No more: two historic peaks of the Pyrenees, Tourmalet (17.1 km at 7.3%) and Luz Ardiden (13.3 km at 7.4%), will be the last high mountain difficulties of the 2021 Tour. The race will conclude for the ninth time in Luz Ardiden, an arrival of national dominance. Of the previous eight winners, five were Spanish: Perico Delgado (1985, in the first appearance of the port), Lale Cubino (1988), Miguel Indurain (1990), Roberto Laiseka (2011) and Samuel Sánchez (2011). A decade later, he returns to the layout of the French round.
For this edition It is hard to think of a new success for Spain. And the drought grows. Since 2018, when Omar Fraile won in Mende, there has not been a victory for the national squad in the Tour. Enric Mas (seventh, at 9:48 to Tadej Pogacar) and Pello Bilbao (tenth, at 12:53), the best classified in the general, are in a second or third place of favorites. Except for triumph from the break, he paints another year in white. The Spaniard wanted the podium … and is 4:05 behind Richard Carapaz’s third position. One step back.
Meanwhile, the leader surpassed the chained Peyresourde, Val Louron and Portet with registration. For the Slovenian, it was the “toughest test of the Tour”, although he respects the Tourmalet and Luz Ardiden very much: “They are two peaks of enormous tradition and very demanding. Of course, I will compete at the same level of intensity as every day I defend the leadership”. Due to superstition, Pogacar does not change his yellow sweater and his masseur, the Biscayan Joseba Elguezábal, pampers him for him. Everything indicates that he will leave the Pyrenees radiant in the direction of his second title in Paris. With Jonas Vingegaard at 5:39 and Carapaz at 5:43, only an exceptional event would leave him without another yellow.