Christophe Vandegor and Frank Hust are already looking forward to the next trip as they arrive in Libourne on the daily podcast. Runners who survived the Pyrenees might finally get their chance there again?
“I don’t think so,” Hoste says. “The track is pretty high with a fourth class climb at the start. So there will definitely be a group trying to escape and who is going to control the race next? Who benefits from a sprint group?”
“I think Mark Cavendish, with the stages he’s already won and with the green in the future, will break up again on the Champs-Elysees. Tomorrow he’ll let everything go.”
“I would be very surprised if he checked out the race tomorrow with Deceuninck-Quick Step, along with Alpecin-Fenix for Jasper Philipsen. I think they won’t take any risks and will put everything on Sunday.”
Of course the last mountain stage was discussed in the podcast. The new offering by Tadej Pogacar has again impressed Vandegoor and Hoste, and the approach of Ineos Grenadiers in particular has raised eyebrows.
Vandegor does not understand the tactics of the British team. “How hard can you be at work? You know it won’t work and yet you continue to lead the group. That’s surprising, isn’t it?”
“I initially thought they were doing this to get Uran out of the arrangement,” Host adds. But as soon as he was three minutes late,
They just drive. I don’t really understand why they did that.”
Wout van Aert again rows smoothly with the pace of the Ineos Grenadiers. The Belgian champion once again contributed to the leader Jonas Weinggaard. Even a little too anxious, in the opinion of Host.
“It has been a long time going to ascend to Luz Ardiden
I’d rather not see him, but of course he leads the team. He’s a real team player and will definitely not leave his captain behind, even if Kos is still there.”
“I would have preferred to see Van Aert throw in the towel at the foot of the last climb and then drive quietly. All in light of the Olympics, of course.”