The young British Tom Pidcock (Ineos), current Olympic mountain bike champion, experienced a bath of glory in Alpe d’Huez by winning a prestigious victory on one of the most mythical summits of Tower of France who, on this occasion, did not see a great fight between the favorites, controlled by the powerful Jumbo of Vingaard.
The expected and announced revenge of Tadej Pogacar (UAE), was left behind on two attacks in the final part of the climb to Alpe d’Huez they were controlled by Vingaard, again the strongest of the favourites. Far from the collection of attacks from this Wednesday’s stage on the Galibier and the Granon, this Thursday there was no artifice between the big swords.
The strange climb towards Alpe d’Huez, with the absolute mastery of the Jumbo, allowed the breakaway of the day to win. He was Tom Pidcock, great craftsman of escape, with his impressive descents of the Galibier and the Croix de Ferwho took the victory thanks to an attack five kilometers from the stage.
The Briton, in his first Tour, obtained a doctorate in style during the gala round after impose their force on their escape companionsa Meintjes who fought unspeakably not to lose a wheel but ended up giving in to biker Ineos, the best Crhis Froome since his injury, and Neilson Powless, the breakaway precursor.
A special mention deserves the Spanish Enric Mas, who after his fall this Wednesday, endured among the best in Alpe d’Huez, which allows him to climb one place in the general classification and to place himself in ninth position at 9:32 behind Vingaard. Moreover, in the general classification, Pogacar and Geraint Thomas finished second and third respectively, to the detriment of a Bardet who could not keep up the pace and fell to fourth position.
The Jumbo imposes its law
With yellow Vingeard in their ranks, the Jumbo Visma controlled the stage from start to finish in the peloton. After the very long ascent of the Croix de Fer, without notable movements, we expected a lot from the ascent of the mythical 21 bends of Alpe d’Huez. However, Jumbo chose to impose a rhythm that prevented any attack until Pogacar’s attempts.
Until then, the Jumbo runners, in an unexpected strategy, took command and made the selection in the group but, at the same time, burned their balls. So Benoot and Van Aert, after a huge amount of work, gave up, leaving only Sepp Kuss in the lead, in a final selection in which only Pogacar, Geraint Thomas and Enric Mas survived.
Pogacar, driving until three kilometers from the finish, launched two attacks to which Vingaard responded unhindered, who was again backed up by Kuss when the race slowed. Thus, the favorites crossed the finish line with a sprint of Pogacar, who could not scratch Vingaard, solid leader of the Tour de France after his passage in the Alps.