Primoz Roglic (30) moved from Tadej Pogacar (21) and increased the lead in the Tour de France summary, but it was a Colombian who climbed the very best in the steep finish on the 17th stage.
When Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) increased the speed so that team captain Primoz Roglic had to give a small gap with three kilometers left, Roglic chose to look calmly at compatriot Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates).
Pogacar did not have the strength to close the hatch immediately, and the two Slovenes ended up looking at each other. It took advantage of Miguel Ángel López (Astana), who quickly bumped up to Kuss and drove away from him.
– I accelerated over a peak and when I looked back, no one followed. Suddenly López came up. I tried to stay with him, but he drove very well, says Kuss in an interview shown Eurosport.
López kept away all the way to the finish line and crossed the finish line 15 seconds ahead of Roglic, with Pogacar in third place another 15 seconds behind.
Thus, Roglic now leads by 57 seconds down to Pogacar in the summary.
The victory is López ‘first stage victory in the Tour de France and the Astana rider is now in third place in the summary, 1.26 behind Roglic. The Colombian thus also seems to have a good grip on a place on the podium, with over a minute and a half down to the nearest rider.
– I am very happy. We have worked very hard to achieve this and there is a lot of emotion now, says López in an interview shown on Eurosport after the stage.
Expectations were high ahead of the 17th stage of the Tour de France, which ended in the brutal Col de la Loze.
– Col de la Loze is some of the worst I have seen from a car and from a bicycle, if not the worst, said Eurosport expert Stig Kristiansen to VG last week, and the climb also lived up to his reputation.
Admittedly, it was relatively calm among the favorites on the first 14 kilometers up to Méribel, but on the seven kilometers up the cycle path to the top of the Col de la Loze, high speed was gradually set.
Before that time, the riders had been through a very hard ride.
Tuesday’s stage winner Lennard Kennan (Bora-Hansgrohe) along with Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quickstep), Gorka Izagirre (Astana), Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) and Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) were the five riders who joined the early rupture of the 17th stage.
Into the Col de la Madeleine (17.1 kilometers at 8.4 percent) they led by six minutes, but there Bahrain McLaren set up a high pace from the bottom. Kmanna had to drop early in the break and over the top the break was only about a minute and a half down to the field, which counted no more than about 30 riders.
Martin also escaped in the descent. The remaining trio increased their lead down to the field, and started on the climb up to the Col de la Loze (21.5 kilometers at 7.8 percent) with a lead of just under two minutes.
Carapaz stayed away for a long time, but was driven in with three kilometers left. Then the attacks from the favorites really started and in the end it was López who came out victorious.
Published: 16.09.20 at 17:22
Updated: 16.09.20 at 17:50