Everything runs under budget in the 2023 Tour de France: A fight of two for the yellow shirt. Tadej Pogacar has already won two of three mountain battles against Jonas Vingegaard, but the Danish Jumbo Visma closed the first week at the top of the general classification with 17 seconds difference over the Slovenian.
The others are steps below with respect to the two favorites. The best of the rest is Jai Hindley at 2’40”, while Colombia, for the first time in five years, ends the first week of the Tour without a presence in the top 20 of the general. New goals for our crews for what’s to come, with a stage victory in our sights.
Harold Tejada wants to enter the top 20
The arrival at the Puy de Dome, in which Michael Woods won the stage and Pogacar lost a few seconds to Vingegaard, also meant changes for the Colombians, since Harold Tejada surpassed Egan Bernal and became the best of ours in box 26 at 28’00” from the Dane. Just over 9 minutes separate him from the top 20, in search of his best participation in a three-week raceas he finished in 36th place in the 2021 Giro d’Italia.
The difference with the forwards would allow him to be part of a break or attack the group when he has legs in search of a stage. Similar situation for Rigoberto Urán and Esteban Chaves, since The EF Education EasyPost lost its file for the general classification very early: Richard Carapaz due to a fall on the first day. By not having well-placed cyclists in the CG, the Colombians of the American squad will be able to break away and look for the feat.
The panorama for those of Ineos Grenadiers to look for a stage seems more complex, especially for Egan Bernal, because he has done a good job as a gregarious to protect and carry Carlos Rodríguez and Thomas Pidcock, two teammates in the top 10 overall, and that will continue to be his role. Daniel Felipe Martínez was already on the run and could try again in the second week, but the priority will be to take care of the Spanish and the British.
Second week with a lot of mountains to finish in Los Alpes
The action on the Tour will resume with a 167.2-kilometre mid-mountain stage from Vulcania to Issoire, which includes four third-category and one second-category ascents. Subsequently, the only stage classified as flat of the second week of the race will be run, that will have three fourth climbs, but it will be the chance for the sprinters.
In total there are 24 mountain passes that will be crowned in this week of competition, half of them from the second category upwards. There will also be two demanding finishes at the top: Friday at the Grand Colombier (special category) and Sunday at Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc (first). The last three days of this second week will be in Los Alpes, the region where the cyclists will stay for the start of the decisive week.