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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, July 13, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

History is a set of lies agreed upon. - Napoleon Bonaparte

Tour of Flanders, the Inside Story

Les Woodland's book Tour of Flanders: The Inside Story - The rocky roads of the Ronde van Vlaanderen is available in print, Kindle eBook and audiobook versions. To get your copy, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

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Tour de France stage ten reports

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

Here's the report from stage winner Magnus Cort's Team EF Education-EasyPost:

Magnus Cort has won the tenth stage of the Tour de France.

“It's unbelievable. I can’t believe what just happened today,” he said after raising his arms on the podium.

Stage winner Magnus Cort. Sirotti photo

After a furious start downhill from Morzine, the Dane joined a large breakaway over the top of the second climb, the Col de Jamblaz. The group, which included his EF Education-EasyPost teammate Alberto Bettiol, quickly built up a great lead over the chasing peloton. Once they reached the valley leading to the final climb to Mégeve, Alberto went on the offensive, launching a solo attack in the shadow of Mont Blanc. As the Italian powered into the wind and forced the others in the group to chase, Magnus stayed tucked in their wheels. All the way up the final col, he stayed calm, letting the others cover the attacks once Alberto was brought back.

“I was on the limit for so long on this climb,” Magnus said. “Luckily I had Bettiol. He was really strong and was in front which meant I could sit on and save some energy. I almost lost the group a couple of times in the last kilometers, but suddenly it was all back together and I was there.”

Magnus waited and waited and then launched his sprint at just the right moment. He timed his bike throw perfectly and won the stage.

“It’s huge. For me, my type of rider, it can’t be any bigger than this. This is what I can do, chasing stages and stage races and the Tour de France is just the biggest race. When we entered the runway, I could see that things were coming back together. I saw the podium and a Tour de France sign, and I told myself, ‘This one is mine.’ I just had to take it, no matter the price. I was able to take it in the sprint.”

EF Education-EasyPost sports director Tom Southam was ecstatic.

"To come out and do it today was super important for us, because we were really close in the first week and the boys have been really good," he said. "They’ve been with the best, they’ve done everything they can, and so to go in there now and do it was super important. When Magnus gets that close, he’s a winner. Even though they were 15 seconds down with a K to go, you can still win, you can still come back. And he sure did."

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Here's the report from second-place Nick Schultz's Team BikeExchange-Jayco:

27-year-old Nick Schultz went agonizingly close to claiming an astonishing stage win in his debut appearance at the Tour de France today, as stage 10 came down to a head-to-head bike throw for victory, with Schultz taking a career best result, with a super second place.

Schultz & Cort approach the line together. Sirotti photo

The Australian made it into the main break of the day alongside Team BikeExchange-Jayco teammate Jack Bauer and almost walked away with the win after a fierce uphill sprint for the line in Megève.

It was a blistering start, as racing resumed after the rest day, and it wasn't until after 70km of action when a group of 25 riders finally went clear and opened up a gap over the peloton of more than seven minutes.

Despite several attacks and a brief neutralisation, the stage came down to a fight between the breakaway riders on the final category two climb up to the finish. A number of riders launched moves on the lower slopes, but Schultz remained calm, biding his time before jumping across to a strong 10 rider move with 7km to go.

Veteran Luis Leon Sanchez then went clear and opened up a significant gap as the summit approached, but the Spaniard was reeled in by a charging Schultz. As the pace slowed, the front group grew to four, with the remains of the breakaway also closing in as they passed under the Flamme Rouge.

Schultz once again stayed patient before launching his sprint for the line with 250 metres to go. The Brisbane born rider powered away from the group, with only Magnus Cort able to follow his wheel and the stage came down to a photo finish.

It was a nervous wait for the final result but despite missing out the victory by the narrowest of margins, Schultz and Team BikeExchange-Jayco end the day full of pride and confidence, with more opportunities to come.

Nick Schultz – 2nd place:
"I am really happy with second, but to be honest I am also really upset; it is not like every day you get to try and win a stage of the Tour de France. I will keep trying and see where we get to.

"It was a hard day, to be honest I actually had really bad legs today after the rest day, at the start. Luckily I had the boys trying to help me get in the breakaway, I just had to bite the bullet and try to get in there. I was almost worried once I got in there, like oh no I don’t feel very good, so I really had to gamble, but thankfully I had Jack Bauer with me, he did an amazing job keeping the breakaway together and pulling.

"I just had to sit tight and try and find the good legs again and it was just a matter of trying to do my best on the final climb. I tried to play poker, but I’ve never really been in that position before to contest a Tour de France stage win. It was almost perfect, but we know Magnus Cort, he has won stages in Grand Tours before, and he was just the better man."

Matt White - Head Sport Director:
"It’s been a pretty turbulent day for the boys today, obviously losing a teammate with Durbridge going positive with Covid. But the boys focussed on today’s stage and we knew it was a stage that suited Schultz to get into the breakaway. Nick had some great help there in the breakaway from Jack Bauer to keep that break moving, and give him every chance to do his thing in the final.

"Nick rode a very calculated final and was just pipped on the line by Magnus Cort, so hats off to Magnus, but what an incredible ride from Schultz in his first ever Tour de France.”

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Here’s the report from new GC second-place Lennard Kämna’s Team Bora-hansgrohe:

After another big battle for the break of the day which took more than 50 kilometers, finally a group of 25 riders went clear from the bunch today and once again Lennard Kämna was part of this break for BORA – hansgrohe. But this time Lennard had already to invest a lot to make it into the break, but still looked to be one of the strongest riders from this group again during the day. At one point he virtually took over the Yellow Jersey and it was this battle for Yellow which marked the rest of the day.

Today Team UAE didn’t chase hard and with around 10 kilometers to go the gap was still around nine and a half minutes. The other riders from the break took advantage of this situation and in the end Magnus Cort took the win with Lennard crossing the line in 10th place. In the end Jumbo-Visma started to ride in the bunch to keep Pogacar in Yellow and responsible for the overall race. As a result, Lennard missed the jersey by only 11 seconds.

Lennard Kämna finishes stage ten, coming very close to taking the yellow jersey. Sirotti photo

“I just wanted to go for the stage today but that really wasn’t easy. I had the impression that everyone was riding against me, and the last climb was no fun at all. I had good legs again, but I also had to invest a lot during the day, especially when once that bigger group was in front on the last climb. The last three kilometers I just went full gas as I knew already at that point that the win was gone. I didn’t expect in the end that it would be so close regarding the Yellow Jersey, but it is of course disappointing now to realize I almost got it and finally got nothing in hands for the second time.” – Lennard Kämna

“Well, everybody knew that Lenni would go for the stage today. Therefore, it was incredible difficult for him in the front. Because from the other riders no one really had a chance to go for the jersey they also had been able to poker a lot more. In the end that made the difference. But still Lenni rode a really strong race again. That Jumbo started to ride in the end, well, we didn’t really think they would do that. I mean it’s clear why they did it, but still we didn’t expect them to ride, which was a pity for us. We haven’t been really lucky so far in this tour, but we hope that will change at some point. At least Aleks felt better today, that’s the only positive from today. – Rolf Aldag, Sports Director

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And here's the report from Team Jumbo-Visma:

The tenth stage in the Tour de France has gone relatively smoothly for Team Jumbo-Visma. Christophe Laporte was in the leading group, but had to let go on the final climb. Primoz Roglic and Jonas Vingegaard finished in the group of favorites.

Tadej Pogacar leads Jonas Vingegaard across the line to finish stage 10. Sirotti photo

A big leading group was able to fight for the stage victory. Sports director Grischa Niermann explained why Laporte was sent ahead. “We knew this stage would be too easy to try anything for the general classification. To keep an overview, we wanted to be part of the breakaway.”

For Team Jumbo-Visma, the focus can now turn to the upcoming challenging mountain stages. Tomorrow a final climb to the Col du Granon awaits the riders. Steven Kruijswijk and his teammates explored this climb. “It is a very tough one, especially with the high temperatures. The finish is at 2,400 metres, which will also play a role. I think we are going to see something nice”, the Dutchman said.

"It's a very tough climb, one of the toughest I've seen”, Vingegaard said. The Dane is looking forward to tomorrow's ride. “We'll see what will happen. I hope I have good legs. Every mountain stage is an opportunity for us and I feel good.”

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