Kelderman makes gains in Tour de France GC despite crash on stage 17 descent

Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe) heads into the final climb bloodied from a crash
Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe) heads into the final climb of stage 17 bloodied from a crash (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe) looked a bit like a cage fighter when he crossed the finish line of stage 17 of the Tour de France with blood dripping from his mouth and knee, but the 30-year-old considered his sixth place on the stage behind race leader and stage winner Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) a victory. 

The Dutchman held onto his sixth place in the overall standings and gained some time on his rivals despite sliding out on the descent from the Col de Val Louron-Azet just before the final push to the top of the Col du Portet.

"In the last corner of the final descent, I went wide and crashed. I thought I was going to make it, I was able to hold on with one leg on the gravel but my front wheel was blocked, so I tumbled and landed almost flat on my face," Kelderman said after the stage.

"It wasn't very nice, just before the last climb. It's a pity, my legs were good and I was a bit interrupted. Emu [Buchmann] was with me and helped me reach the GC group again just when the final climb started."

Kelderman made the group with the rest of the top 10 overall, led by Pogačar, Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma), Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers), Rigoberto Urán (EF Education-Nippo), Ben O'Connor (AG2R-Citroën). He lasted longer in the group than the rest - Enric Mas (Movistar), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech), Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) and Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious). 

He ultimately had to let go when Pogačar began attacking but gained time on all but Pogačar, Vingegaard, Carapaz and O'Connor, ending the day 8:06 behind Pogačar in the standings but within one minute of Urán's fourth place.

"I would say it was a good day, I held on to my position, and tomorrow will be another hard day where I will, hopefully, be able to battle for a better spot," Kelderman said.

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Cyclingnews is the world's leader in English-language coverage of professional cycling. Started in 1995 by University of Newcastle professor Bill Mitchell, the site was one of the first to provide breaking news and results over the internet in English. The site was purchased by Knapp Communications in 1999, and owner Gerard Knapp built it into the definitive voice of pro cycling. Since then, major publishing house Future PLC has owned the site and expanded it to include top features, news, results, photos and tech reporting. The site continues to be the most comprehensive and authoritative English voice in professional cycling.