Survivor Evenepoel

There were 17 kilometers to the finish line when Remco Evenepoel threatened to stay for the first time. The world champion, who already demonstrated yesterday that he is not super, suffered as Juan Ayuso had suffered moments before. The Spaniard, after giving hope in Villars-sur-Ollon, finally said goodbye to his options in the general classification (lost 1:51 minutes). The Belgian, however, was proud – he has a lot – not to give up definitively in the last port of the day, the Dorben, a torture of 19 km with 12% climbs, descents and an average gradient of 4.5%. Up to two times. In that and a couple of kilometers later, with Felix Gall thrown towards the doublet that 24 hours before he had witnessed in first person. From Mattias Skjelmose to the Austrian from Ag2r, the new overall leader and winner of the stage after being second yesterday. His first professional victory. At 1:02 minutes, he crossed the finish line wearing the rainbow jersey, survivor with a prize. He is third, but he is one second (16) closer to yellow.

Goal accomplished. One less day of suffering before the final time trial on Sunday, in which the Soudal Quick-Step rider hopes to finish off the job. Before he will have to grit his teeth again, tomorrow, on the third day in a row in the Swiss heights. This Wednesday, everything was reserved for the second part of the day. Within the 152.5km run between Monthey and Leukerbad, the party didn’t start until the last 70. And there were few invites. The first stretch, a false ascending flat, was characterized by monotony. And the runners blended in with him. After riding at good speed with the united peloton, the group broke for the first time after almost 50 km in the legs, before facing the ascent to Crans-Montana, first category (14.6 km at 6.7% ). That port that, a month ago, Einer Rubio crowned to win in a day of the Giro whose intrahistory better not to remember. This time, Pascal Eenkhoorn (Lotto), leading a breakaway of 11 runners, was the first to reach the top. For Lilian Calmejane (Intermarché), who was in second place, it served to take away the mountain jersey from Nickolas Zukowsky (Q36.5). Gino Mader (Bahrain), the last to join the adventure, was allowed to lead virtually.

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the final firecracker

Like it was another race. Crans-Montana was there to intimidate; the Dorben, to remove masks. Everyone seemed to languish except for that triumphant Gall, who started his journey towards the finish line some 20 kilometers from the end, just when Ayuso began to give up. The Ag2r rider, shielded by two teammates, jumped from the peloton to reach the front group. He breathed and launched his ultimate attack. He was leaving so as not to stop and punish the multiple festivals that formed in his path. Without coordination and, surely, without the necessary forces. Among the pursuers, an Oier Lazkano (Movistar) to whom Evenepoel asked for relief (an already usual image) and who jumped with more faith than power, although this season he is showing that he has it. His move didn’t intimidate Gall. Nor that of Wilco Kelderman (Jumbo), followed by Cian Uijtdebroeks (Bora). Nor the multiple attempts of a hyperactive Romain Bardet (DSM). The Austrian, from a distance, caressed a double prize that tomorrow, with the alpine passes of Furkapass (special category, with 16.5 km at 6.4%), Oberalppass (first class, with 10.7 km at 5.6%) and Albulapass (special, with 17.4 km at 6.8%), 211 kilometers and 4,700 meters of unevenness, he will try to defend.

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