Three days that will cause movements in the favorite runners to the general in the Tour de France and, ultimately, to the classification. The Jura and the Alps, two high altitude arrivals (today the first) and another downhill to select the race. Unlike other years, where the third and final week of the race is the most demanding in terms of route, This year the design changed, with a very hard start and a second week of a lot of wear and tear. For this reason, although in the third the fatigue is greater than up to now, these three stages seem decisive, not definitive. There is a difference of 17 seconds between the two great protagonists of the race.
Jonas Vingegaard, the yellow jersey and defender of the crown, and Tadej Pogacar, double champion in Paris and great aspirant. Today, the Grand Colombier, hosts his first duel. “It will be an important day. It’s a nice and tough climb”, says the leader of the race, who highlighted in previous days that the Alps have some climbs that were going well for him, although that will be from tomorrow. “It is always difficult to predict before the stage who is better. If you feel good, you try it. I’m happy to have this jersey, I don’t think about who comes with a better momentum. I only think about myself and having good legs. It is being a very tough Tour and I am ready for battle”, added the Dane. While in Belleville-en-Beaujolais, his taste for white wine. “I don’t take it much, because being a cyclist I can’t, but I do enjoy it from time to time.”
Today it will be difficult, unless it is not to celebrate, because the day, Despite having only one port, it will be very demanding, and the heat will be hot again, since temperatures are expected to exceed 30 degrees in various sections of the stage. The Grand Colombier is 17 kilometers, a long climb, with a maximum of 12%. It is a long effort and at a peak where Pogacar won the last time the Tour came. It was the 15th stage of 2020, after arriving with his compatriot Roglic in head-to-head. The one from Jumbo continued to lead the general… until the penultimate day, with Tadej breaking all the forecasts. Good memories at this peak for the UAE player: “Of course the objective is to get the yellow jersey, but if today I can cut a few seconds (of the 17 that separate them from Vingegaard) I will also be happy”.
In the peloton, on which of the three hardest stages, there was diversity of opinion. “Well, today the Grand Colombiere, and finishing on a high, will be demanding. Tomorrow, Joaux Plane is very tough and on Sunday it will finish high again ”, they say from Ineos, who have Carlos in fourth place. The third drawer of the podium, occupied by Hindley, is highly coveted, with many applicants, and Pello Bilbao, fifth, is also close. At the exit from Bilbao, fourteen Spaniards showed up and, after the abandonment due to the fall of David de la Cruz yesterday, eleven remain. Along the way, and with nine days to go until the end, two stages and 4th and 5th overall.