The 2021 Tour de France is once again a monologue by Tadej Pogacar. One day after a mid-mountain ambush put the Slovenian on the ropes, that Wout van Aert plunged into the fight for the yellow jersey, that the UAE Team displayed its weakness as a group, just one day after a series of events that heralded a greater balance of forces, Pogacar drew the hammer and struck back to his rivals without any mercy on the first stage of the Alps with a feat from another era.
Pogacar had announced his attack practically from the start, in a few vibrant first kilometers that already uncovered the fragility of two other roosters. Geraint Thomas got off the hook first, which he had barely endured the day before. Then Primoz Roglic fell apart, that that same Friday he had said goodbye to the fight. The two had come to the Tour with the maximum objective in the sight, to compete for the yellow precisely with Pogacar, the current champion, but fallen paths On Monday’s stage they opened a question about their future that this Saturday was definitely cleared: they are not there.
In that swaying exit, under a rain that did not disappear throughout the journey, Pogacar was already vigilant to the cuts, in an attitude of not letting any rival escape that could complicate his life as on the previous day. The getaway took a long time to form, but when he did it, he placed cyclists pata negra, as always happens in the Tour: Nairo Quintana, Simon Yates, Michael Woods, Ion Izagirre, Dylan Teuns … and also Alejandro Valverde, who rewound his intentions chilled with cold.
With no rival of concern ahead, Pogacar left to do. His war was another. The ax was reserved for the Col de Romme, the second of the three great ports of the day. Ineos had appeared at the top of the group of favorites, with the intention of launching Richard Carapaz’s comeback operation, but the UAE Team snatched his head for Davide Formolo to lead the way to their leader. Pogacar doesn’t want any more surprises.
Three and a half kilometers from the top, number one hit the first arreón. Only Carapaz followed. The image announced the duel of the Tour, but it did not take place, nor does it seem that it will take place. The Slovenian, without relief from the Ecuadorian, released another volley and He left alone, with the Colombiere and a total of 30 kilometers ahead. There is no duel. By now Van der Poel had taken off the hook, goodbye to the dream of yellow. Hatter, Mathieu. Pogacar crowned Romme with 1:08 on Carapaz and 2:03 on the pursuing group of Enric Mas, which Omar Fraile led for many kilometers. Just behind Van Aert fought, in defense of the virtual jersey that vanished without having dressed. His income on the Slovenian was 3:13. Not enough before a hungry cannibal.
Dylan Teuns, 29-year-old Belgian, achieved victory at Le Grand Bornand, Bahrain’s second in a row and his second in the Grande Boucle, after the one he conquered at La Planche des Belles Filles in 2019. Izagirre and Woods entered more than 40 seconds, which preceded the hero of the day, fourth. The position was the least, because his reign points to Paris … and the history of cycling. Pogacar already leads Van Aert by 1:48, at 4:38 to Andrey Lutsenko, at 4:46 to Rigoberto Urán, at 5:00 to Jonas Vingegaard, at 5:01 to Carapaz, at 5:13 to Wilco Kelderman, at 5:15 to Enric Mas … The Tour looks for second classified.