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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, July 11, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

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Tour de France stage 9 reports

We posted the race organizer's stage 9 report with the results.

Here’s the report from GC leader Tadej Pogacar’s UAE Team Emirates:

Fifth place for Tadej Pogačar at the Tour de France on 9th stage (the 9th, 192.9 km from Aigle to Chatel les portes du Soleil) which saw Bob Jungels (Ag2R Citroen) win from the main escape of the day.

Rafal Majka leads Tadej Pogacar on a descent near the finish. Sirotti photo

An intense battle began from the start to get out of the group and only after fifty kilometers 21 riders were able to take command of the race.

UAE Team Emirates had Brandon McNulty as their man in the breakaway, while the rest of the UAE squad took the lead by setting a strong pace for Pogačar.

The 1st category ascents of Col de La Croix (8 km at 7.5% gradient, tackled at -70 km) and Pas de Morgins (15.4 km at 6.2%, at -25 km) whittled down the group and allowed Jungels to slip away.

Pogačar took advantage of the climb towards the finish line to try to add a few more seconds to the advantage over his rivals for the general classification: the Slovenian produced a decisive acceleration in view of the arrival, finishing the stage in 5th place (+49" from the winner ) and finding only an answer from Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma), 6th with the same time as the yellow jersey.

Tadej Pogačar: “I was not too worried by the riders present in the breakaway, I thought the guys back in the group were more dangerous, but we set a pace that was comfortable to us and we managed to keep it until the finish, so everything went well.”

We arrive to the second rest-day with Tadej Pogačar leading the overall ranking with a 39 “advantage over Vingegaard and 1’17” over Geraint Thomas.

On Tuesday, the Grande Boucle will restart from Morzine, with a 148.1 km stage that will take them to the uphill finish of Megève.

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Second-place Jonathan Castroviejo's Team INEOS Grenadiers posted this report:

Jonathan Castroviejo put in a spirited ride in the breakaway to finish in second place on stage nine at the Tour de France.

The Grenadier worked hard to get into the day’s 21-man move and finished strongly over the Pas de Morgins climb, overhauling Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) in the final metres and distancing Carlos Verona (Movistar) at the finish.

30 seconds later the GC contenders sprinted in, with Geraint Thomas and Adam Yates finishing seventh and eighth respectively. Tom Pidcock also dug deep to remain in contact with the group as the trio retained their overall positions, but sadly Dani Martinez became distanced on the final climb.

Geraint Thomas (shown at the start of stage five) is sitting in 3rd place in the GC. Sirotti photo

Thomas remains third as the race arrives at the second rest day, 1:17 back on Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates). Yates sits fourth at 1:25, with Pidcock still an impressive seventh at 1:46.

The team worked hard early on to get into the break, with Dylan van Baarle and Castroviejo making efforts to get up the road. The stage had been highlighted for Castroviejo who produced a superb result on the day. However there was no catching Bob Jungels (AG2R Citroen Team) on the day as he took a solo victory by 22 seconds.

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Here’s the stage summary from Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl

The final day of the race’s first week found the peloton in Switzerland, from where the riders took on a demanding 192.9km course peppered with four classified climbs that took them to Châtel les portes du Soleil. The Alpine ski resort had hosted just a finish before Sunday, way back in 1975, when Lucien Van Impe conquered the 40km individual time trial that finished at the top of the first-category ascent.

It was a beautiful day for racing. Sirotti photo.

The start of the stage was again marked by numerous attacks coming from those hoping to book a place in the breakaway. Even Mattia Cattaneo, the most combative rider of stage 8, tried to be there, but the field didn’t give green light to that move, letting a group move away only in the run-in to Côte de Bellevue.

From this 21-man group, Bob Jungels (AG2R-Citroen) soloed to victory after attacking on the penultimate climb. All our riders, except Kasper Asgreen – who had to retire before the stage – came in safely and will now head into a well-deserved rest day before next week’s gruelling Alpine climbs, including Col du Granon and Alpe d’Huez.

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Aleksandr Vlasov's Team Bora-hansgrohe sent me this report:

As expected also today was another huge fight for the break of the day. After several attempts finally 21 riders went clear from the bunch including Patrick Konrad and Nils Politt from BORA – hansgrohe. But also today Team UAE took control quite early and the gap between break and peloton was never bigger than three minutes. A first selection was made on the penultimate climb when first Nils was dropped and later Bob Jungels launched the decisive attack.

Patrick Konrad was in a first chasing group but waited for the group of favorites when Aleks Vlasov was in trouble. He and Lennard Kämna helped Aleks to survive the last climb of the day before all was split into pieces on the final uphill stretch to the line. Even Aleks suffered again from back pain after his crash on stage six he was able to limit the time loss to less than 30 seconds to the other GC favorites. 

Aleksandr Vlasov racing in stage 7. Sirotti photo

“I am happy that we have a rest day as I really need it to recover from my crash on stage 9. I still have some back pain and it is very hard for me to push the pedals with power. But I hope to recover well tomorrow. Before the crash I felt perfect and was up there to go with the best, but after the crash it is a lot harder for me. The Tour is very intense, very fast every day and always nervous.” – Aleksandr Vlasov

“Actually, I made it into the group without killing myself to get in. I had good legs, but it was the wrong group with too many different interests. Bob had obviously an exceptional day to still make it to the finish, as the peloton again controlled the group at three minutes. When the bunch came closer, I focused on Aleks and stayed with him until the final. My shape is quite good, and it will be interesting to see how the big mountain stages in the alps play out. Today some of the guys in the break have been on their limit quite early while others still played around a little, that’s why I tried something on the penultimate climb. But when Bob launched a counter attack nobody was able to follow.“ – Patrick Konrad

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