Dhe diary of Jonasrutsch from the Tour de France is regularly updated here. His reports are recorded by Alex Westhoff.
Tag 22: Thursday in the Pyrenees was particularly brutal. Up until then it had actually gone. But on Thursday, after 50 kilometers with van Aert, I drove up in a small wave to an escape group in front of the first mountain and, whoa, apparently I totally pulled my teeth because I just went too much into the red zone. We already had two people up front from the team and I was hoping that I could support them a bit and that maybe the people at the back would let us drive because no team would be interested in bringing us back. But it was not so.
Quick-Step followed like hell. Then at the end of the climb we only had 30 seconds. It wasn’t what I had imagined. I thought we’d go into the climb with a two-minute cushion, then you’d do your work for them both and then at some point you’d fall behind and then a group would gather at the back and you’d continue with the other people doing their work to have.
But then there was a big explosion in the group. At some point I was caught up by the group with the yellow jersey, with all the favorites for the general classification. I followed it for a short time, but I wasn’t able to ride for a long time either, maybe three kilometers, because I had shot myself into lactate beforehand.
Then I had to find a group to finish the stage with. I found it, then it was better, but that first mountain really hurt. I have no idea what the mountains were called that followed, I just wanted to get to the finish line. The descents were also very difficult, some roads with loose stones on the asphalt. You saw that when Pogacar fell.
The question is whether such a thing is necessary. Or maybe you could go somewhere else. Because when you arrive at the stop at the top of a mountain and then you have to drive down some cattle drive, that’s of course difficult. In any case, I had to concentrate fully on the descent, but eventually I was able to find my rhythm again.
The second mountain was the worst, it was cruel and unrhythmic. Ultra steep, then flat again, then ultra steep again. I was really happy when I finished, but then I kept going. We still had to drive down the hill to the buses with a whistle in our mouths. It’s really dangerous with all the fans arriving on their bikes and then riding down there with you, some of them are totally over-motivated. That’s not so easy. A fall can also happen after the race.