ANNEMASSE to MORZINE LES PORTES DU SOLEIL -151.8 km
July 15, 2023
Twenty-two-year-old Carlos Rodriguez took advantage of the rivalry between Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar to catch them and ride away from them in the downhill of col de Joux-Plane to become the youngest ever Spanish stage winner at the Tour de France. Vingegaard retained the yellow jersey. Rodriguez has now displaced Hindley and is no. 3 in the overall Yellow Jersey competition.
“It’s incredible. I have no words,” said Rodriguez. “Being here was a dream. Getting a victory in the best race of the world is incredible.”
Rodriguez: “I was close to crashing a few times.”
“I didn’t think it was possible when I got dropped in the Joux-Plane. I tried to climb at my own pace to later do the descent as fast as possible. I am a good descender, I wanted to take advantage. I was close to crashing a couple of times, yet I took some risks. Michal Kwiatkowski’s victory and his work today inspired me. Kwiato dropped back three times to help us in 10 minutes. Details like that make a difference and helped me win…It’s a big day.”
A Massive Crash Forces Meintjes and Pedrero Out of Tour
The race was put on halt for half an hour after 6.5km due to a massive crash that forced Louis Meintjes (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) and Antonio Pedrero (Movistar) to withdraw from the Tour de France.
A second start was given at 14.01. Esteban Chaves (EF Education-EasyPost) pulled out in pain at 15 while the first significant breakaway took shape with Lars van den Berg (Groupama-FDJ) being joined by Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-Quick Step) and Krists Neilands (Israel-Premier Tech) and later by Dani Martinez (Ineos Grenadiers) and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana). Romain Bardet (DSM-Firmenich) and James Shaw (EF Education-EasyPost) crashed out in the downhill of col de Saxel at km 25.
Ciccone Wins the Cat 1 col de Cou, col du Feu, col de Jambaz, King of the Mountain
After numerous break attempts, attacks, counter-attacks and riders being dropped, a lead group of 21 riders took hold. It included three men from the top 20 overall: Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) and Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious).
Tobias Halland Johannessen (Uno-X) and Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek) were very active, both interested in the King of the Mountains competition. Ciccone out-sprinted Polka Dot jersey wearer Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost), Alaphilippe and Pinot at cat. 1 col de Cou (km 35.3).
The Italian also crested cat. 1 col du Feu (km 52) first and forged on by himself in the downhill until Pinot, Landa, Alex Aranburu (Movistar) Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious) and Michael Woods
(Israel-Premier Tech) came across.
Pinot, Landa, Poels, Martin, Martinez, Ciccone, Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Alex Aranburu and Gorka Izagirre, (Movistar), Hugo Houle and Woods (Israel-PremierTech) managed to stay away while Jumbo-Visma held the peloton back.
Ciccone passed the line of the intermediate sprint at col de Jambaz (km 65.5) in first position. Ciccone and Woods rode away at the beginning of the ascent to col de la Ramaz (km 101) (Category 1 climb, see below).
Intermediate sprint result at col de Jambaz (km 65.5)
1. Giulio Ciccone, 20 pts
2. Alex Aranburu, 17 pts
3. Michael Woods, 15 pts
4. Guillaume Martin, 13 pts
5. Dani Martinez, 11 pts
6. Wout Poels, 10 pts
7. Hugo Houle, 9 pts
8. Thibaut Pinot, 8 pts
9. Gorka Izagirre, 7 pts
10. Alexey Lutsenko, 6 pts
11. Mikel Landa, 5 pts
12. Chrisophe Laporte, 4 pts
13. Nathan van Hooydonck, 3 pts
14. Christophe Laporte, 2 pts
15. Wilco Kelderman, 1 pt
Their former breakaway companions got reeled in 10 km before the top while the yellow jersey group was down to about thirty riders including six from Jumbo-Visma and six from UAE Team Emirates. Ciccone surrendered two kilometres further. Van Aert crested col de la Ramaz in first position.
Vingegaard Beats Pogacar at Joux-Plane
With 30 km to go, 16 riders were reunited at the front: Van Aert, Sepp Kuss, Wilco Kelderman, Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma), Felix Grossschartner, Rafal Majka, Adam Yates, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates), Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe), Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos Grenadiers), Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious), David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), Simon Yates, Chris Harper (Jayco-AlUla), Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) and Felix Gall (Ag2r-Citröen).
The Yellow Jersey team led the charge up to col de Joux-Plane, the 250th hors-category climb of the Tour de France since the inception of the label in 1979.
Five km before the top, Hindley couldn’t hold the pace set by Kuss, the American being followed by A. Yates, Pogacar, Vingegaard and Rodriguez. With 3.7 km of climbing remaining, Pogacar attacked.
He remained 4’’ ahead of the Vingegaard for two kilometers. Vingegaard made it across and sprinted to collect 8’’ time bonus and the lead in the KOM competition atop col de Joux-Plane. Rodriguez and Yates were brought back together in the downhill. Rodriguez rode away solo with 8 km to go and remained at the front till the end. He even moved one step up to take place in the top 3 instead of Hindley for one second.