Another wild day at the Tour de France
Thursday scheduled the longest stage of this year’s edition, and the first two hours of racing were just insane, with attacks coming from all over the place as almost every team wanted to have a man in the breakaway, knowing that the fatigue of the cobblestone stage and the undulating profile of the route that travelled from Binche to Longwy would work into the favour of a large group.
Kasper Asgreen, Mikkel Honoré and Florian Sénéchal all tried at one point to book a place in the front group, but the peloton – travelling at over 52km/h in the first hour of racing – came back each time and kept things together, eventually allowing only three men to go clear, some 80 kilometers into the stage.
After the advantage of the escapees reached a maximum of four minutes, the bunch began chasing and made sure of bringing them back one by one, the last men in the front being reeled in with around ten kilometers to go. It all came down to an uphill bunch sprint, won by Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates), after one of the fastest stages in the history of the race. Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s Mattia Cattaneo was the squad’s best finisher, and ahead of the first mountain stage, he sits just ten seconds from the top 10 overall.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images