After suffering in the Alps, the sprinters had all checked off the 13th stage of the Tour de France, between Bourg d’Oisans (Isère) and Saint-Étienne (Loire). Almost 200 steep kilometers, of course, but much flatter than the alpine peaks suffered the previous days. For a long time, Wednesday July 15, their teams managed the gap with the breakaway of the day at the head of the peloton, maintained all afternoon at less than three minutes. In vain.
Speed enthusiasts suffered several outbursts in the racing portion. Five times winner of stages on the big loop, the Australian Caleb Ewan first fell 70 kilometers, without managing to hang up the train. Further on, the Côte de Saint-Romain-en-Gal, the last difficulty on the programme, got the better of the sprinters’ teammates, despite the efforts of BixeExhange-Jayco to bring back Dylan Groenewegen and Michael Matthews. Guided by big riders – Filippo Ganna, Stefan Küng, Mads Petersen – the six leading men took off, and the opportunity to fight for victory.
First Grand Tour win
Twelve kilometers from the finish, three men stood out under the impetus of Mads Pedersen, road cycling world championship in 2019: Hugo Houle, Fred Wright and the Dane. In a three-way sprint, the latter left no chance to his last two breakaway companions. Signing in Saint-Étienne the first victory of his career on a Grand tour.
This last stage didn’t change anything in the general classification. Dane Jonas Vingegaard still wears the yellow jersey, plus two minutes ahead of former Tour winners Tadej Pogacar and Geraint Thomas. The French Romain Bardet (4e) and David Gaudu (7e) are firmly established in the top-10. The green jersey seems definitively acquired by the Belgian Wout Van Aert, more precarious, the polka dot tunic remains on the German Simon Geschke.
After thirteen days of racing, no Frenchman has yet raised his arms. Leaving the prospect of a zero point for the tricolors. Unheard of on the Grand Boucle since the XXe century and the 1999 edition.