Great feat of the Australian in the second stage in the Alps, good Cattaneo and Colbrelli behind the winner
At the Tour de France, on the eve of the first stop, it is Ben O’Connor’s day. The Australian, with an escape that started from afar, triumphs at over 2,000 meters in Tignes and wins the 9th stage, suddenly climbing up positions in the general classification and settling on the second step of the podium, where Tadej Pogacar always stands out. The Slovenian, who for long stretches of today’s race, saw the yellow leader’s jersey slip off, in the final gave a further jolt to the general classification, de facto humiliating the most accredited rivals in the triumph in Paris.
Starting at full speed, as he usually does, the 22-year-old from UAE Emirates climbed at supersonic speed on the last alpine climb of the day and – within a few kilometers – drastically reduced the disadvantage from today’s winner. An extraordinary test of strength, his, yet another, which confirms an unequivocal fact: the man to beat, from here to the end, will be the outgoing champion. At the moment, from the Ecuadorian Carapaz to the Colombian Uran, from the Welsh Thomas to the Kazakh Lutsenko, no one can keep up with him. When the others trudge, Pogacar leaves at double speed, with an impressive pedaling frequency: the second consecutive Tour seems firmly in his hands. In the general classification he now has an advantage of 2’01 “over O’Connor and 5’18” over Uran. Carapaz is at 5’33 “; an abyss, especially if we consider that only 9 stages have been disputed and 11 are missing at the end.
Mattia Cattaneo deserves a mention, who today managed to finish in second place, behind O’Connor, with a delay of 5’07 “. Third Italian road champion Sonny Colbrelli, at 5’34”. The Italians in the Tour de France will be few, but they certainly know how to assert themselves. Today the Colombian Nairo Quintana, who has long been away from the positions that count in the standings, was among the first again. In favor of Pogacar also the farewell to the Tour of compatriot Primoz Roglic, who left the race, giving up to start in today’s stage. The Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel also left, who retired mainly in the Tokyo 2020 key. Tomorrow the French stage race will have its first day of rest, on Tuesday it will restart with the 10th stage, from Albertville to Valence. The best is yet to come, but the games seem over.
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