Which GC riders lost time on the first day in the Alps? Well, everyone unless you’re Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) who delivered a crushing demonstration of dominance that the Tour de France probably hasn’t seen since the start of the millennium.
The Slovenian, who finished fourth on the stage and claimed the yellow jersey by virtue of a 30km attack on the first day in the Alps, was simply in a league of his own on a day that saw every one of his rivals fall by the wayside.
Only Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) was able to mount any form of resistance with the 2019 Giro winner latching onto Pogačar’s first brutal acceleration on the penultimate climb of the day of the Col de Romme.
However, when the Slovenian kicked again less than 600 metres later, not even Carapaz could follow, and by the end of the stage the new maillot jaune had put 3:20 into the Ecuadorian.
The Ineos rider was joined on the final descent by what was left of the yellow jersey group with Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) coming home alongside Carapaz, Enric Mas (Movistar), Rigoberto Urán (EF Education-Nippo), David Gaudu (Groupama FDJ), Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) and Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe).
Pogačar now leads the race by 1:48 from Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) with Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech) holding firming in third a 4:38. Uran is fourth at 4:46 with Carapaz in sixth at 5:01.
If those times gaps were jaw-dropping then spare a thought for some of the other riders with GC hopes at the start of Saturday's stage to Le Grand-Bornard. Bauke Mollema lost over nine minutes, while Julian Alaphilippe, one of France’s last remaining GC hopes in the race, conceded over 18 minutes and dropped out of contention completely.
At least Alaphilippe made it to the penultimate climb. That couldn’t be said of Primož Roglič and Geraint Thomas. Both riders were dropped early on in the stage and never saw the front of the race again.
Thomas, who crashed on stage 3 and dislocated his shoulder, was already under pressure after briefly losing contact with the yellow jersey group on stage 7, while Roglič’s hopes of wining the race ended that day too.
The pair, who finished in the autobus just inside the time limit at 35 minutes down, now face the dilemma over whether to remain in the race or leave in order to recover for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
As for the rest of the top 10, Vingegaard crashed during the stage but got back up and now looks like Jumbo Visma’s main focus for the overall standings in fifth. Kelderman is seventh at 5:13, and Gaudu is a further place back at 5:22. Bilbao completes the top ten.
Overnight leader Mathieu van der Poel dropped to 23rd overall after being distanced before Pogačar’s attacks. He finished in 44th place, 21:47 down alongside Miguel Ángel López (Movistar) and Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo).
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates||29:38:25|
|2||Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma||0:01:48|
|3||Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech||0:04:38|
|4||Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo||0:04:46|
|5||Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma||0:05:00|
|6||Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers||0:05:01|
|7||Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe||0:05:13|
|8||Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar Team||0:05:15|
|9||David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ||0:05:52|
|10||Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain Victorious||0:06:41|
|11||Sergio Henao (Col) Qhubeka NextHash||0:07:16|
|12||Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis||0:07:28|
|13||Aurelien Paret-Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën||0:07:33|
|14||Ben O'Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën||0:08:13|
|15||Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain Victorious||0:08:51|
|16||Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo||0:11:35|
|17||Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange||0:12:13|
|18||Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious||0:12:35|
|19||Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep||0:12:39|
|20||Esteban Chaves (Col) Team BikeExchange||0:12:51|
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