Two years after he claimed his first Grand Tour stage victory in Andorra at La Vuelta and one year after he took his first Tour de France stage victory in Laruns, Tadej Pogacar imposed himself with the yellow jersey at col du Portet, making stage 17 the queen stage of the Tour de France. The Slovenian outsprinted Jonas Vingegaard and Richard Carapaz and extended his lead overall.
Six riders in the lead
145 riders took the start of stage 17 in Muret at 12.16. After a first attempt by Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ), Pierre Rolland (B&B-KTM) was the first rider who managed to go clear. He stayed away for 13 kilometres. Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe), Danny van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert), Dorian Godon (AG2R-Citroën) and Anthony Pérez (Cofidis) managed to get a gap at km 18. Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies) and Maxime Chevalier (B&B-KTM) bridged the gap at km 30. Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo) rode in between for a while before he surrendered. A time difference of 8’20’’ was recorded at km 60. Van Poppel won the intermediate sprint at Bagnères-de-Luchon where Michael Matthews won the sprint of the peloton ahead of Mark Cavendish.
Perez, the enfant du pays on tour on Bastille Day
At the beginning of the ascent to col de Peyresourde, Elie Gesbert (Arkea-Samsic) sped up to launch the action of his captain Nairo Quintana. Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious) went with them and Pierre Latour (TotalEnergies) bridged the gap. Latour was the only one to stay away until the bottom of Val Louron where the deficit of the yellow jersey group led by UAE Team Emirates was reduced to 4’. Perez rode away solo at the front 5.5km before the summit of the second climb of the day. He passed Val Louron 10’’ before Godon. The two Frenchmen formed a special Bastille Day leading duo 22km before the end with an advantage of 3’40’’ over the peloton. Perez, the enfant du pays, rode away solo again with 13.5km to go.
Pogacar with no help in the battle royale
Perez was brought back 8.5km before the finishing line. Pogacar sped up. Only Jonas Vingegaard and Richard Carapaz managed to hold his pace. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) escaped from the chasing group to try and catch the leading trio. Pogacar did all the pacing at the front until Carapaz attacked 1.5km before the summit. The Ecuadorian didn’t drop the Slovenian off. Vingegaard struggled to follow but came across to contest the stage victory but Pogacar showed his superiority to put his mark on a prestigious win at the highest finish of the Tour de France.