Slovenes Tadej Pogacar and Primoz Roglic have once again shown themselves to be the strongest climbers in the Tour de France. Pogacar won the stage to the top of the Grand Colombier (outdoor category), while Roglic finished second in his wheel.
The Jumbo-Visma helpers of Roglic impressed by leading the group with favourites almost the whole stage, over three mountains. Roglic himself attacked first in the final kilometre, Pogacar, Richie Porte and Miguel Ángel López managed to join. When Pogacar then set a gear, no one could get past him.
Watch the final stage of the stage here:
Reigning Tour winner Egan Bernal (third in the standings) and Nairo Quintana (fifth) fell through the ice on the Grand Colombier. Both Colombians lost the connection with the favourites early on the climb due to the strong pace of Wout van Aert and others.
Bernal can put a new Tour victory out of his head, he crossed the finish line more than seven minutes behind Roglic and gives 8.25 on the yellow jersey in thirteenth place in the general classification.
The first real attack on the Grand Colombier came from Adam Yates, who rose to the top five in the ranking due to the loss of Bernal and Quintana.
Tom Dumoulin, riding at the head of the group, saw how the Brit kept a gap of about fifty metres for a kilometre, but Yates couldnt hold out any longer.
Dumoulin back in top ten
Dumoulin couldnt compete when Roglic accelerated in the last kilometre. He crossed the line 24 seconds after stage winner Pogacar, but returned to the top ten of the general classification. Dumoulin is ninth out of 5.12 of his team mate.
Watch here the reactions of the protagonists:
The dominance of Jumbo-Visma in the Tour seems to increase with the stage. The Dutch formation has been controlling the race for days when it really matters and also in the tough mountain stage through the Jura the team kept a firm grip on the race. No team was able to threaten the dominant role of Jumbo-Visma for a single moment.
At the foot of the final climb Roglic was surrounded by no less than five teammates, including Tom Dumoulin. Also on the first two climbs, both of the first category, the Jumbo-Visma riders invariably led the peloton.
Long before the first climb the Colombian Sergio Higuita became the most tragic victim of the gruelling stage. Higuita looked over his shoulder on the flat for a moment, hit the rear wheel of an inattentive Bob Jungels and smashed against the asphalt.
After a second crash, Higuita had to abandon the battle. He hung over his steering wheel with great emotion before getting into the car with the team management.
After a restless and therefore fast opening phase, eight riders ended up in the leading group, including Pierre Rolland, Simon Geschke and Jesús Herrada. On the first climb, the Montée de la Selle de Fromentel (first category), the three of them remained in the front group.
However, the Austrian Michael Gogl did not give up just like that, although it took him an extraordinary amount of effort to reconnect with the trio. On one of the steepest stretches of the whole Tour, with a gradient of no less than 22, Gogl swerved from left to right across the road to avoid falling completely silent.
Even before the top he joined the three leaders and in the descent Gogl even left them behind. Only Rolland, winner of two stages in the Tour a few years ago, fought back and together they came on top of the Col de la Biche (first category).
Rolland and Gogl started the final climb after the descent with a lead of just under two minutes, but they had no chance for the days victory due to the consistently high pace of the Jumbo-Visma train.
One by one, Gogl and Rolland were picked up by the favourites group, even before the battle between the classification men erupted on the flanks of the Grand Colombier.