Le Tour: The Wolfpack in the break on the queen stage
Lacets de Montvernier, Col du Télégraphe, Col du Galibier – the first Alpine climb tackled by the Tour de France back in 1911 – and Col du Granon, back in the race for the first time since 1986 were on the stage 11 menu, making up for one of the toughest races of the entire season, boasting over 4000 vertical meters and gradients exceeding 11%.
As soon as the fight for the breakaway kicked off, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl was in the mix with Mattia Cattaneo, the most combative rider of stage 8, who joined a small group that had gotten clear on the undulating roads leading to the first ascent. It didn’t take long before other riders bridged across, including Tour de France rookie Andrea Bagioli. The two Italians did their share of work at the front of the group, helping it nudge out their advantage to a maximum of nine minutes, but even this didn’t prove enough against a peloton who had its eyes on the stage.
Starting with the Télégraphe, the escapees began being reeled in one by one, and eventually both Andrea and Mattia were caught by the yellow jersey group, from which Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) emerged victorious on the slopes of Granon. Some 40 minutes later, but with plenty of time to spare, Fabio Jakobsen finished the day, thanks to a huge effort of his Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl teammates, who paced and protected him during the stage, making sure the Dutchman would continue his debut Tour de France.
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