Round 2022: Tadej Pogacar wins giant battle at Peyragudes, holds out Jonas Vingegaard
Tadej Pogačar won a head-to-head duel against Jonas Vingegaard on the mountain stage to Peyragudes. The Slovenian Emirati was the first to reach the summit of the final climb after an absolutely stunning 129.7km stage through the Pyrenees, although the yellow jersey didn’t hold back. Pogačar is close by four seconds in the standings due to the stage victory. Other favorite games have already been launched in the penultimate ascent with the work of the hangman by the Pogačar team.
The profile of this 130-kilometre trek can be divided into two parts. The first about 55 kilometers was flat, followed by Col d’Aspin, Houquette d’Ancizan, Col de Val Louron-Azet and the last ascent to Peyragudes. By the way, it happened without Tim Wells (coronavirus) and Rafal Majka (groin injury).
The inaugural stage was used to form a leadership group and there were many candidates for it. Dylan Van Barel and Conor Swift were the first two to walk away, but they weren’t given enough space. Wout van Aert showed himself before the middle race at La Barthe-de-Neste and took 17 points. He was hoping to get the green jersey there, but due to Jasper Philipsen winning the race, the party was postponed until the end.
After the average enemy, the battle of flight continued. Owen Doll and Guillaume Boivin were the next two people to drop out. They started with a shot at Col d’Aspin (12 km by 6.5%), but were soon caught. Thibaut Pinot and Alexei Lutsenko attacked, followed by a large group including Van Barel, Dylan Tunes, mountain jersey Simon Jeschke, Riberto Uran and Giulio Ciccone.
Demarg Roman Bardet
Tiesj Benoot and Wout van Aert checked out the peloton on behalf of Jumbo-Visma and gave the non-dangerous riders a space to drive away. That was different with Roman Bardet, who attacked below Aspen Peak. The DSM captain, who fell to ninth in the standings at Foix, took just over half a minute to take the lead. However, everything was very close to each other, because the difference between leaders Pinot, Lutsenko and the favorite group on Aspen was only 1.20 minutes.
However, he pushed Jumbo-Visma into the relegation, allowing Bardet to join the group of pursuers at Horquette Dansezan (8.2 km in 5.1%) that also included his teammates Chris Hamilton and Andreas Liknesund. In the favorite group, it was Mikel Berg who maintained the momentum, weakening the group significantly and keeping the difference within two minutes. Berg also made sure that Adam Yates and Tom Bidcock were released early.
McNulty destroys almost all his favorite things in Col de Val Louron-Azet
In the foreground, Pinot and Lutsenko hold on to Horket Dancizan. Just like in Aspin, the Frenchman took most of the mountain points. The difference between Bardet’s group and the favorite was small at the top, but it got a little bigger in the valley and downhill. Early in the Col de Val Louron-Azet (10.7 km by 6.8%), the first two runners were already connected from the group – Bardet, while the Vingegaard group, where Yates and Pidcock returned, followed in 1.50 minutes on foot.
Right at the foot, Bjerg stepped on the throttle with the favourite, which immediately led to the choice. After McNulty took over, things got serious. Only Tadig Bogar, Jonas Vinggaard, Seb Coss, Geraint Thomas and Nairo Quintana were able to follow the American server in the UAE. Quintana also seeped six kilometers below the summit.
The fugitives, who had survived for the longest time, were swallowed up by the mighty pace of McNulty. The yellow jersey was isolated, because four kilometers below the summit, Kos fired at Vingegaard, and a little later Thomas let the three also go. We had to wait for Bogar’s attack, which followed right before the summit of Val Lorone-Azette, but Vinggaard got behind the wheel and continued to dominate.
Pogačar cheer for Peyragudes, Vingegaard does not flinch
This was followed by a group with Thomas, Koss, and Lutsenko over a minute later, joined by Bardet and Liknesund in the touchdown. This was followed by Godot and Quintana in that sinking in over 2.30 minutes of the yellow jersey set. Those were the differences, too, at the start of the recent ascent to Pyragodis, which reached 16% on its steepest sections.
On Pyragodis (8 kilometers at 7.8%), McNulty, who won in fighting spirit, continued his fast pace. The gap with pursuers Thomas and Bardet was deepened, but the expected attack of Bogar was delayed. There was not even an attack. On the last very steep straight line at Piragodes Airport, I turned into a sprint for 300 metres.
Pogačar accelerated, but Vingegaard was the first to run. However, his Slovenian opponent managed to tackle him and managed to pass him. This marked Pogačar’s third-stage win on this tour, but he didn’t come very close in the standings. He’s limited to an extra four seconds, because Vingegaard finished his own steering wheel.
Big differences at the top of the ranking
The extremely powerful McNulty finished third with a time of 32 seconds and behind him was Geirant Thomas who crossed the line in 2.07 minutes. The leaders INEOS Grenadiers now face a gap of nearly five minutes on the yellow jersey. Behind that, the differences are now even greater: between number four Nairo Quintana (7.53 minutes) and number eight Alexander Vlasov (9.56 minutes) only two minutes. The biggest loser of the day is Adam Yates, who slipped completely to ninth in the standings due to a rest day, about fifteen minutes from Vingguard.
The battle for the time limit also turned out to be very exciting. Quick-Step-Alpha Vinyl left Fabio Jacobsen alone on the last climb, after which he was left 15secs at the end.
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