Miguel Angel “Superman” Lopez claimed the queen stage of the 107th Tour of France atop the gruelling and spectacular col de la Loze after he overhauled his old arch-rival Richard Carapaz who had tried his luck from a long way away. The battle of the Slovenians for the overall victory confirmed Primoz Roglic in the yellow jersey as he crossed the line in second place with a significant advantage over Tadej Pogacar who is the new King of the Mountains.
ALAPHILIPPE, KÄMNA AND CARAPAZ AGAIN ON THE GO
152 riders started stage 17 in Grenoble. Defending champion Egan Bernal (Ineos) and Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) were non-starters. It was another fast start with many skirmishes. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) was first to open a gap at km 16. A front group of 25 riders was composed at km 24. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Richard Carapaz (Ineos), Gorka Izagirre (Astana), Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) came out of this group at km 30. They rode above 50km/h on the flat roads and reached a maximum advantage of six minutes just before climbing to col de la Madeleine.
CARAPAZ FIRST AT LA MADELEINE, POGACAR GOES FOR KOM
Bahrain-McLaren took over from Jumbo-Visma at the head of the peloton. They quickly reduced the deficit to the four leaders to 3’30’’. Kämna was dropped off the front group meanwhile Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic), Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept), Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) and Dani Martinez (EF) couldn’t hold the pace of the yellow jersey peloton. Carapaz crested La Madeleine in first place ahead of Alaphilippe and Pogacar passed first of the peloton to become the virtual leader of the KOM competition. Dan Martin lost contact with the head of the race in the downhill. He was brought back by the main group still led by Bahrain-McLaren with 35km. At that point, the time difference was 2’40’’ after having been reduced to 1’15’’ atop La Madeleine.
LOPEZ AT LA LOZE
Alaphilippe, Izagirre and Carapaz started the 21.5km long final ascent with an advantage of two minutes. 12.5km before the end, Alaphilippe dropped back meanwhile Pello Bilbao upped the tempo for Bahrain-McLaren. Carapaz soloed at the front with 9km to go. From 20’’, his advantage went up again to 45’’ at the 5km to go mark. With 4km remaining, under the action of David De La Cruz (UAE Team Emirates), Mikel Landa lost contact, soon mimicked by Rigoberto Uran (EF). Lopez (Astana) and Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) caught Carapaz 3km before the top. The Colombian continued on his own, chased down by Roglic while Pogacar gave it all to come across to the yellow jersey. The top 3 riders remained in that order in the extremely steep finale.