Pogacar schools rivals on La Super Planche des Belles Filles

//Pogacar schools rivals on La Super Planche des Belles Filles

Pogacar schools rivals on La Super Planche des Belles Filles

This was the day that all the skinny climbers had been waiting for. The first uphill finish mountain stage of this year’s Tour de France, La Super Planche des Belles Filles. The first chance race up steep gradients and perhaps put a dent in Tadej Pogacar’s invincibility.

Sadly, that didn’t exactly happen. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo Visma) did attack the Slovenian in the last 200 meters on the dirt and gravel and looked to have the win and a ten second time bonus. However he misjudged his timing and energy management.

Pogacar fought his way back and before passing Vingegaard, he paused momentarily to gave his rival the same look Lance Armstrong once gave Jan Ullrich in the 2001 Tour. It was a “ain’t you gonna try one more time? Oh, look who just ran out of gas” stare-down. Pogacar is a sweet guy off the bike but the second coming of the Cannibal on the bike.

INEOS Grenadiers had big plans for this day, with Geraint Thomas, Dani Martinez, Tom Pidock and Adam Yates in the top ten and ready to gang up on the yellow jersey. Early in the seven kilometer climb, they set an aggressive pace but eventually seemed to lose interest or wattage. Soon it was UAE Emirates up front with Brandon McNulty, George Bennett and Rafal Majka taking control.

As the gradients hit 20%, Jumbo Visma made their ambitions clear. Vingegaard and a battered Primoz Roglic both accelerated to the front — and that’s when several top GC riders shot out the back. Ben O’Conner (AG2R) disappeared, Thibaut Pinot (FDJ Groupama) struggled and the biggest surprise, Alexandr Vlasov (BORA Hansgrohe), had a power outage. Nairo Quintana (Arkea Samsic) who looked like a man reborn, finally succumbed to the killer pace set by Jumbo and UAE.

Further up the mountain, the last man pedaling, Lennard Kamna (BORA-hansgrohe) hit the dirt and gravel with just under a kilometer to go. His lead had fallen to 20 seconds and the 24% grade sapped what little strength he had left. That’s when Vingegaard made his move, quickly opening a small gap, before ┬áPogacar showed him who’s boss.

By |2022-07-08T10:16:52-07:00July 8th, 2022|Featured|0 Comments

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