Bob Jungels bounced back from three years of hiccups with his first stage victory at the Tour de France after a 60-km long solo breakaway after he escaped from a breakaway group formed at the initiative of Thibaut Pinot.
The Frenchman fought hard behind the AG2R-Citroën rider but didn’t managed to bridge the gap before the top of Pas de Morgins. Jungels is the first Luxembourger to win a Tour de France stage since Andy Schleck atop the Galibier in 2011. Fifth on the line and first of the GC favourites, Tadej Pogacar retained the yellow jersey.
21 RIDERS IN THE LEAD
165 riders started stage 9 in Aigle at 12.46. 3 non-starters: Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), Kasper Asgreen (Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl) and Ruben Guerreiro (EF Education-Easypost). Philippe Gilbert (Lotto-Soudal) was the first attacker right after the flag off but the first rider who managed to go clear was Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) at km 13. A crashed affected Neilson Powless (EF Education-Easypost) and Michael Woods (Israel-Premier Tech). The peloton kept riding hard until the first breakaway of the day took shape at km 44, with 15 riders in the lead: Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe), Warren Barguil (Arkea-Salsic), Rigoberto Uran (EF Education-Easypost), Jonathan Castroviejo (Ineos Grenadier), Bob Jungels (AG2R-Citroën), Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), Franck Bonnamour (B&B Hotels-KTM), Carlos Verona (Movistar), Simon Geschke (Cofidis), Luisle Sanchez (Bahrain-Victorious), Kobe Goossens (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Joe Dombrowski (Astana), Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Guy Niv and Hugo Houle (Israel-Premier Tech). They were joined at km 53 by Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates), Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Pierre Latour (TotalEnergies), Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe), Ion Izagirre (Cofidis) and Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R-Citroën).
BOB JUNGELS ALONE AFTER COL DE LA CROIX
Van Aert took 20 more points in the points classification at the intermediate sprint. Uran briefly became the virtual yellow jersey in the ascent to col des Mosses when the time difference reached 3’24’’ with 95km to go. But UAE Team Emirates maintained the gap around three minutes for most of the race. Latour passed col des Mosses (km 108.5) in first position. Geschke crested col de la Croix in front of Jungels who had attacked 3km before the summit. Jungels rode Geschke off in the downhill and got an advantage of 1’ for himself over a chasing group of 13 riders with 40km to go. His lead increased to 1’30’’ with 30km remaining and 2’ at the foot of Pas de Morgins.
THE SPECTACULAR BUT VAIN CHASE BY THIBAUT PINOT
Pinot rode solo behind Jungels inside the 20km to go. He was timed at 20’’ with 3km left before the summit while Castroviejo and Verona were chasing hard with less than one minute deficit from the lone leader. Jungels remained composed to keep an advantage of around 30’’ over the Frenchman who got a huge support from the crowd but never managed to close the gap. Jungels took the win in Châtel while Castroviejo and Verona overhauled Pinot in the last kilometre to round out the stage podium. Pogacar won the sprint of the favourites’ group to comfortably retain the yellow jersey.