Le Tour 22 – Stage 16-21 Week 3 Vingegaard makes it to Paris

I had to think long and hard over a headline. Implying that the winner Jonas Vingegaard merely “made it” to Paris might be seen as belittling his achievement. But the context I am after is showing the challenges he faced with the climate, with climate protestors and the fact that Tadej Pogacar wasn’t going to hand over the title without a battle.

We left the race in the South of France after one of the hottest days on record for the Tour.

Stage 16 was a medium mountain stage which saw Israel-Premier Tech continue their ascension out of the World Tour relegation places when Hugo Houle rode away to win the stage. He was ably back by team mate Mike Woods for a Canadian one two.

The next day to Peyragaudes saw Pogacar win the stage without creating any distance between himself and the yellow jersey.

Despite being super confident that the Slovenian would have what it took to come back and win the race overall, his lack of ability to drop Vingegaard made me start to doubt his chances of doing so. This was clear evidence that the Dane had his number and that it would take something really special to dislodge him.

The final mountain stage to the disgraced (based on the evidence of former winners) peak of Hautacam saw Pogacar dropped for good.

After dueling on the way up the penultimate climb, the top two on the overall classification both had sketchy moments on the hot tar going down.

The yellow jersey had his foot out to save him from snaking into a ditch before Pogacar went over and crashed.

Vingegaard waited for his rival and when he caught up they shook hands as if to say “no more, this could get silly and dangerous“.

They did battle it out on the final climb before Wout Van Aert (who else?) delivered a monster turn for his leader which saw him win alone.

Christophe LaPorte got reward for all of his efforts in this race and across the season to date with the only French stage win after escaping in Cahors. Jumbo continued to monopolise the stage wins with Van Aert taking the final time trial for the second year in succession before Jasper Philipsen made it two stage wins in Paris.

There are those in the media calling this the best Tour ever. I think that might be a bit steep based on 1989 (and others!). But it was exciting from first to last and raced continually.

The only real off day was stage 15 but with the alps in the riders legs and a 40 degree, baking hot stage between them and the second rest day that can be understood.

I really enjoyed it and the race had a worthy winner in Jonas Vingegaard. Whether he is starting a dynasty or will be a one off winner, only next summer will be able to tell us.

Stage winners and leaders

DateRaceWinnerLeader after stage
07/01Stage 1 | Copenhagen – Copenhagen LAMPAERT Yves LAMPAERT Yves
07/02Stage 2 | Roskilde – Nyborg JAKOBSEN Fabio VAN AERT Wout
07/03Stage 3 | Vejle – Sønderborg GROENEWEGEN Dylan VAN AERT Wout
07/05Stage 4 | Dunkerque – Calais VAN AERT Wout VAN AERT Wout
07/06Stage 5 | Lille – Wallers-Arenberg CLARKE Simon VAN AERT Wout
07/07Stage 6 | Binche – Longwy POGAČAR Tadej POGAČAR Tadej
07/08Stage 7 | Tomblaine – La Super Planche des Belles Filles POGAČAR Tadej POGAČAR Tadej
07/09Stage 8 | Dole – Lausanne VAN AERT Wout POGAČAR Tadej
07/10Stage 9 | Aigle – Châtel les portes du Soleil JUNGELS Bob POGAČAR Tadej
07/12Stage 10 | Morzine – Megève CORT Magnus POGAČAR Tadej
07/13Stage 11 | Albertville – Col du Granon VINGEGAARD Jonas VINGEGAARD Jonas
07/14Stage 12 | Briançon – L’Alpe d’Huez PIDCOCK Thomas VINGEGAARD Jonas
07/15Stage 13 | Bourg d’Oisans – Saint-Etienne PEDERSEN Mads VINGEGAARD Jonas
07/16Stage 14 | Saint-Etienne – Mende MATTHEWS Michael VINGEGAARD Jonas
07/17Stage 15 | Rodez – Carcassonne PHILIPSEN Jasper VINGEGAARD Jonas
07/19Stage 16 | Carcassonne – Foix HOULE Hugo VINGEGAARD Jonas
07/20Stage 17 | Saint-Gaudens – Peyragudes POGAČAR Tadej VINGEGAARD Jonas
07/21Stage 18 | Lourdes – Hautacam VINGEGAARD Jonas VINGEGAARD Jonas
07/22Stage 19 | Castelnau-Magnoac – Cahors LAPORTE Christophe VINGEGAARD Jonas
07/23Stage 20 | Lacapelle-Marival – Rocamadour VAN AERT Wout VINGEGAARD Jonas
07/24Stage 21 | Paris La Défense – Paris (Champs-Élysées) PHILIPSEN Jasper VINGEGAARD Jonas
from Procyclingstats
RnkPrev▼▲RiderTeamUCIPntTime
11 VINGEGAARD JonasJumbo-Visma100050032″79:33:20
22 POGAČAR TadejUAE Team Emirates80038040″2:43
33 THOMAS GeraintINEOS Grenadiers6753407:22
44 GAUDU DavidGroupama – FDJ5753004″13:39
55 VLASOV AleksandrBORA – hansgrohe47528015:46
66 QUINTANA NairoTeam Arkéa Samsic4002606″16:33
77 BARDET RomainTeam DSM3252404″18:11
88 MEINTJES LouisIntermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux2752206″18:44
99 LUTSENKO AlexeyAstana Qazaqstan Team22521022:56
1010 YATES AdamINEOS Grenadiers17520024:52
from procyclingstats

Le Tour 22 – Stages 10-15 Week 2 sees a change in yellow

We left our week 1 round up in Chatel in the shadows of the high Alps.

It had been a fast and furious first week with Tadej Pogacar and Wout Van Aert carving the race and the stages up between themselves.

After a rest day in Morzine we got going again with the hero of the opening weekend Magnus Cort getting a well deserved stage win in Megeve. A narrow sprint win from a breakaway was such a Cort way of getting EF off the mark for this race after a number of close calls.

The next day we got our first look at the GC contenders at over 2000m of altitude although most pundits (including myself) had already called Pogacar the winner of this tour.

Jonas Vingegaard and his Jumbo team had other ideas repeatedly attacking the Slovenian in the valley roads around the colossal Col du Galibier. Pogacar was able to react to all attacks at this point but when the Dane attacked on the Col du Granon almost in site of the finish, the leader was dropped.

And how.

A deficit of around 30 seconds became over 2 and a quarter minutes of a lead for Vingegaard. It was now on.

The expected attacks the following day on Alp D’Huez didn’t really materialise with the crowds and the breakway situation maybe playing a part.

Tom Pidcock kept up the UKs recent claim on the Dutch mountain with a brilliant stage win forged in his downhill skills and backed up by his speed up hill.

Highlight of the Tour so far for me.

As we headed towards a weekend of 40 degree heat a breakaway was finally allowed its day with Mads Pedersen a deserving stage win after managing his compatriots on the final climb into St Etienne.

Yesterday as the race trundled into Carcassonne we had time to reflect on a brilliant second week packed with mountain views and twists and turns in the race.

Jumbo’s minds were bought back into sharp focus however. Primoz Roglic had left the Tour at the start of the day as a result of his Roubaix tumble. However they hadn’t budgeted on Steven Kruijswijk hitting the deck and breaking a collar bone. Advantage Tadej?

Its all to play for as we head into the key final week of this Tour de France… I am not going to pick it now!

RnkPrev▼▲RiderTeamUCITime
11 VINGEGAARD JonasJumbo-Visma2516″59:58:28
22 POGAČAR TadejUAE Team Emirates24″2:22
33 THOMAS GeraintINEOS Grenadiers2:43
44 BARDET RomainTeam DSM4″3:01
55 YATES AdamINEOS Grenadiers4:06
66 QUINTANA NairoTeam Arkéa Samsic6″4:15
77 MEINTJES LouisIntermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux6″4:24
88 GAUDU DavidGroupama – FDJ4″,,
99 PIDCOCK ThomasINEOS Grenadiers10″8:49
1010 MAS EnricMovistar Team9:58

Week 3 – Sleepy final week to the Tour

The final week of the Tour was a total non-event in terms of the general classification leaving many to wonder if the course wasn’t quite balanced enough to promote attacking riding.

Although to be fair when there was a summit finish it was generally either won by Tadej Pogacar or he gained time on his increasingly hapless looking rivals.

If it hadn’t been for Ben O’Connor and Jonas Vingegaard emerging from the shadows and taking the race on we would have been subjected to less action.

Pogacar was so far ahead after the final mountains that he and his team were able to let the latter stages play out with chaos on the road and breakaways ruling the roost.

Ineos Grenadiers had such a disaster with the fading of Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte that Richard Carapaz was their only hope.

Despite a couple of attacks he never once looked like dropping the other favourites.

His team also reverted to type after promising enterprising and attacking riding. They formed a train on the climbs and as mentioned in last weeks post, pretty much armchaired the yellow jersey to within a few kms of the finish on key stages.

I have no idea why they chose to ride in that way. Defensive and stifling they should have left more riders from lower down the top 10 to challenge in the way that Guillaume Martin did.

But they knew that if he hung on Carapaz was likely to get on to the podium and for Ineos that looked enough.

Contrast that with Jumbo/Visma who lost Primoz Roglic at the same time as Thomas faltered. They made sure that Vingegaard became a loose cannon, especially on the Mont Ventoux stage. The second prong to their fork was Wout Van Aert who became a stage hunter in the Sean Kelly, Peter Sagan mould.

Their tour will be a success, Ineos a failure.

I am not sure that the management of Jumbo is such that they showed great agility in adapating their planning. I put it down to the riders being strong on the road and mentality tough.

Despite getting boxed in by the Eddy Merckx mafia of Belgians in Paris (!), Mark Cavendish and Quickstep will be looking at this Tour as a real successs. He equalled the record and if thats as far as it goes then I am sure he will still be happy.

Julian Alaphillippe got his stage win and Cav the green jersey. Job done.

The main blot of the week 3 landscape was the police raid of Bahrain Victorious. This was the culmination of rumours since Rod Ellingworth left the team suddenly and they started winning.

Gino Mader and Mark Padun came from nowhere to win important races before the Tour and during this race Matej Mohoric and Dylan Theuns got wins (although neither was too surprising).

Foul seemed to be being cried over the sudden emergence of Sonny Colbrelli as a mountain climber, which was a little uncomfortable to watch at times.

But until there are charges from the investigation, and that goes for all stage and classification winners, not just Colbrelli, we will take the race and its outcomes at face value.

The good news for those of us who are down in the dumps this week with the race over is that the Tour of Wallonia starts today !

RnkPrev▼▲RiderTeamUCIPntTime
11 POGAČAR TadejUAE-Team Emirates100050082:56:36
22 VINGEGAARD JonasTeam Jumbo-Visma8003805:20
33 CARAPAZ RichardINEOS Grenadiers6753407:03
44 O’CONNOR BenAG2R Citroën Team57530010:02
55 KELDERMAN WilcoBORA – hansgrohe47528010:13
66 MAS EnricMovistar Team40026011:43
77 LUTSENKO AlexeyAstana – Premier Tech32524012:23
88 MARTIN GuillaumeCofidis, Solutions Crédits27522015:33
99 BILBAO PelloBahrain – Victorious22521016:04
1010 URÁN RigobertoEF Education – Nippo17520018:34