he lost the yellow jersey to Greg Lemond in 1986? He attacked on a stage up to Alpe D’Huez, trying to make up time. When they went to the summit together in one of the famous photos of Le Tour, he ended up for Lemond’s company.
According to Nico Roche, it is already busy at the end of the summit.
Since 2015, an interactive guide to riding Alpe d’Huez.
Jeremy Whittle witnessed history on Wednesday.
“I was a bit surprised that the time gaps were so big,” Vingegaard said after winning the stage. “On the other hand, it was a very hot stage. We attacked at Télégraphe and again at Galibier, so we really had a plan to make the race difficult today. I think that the harder it is, the bigger the deficit will be in the end be, and I think it was in my interest.”
But the 25-year-old Dane said that when he attacked, he did not know that Pogacar was fighting. “No, but I took the chance. I didn’t know if it hurt, but they told me on the radio that it was steeper in five kilometers, and I thought: ‘Either they are making it difficult, or I am trying to attack.’ That’s why I did it.”
Wednesday was one of those days that will live on in Tour lore. The late, great Richard Moore wrote a brilliant book in 2014 about the main stages in Le Tour – Étape – and if Richard could have written a track, then surely Tadej Pogacar’s smash on the Col du Granon would have been included. The same climb once broke Bernard Hinault, after all, although it was at the end of his career, with five Tours already in the bag, in addition to two Pogacars. He is 23 years old, but seeing him in yesterday’s summit was one of pain, in the effort to join and the loss of the possibility of the tour to Jonas Vingegaard.
To follow? Only Alpe d’Huez, cycling’s most famous peak. It is 13.9 km long, covers 1118 vertical meters at an average grade of 8% and to win the stage involves joining one of the sport’s immortals, those hairpin but narrow, typhoon-filled roads that go completely bananas. The last winner here was Geraint Thomas in 2018, when he ended up winning the entire Tour. So, it’s been four long years since the competition visited l’Alpe, and Thomas, in good form this year, may have a chance to become a double winner. Only Gianni Bugno, Marco Pantani, Peter Hinnen and Hennie Cooper have managed it. This is the 70th anniversary of the first visit of Le Tour here, when the winner was Fausto Coppi.
For Pogacar, a chance for immediate redemption. For Vingegaard, the chance to solidify his status.
From William Fotheringham’s pre-tour guide:
Cruelly, the organizers let the riders return to the Galibier as they arrived less than 24 hours earlier, before moving on to the Croix de Fer to tackle L’Alpe D’Huez for the first time since 2018. That year’s winner, Geraint Thomas, seems to be back to his best form; today, the odds are that the winner will come from an early break, and since it’s Bastille Day, all of France will rise for Pinot or Romain Bardet.
- 1. Jonas Vingegaard (Den/Jumbo-Visma) 41 hours 29 minutes 59 seconds
- 2. Romain Bardet (Fra/DSM +2mins 16secs
- 3. Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) +2mins 22secs
- 4. Geraint Thomas (GB/Ineos Grenadiers) +2 minutes 26 seconds
- 5. Nairo Quintana (Col/Arkea Samsic) +2mins 37secs
- 6. Adam Yates (GB/Ineos Grenadiers) +3 minutes 06 seconds
- 7. David Gaudu (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) +3mins 13secs
- 8. Aleksandr Vlasov (Russia/Bora-Hansgrohe) +7mins 23secs
- 9. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz/Astana) +8mins 07secs
- 10. Enric Mas (Spa / Movistar) +9mins 29secs