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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, July 12, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2023 Giro d'Italia

Always forgive your enemies - nothing annoys them so much. - Oscar Wilde


Tour de France: 2020

Bill & Carol McGann's book The Story of the Tour de France, 2020: The Tour During Covid-19, Better Late Than Never is available in both 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 10 reports

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

Here’s the stage 10 report from GC leader Jonas Vingegaard’s Team Jumbo-Visma:

While Team Jumbo-Visma did not succeed in making an impact in the battle for the day's victory in the tenth stage of the Tour de France, Jonas Vingegaard maintained his lead in the general classification. The black-and-yellow squad tried to be part of the early breakaway with Wout van Aert but was unable to do so in the tricky opening phase.

Jonas Vingegaard finished 21st in stage 10. Sirotti photo

Despite the sweltering heat, there was a lot of attacking and climbing right after the start. "The early stages were tough”, Van Aert admitted. "It was a tough day. The course had very few flat kilometres; it was up and down until the finish. I didn't have the best legs. That's why I wasn't in the breakaway of the day. After that plan failed, I tried to help the team. We didn't get into trouble today. That's the most important thing.”

Heading into the final climb of the day, Van Aert suddenly reappeared at the front with Mathieu van der Poel. At some point, the two were several kilometres ahead of the peloton. Van Aert: "I just followed Mathieu. I think he was in front of one of his teammates. On a descent he kept up the pace, and I followed him. In no time we had a gap. It was an ideal situation for me. I could take it easy on the last climb and still do something for the team. My condition is good, but the legs were just a bit less than I would have liked today. It's a shame that I wasn't in the early breakaway, but that's how it is”, the Team Jumbo-Visma rider said.

Vingegaard rode well all day, surrounded by his teammates. "We knew beforehand that this stage would be good for the escapees. There was a lot of enthusiasm at the start, which made for a good pace”, Vingegaard said. The Dane saw Tadej Pogacar get away but reacted in time. "I was able to follow him easily. Later in the stage, we slowed down a bit, and there was even help from other teams, but the heat didn't make it easy today. Luckily I can cope well with these conditions. I wouldn’t mind if these tropical temperatures lasted for a while. The team helped me throughout the stage today, so we wasted as little energy as possible.”

"This day was maybe more demanding than we thought“, sports director Grischa Niermann said of the stage won by Pello Bilbao. "We would have liked to be in the breakaway with Wout, but it didn't work out, partly because of the chaos at the start. Fortunately, Jonas was alert when some of the GC riders started to move on the opening phase. We were prepared for a situation like that. If you have to try to close the gap as a team, you waste a lot of energy. Luckily that was not the case today. We were in control all day—a big compliment to all the guys. Today’s conclusion is that we have again delivered a strong team performance.”

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Here’s the report from Krists Nielands’ Team Israel-Premier Tech:

Krists Neilands came ever so close to pulling off an incredible victory on stage 10 of the Tour de France. Unfortunately, his courageous solo attempt ended with just two kilometers to go and Neilands had to settle for fourth place on the stage.

Krists Nielands finishing fourth. Sirotti photo

“I really wanted this one”, a disappointed Neilands said after catching his breath at the finish line. “I felt great this morning and I wanted to get up the road. When I went solo, I was never sure if I could make it all the way but I just wanted to give it my best.”

Right from the beginning, it was clear to see that Neilands was on a great day. The 28-year-old Latvian was in every move, always at the front, and when a bigger group finally got away, it was no surprise to see Neilands in the mix once again, this time together with IPT teammate Nick Schultz.

“All eight riders here are able to fight for a stage win from a breakaway and after Mike’s victory two days ago, we all have a lot of confidence”, Neilands explained.

Starting on the final climb of the day, Schultz went to the front of what remained of the breakaway group to up the pace. Immediately, riders started to drop off and when Schultz finished his pull, Neilands attacked right away.

With 25 km to go, Neilands had a gap of half a minute on the chasers and for a while, it looked like he would be able to pull it off. However, on the final kilometers, the chase group caught him and he finished fourth in the sprint.

“I’m gutted for Krists. He was so strong and he did the perfect race”, Schultz said after the stage. “I think we raced really well together and we went all in for him. He did everything right but unfortunately, it was just a little bit too long. But we have ten more days to try again!”

Unsurprisingly, Neilands was awarded the Combativity Prize and finished his day on the podium.


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Here's the report from GC third-place Jai Hindley's Team Bora-hansgrohe:

It was a furious start to stage 10 after the first rest day at the Tour de France. Due to several attacks after 30km the bunch split into pieces and some of the GC favourites found themselves in the back. Jai Hindley and Emanuel Buchmann managed to stay in the first group and after the race calmed down a little, 14 riders broke away. In the back, the bunch regrouped while up front, the race for the stage win was fully on.

In the end Pello Bilbao took the win from a group of 6 riders and moved up into the top ten in GC. Jai Hindley finished safely in the bunch on a hot day, and still sits in 3rd overall.

Emanuel Buchmann at the start. Sirotti photo

“It was a tough day. Especially after a rest day you never know how you’ll feel and the temperature also played its part. A lot of guys felt this and struggled. It was one and a half hours of full on racing and I think everybody was on the limit. I was happy when the group went away although Bilbao was in front. He deserved that win and big congrats to him. My legs became better during the stage and the guys also supported me well. Emu was with me in the beginning and when the bunch regrouped, Marco and Bob did a great job. On a hot day like this you need support to get bottles and ice, that’s really important. I think we can be happy with the day. But I have to say, at the Tour every day can be decisive.” – Jai Hindley


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And here’s the report from Julian Alaphilippe’s Team Soudal Quick-Step:

Punctuated by five classified climbs, the first stage of the second week was arguably the hardest of the entire race so far, due to the temperatures hitting 40 degrees Celsius and the wild tempo in the first two hours, when it seemed that half of the peloton wanted to be in the breakaway.

Among the very first to show his intentions was a native of Clermont-Ferrand – where the peloton spent the first rest day – Rémi Cavagna, who attacked on the slopes of the first ascent. Although short-lived, that signalled the start of more moves, one of which had Julian Alaphilippe in the spotlight. An excellent descender, Loulou went clear in the downhill, but despite opening what promised to be a good gap over the chasers, he too was reeled in.

It didn’t end there, with more groups trying their luck on the hills of the Auvergne, and in the end, after some sixty insane kilometers, a group took off. Having missed the breakaway, Julian went again on the offensive, and with the help of Kasper Asgreen, who put in a mammoth amount of work, he eventually joined the leaders as they were preparing for the penultimate climb of stage ten.

Skirmishes between the members of the breakaway soon started, and the group splintered. Alaphilippe found himself trailing, one minute behind, but he didn’t give up and together with the other three men in the group inched closer to the leaders, bringing the gap down to twenty seconds in the last two kilometers. Despite some fierce chasing, they ran out of road and the break made it, Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) taking the win, while Julian finished tenth. Half an hour later, the sprinters came home, and Fabio Jakobsen was there, after another fantastic effort of him and his teammates to make it inside the time cut.

Warren Barguil finishing just ahead of Julian Alaphilippe. Sirotti photo

“We knew that today would be hard, especially with the heat. I was in the front with Kasper and I came close to fighting for victory on a very tough day from start to finish. The level here is so high you can’t find a moment to recover from your effort. We gave the maximum to close the gap, but we couldn’t manage it despite working well together. I feel better than in the beginning of the Tour and I am motivated to keep trying”, said the two-time World Champion.

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