No more second place. Tour leader van Aert celebrated after starting, Nielsen has a record – ČT sport – Czech Television

No matter how hard he tried, it was not enough to win in the opening three stages in Denmark. Whether it was the time trial or the final sprints, Waut van Aert was always missing a piece of the desired triumph.

But the transfer to France came and the phenomenal Belgian of the peloton of the legendary race sent a clear message.

Another second place? No way.

So his team for Jumbo-Visma came up with a plan. In the last climb of the race, eleven kilometers before the finish line, start hard and then the man riding in yellow has to show why he is one of the biggest stars in contemporary cycling.

And the twenty-seven-year-old Belgian did not refuse this offer. His teammates set him off perfectly at an unexpectedly brutal pace, the peloton split apart and van Aert raced through alone with the climber’s premium.

“It was obvious that we were going to try something with the team. We were in a great position down the hill, and when I heard on the radio that our attack claimed victims in the peloton, it strengthened me tremendously,” described the attack winner.

No pacing, no looking back. Van Aert didn’t even wait for anyone at the top. At times his lead was up to half a minute, and even though the peloton eventually formed a functional unit after the initial confusion and reduced the deficit to eight seconds, the star competitor did not let go of the triumph. “They say that the third time is the best. It was the fourth time for me, but that’s good too. These stages are usually won in a mass sprint, so this is incredible. It’s almost impossible to win them after breaking away,” he added.

The Belgian Jasper Philipsen finished second behind van Aert, the home team Christophe Laporte was third.

At the same time, Philipsen thought for a moment that he was the one who won. “I thought I’d won by two or three seconds. It was a laugh in the end,” he smiled. “But that just shows how strong van Aert is. To overtake the entire peloton like that is unbelievable and I thought no one could do it,” he added.

Van Aert celebrated a stage triumph for the seventh time in his career at the Tour. In addition to the pleasant feeling of victory, he secured the lead in the running overall ranking of the “Old Ladies”, where he now has a lead of twenty-five seconds over his compatriot Yves Lampaert, as well as in the standings of the points competition.

Listen to the Velo fokus podcast, which reviewed the opening three stages:

Another significant thing happened in the hills. Similar to the previous stages, Magnus Cort Nielsen took a breakaway right after the start of the 172-kilometer track, which brought him a significant entry in the history of the legendary event. He became the first cyclist to win eleven consecutive hill climb prizes.

Before the twenty-nine-year-old Dane, the record was held by the Spaniard Martín Bahamtones, who was the fastest at seven in 1958.

Together with Nielsen, the Frenchman Anthony Perez was also on the run, forty kilometers before the finish line, he broke away from the lead and tried to fight the vision that with a bit of luck it might work out for him after all. But the last climb crushed his chances hard.

Neither he nor the rest of the peloton had an answer to van Aert.

On Wednesday, 157 kilometers from Lille to Arenberg are on the agenda. In addition, a total of eleven sections on cobblestones await the peloton.

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