Later After two crazy days, in the Massif Central and in the first alpine stage, the finish line at Alto de Tignes closes today the weekend in the Alps with five very demanding ascents: Domancy (from 2nd, 2.5 km to 9.4%), Saisies (from 1st, 9.4 km to 6.2%), Pré (from special category, 12.6 km to 7.7%), Cormet de Roselend (from 2nd, 5.7 km to 6.5%) and Tignes (from 1st, 21 km to 5.6% and arrival at 2,107 meters of altitude).
The general was cleared of the people who got into the escape from the Massif and of “heavy men”, as Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert defined themselves … although the Belgian still clings to the positions of honor, second at 1:48 by Tadej Pogacar. In the Jumbo they bet on the young Danish Jonas Vingegaard, 24 years old and winner of this Coppi & Bartali course. “In the general he is fifth, five minutes from the yellow, and we want to give him confidence so that he takes responsibilities in a three-week round without the advantage of Roglic. In addition, Wout will have carte blanche to finish as high as he is able”, explains Grischa Niermann, team manager.
The Ineos by Richard Carapaz is called to try something to move the race, unless they give up with the 5:01 deficit of the Ecuadorian. Carapaz does not like to speak “of defeats so soon”: “There are many mountains to climb and at any moment everything is lost.” Of course, he recognizes Pogacar’s superiority: “I tried to follow him when he started, and he left me lying.”
Lutsenko, third at 4:38, also clings to his good condition, but assumes that “the succession of high mountain efforts” will relegate him in the standings. Urán, fourth at 4:46, quietly is in the fight for the Paris box, as in 2017 (second): “I have the experience to regulate throughout the 21 days of competition”. Without big names as aspirants, the outlook is not bad for Enric But, eighth at 5:15, who needs to make a difference for the last time trial: “We will try”.