A star of the Grand Départ in Bilbao on his home soil in the Basque Country, Pello Bilbao claimed his first ever Tour de France victory in Issoire at the end a very hard fought breakaway day. He put an end to a 99-stage drought of Spanish wins (since Omar Fraile in Mende in 2018) as he outsprinted Georg Zimmermann and Ben O’Connor. The 33 year old dedicated his victory to his team-late Gino Mäder who tragically passed away at the Tour de Suisse last month. He moved up to fifth overall while Jonas Vingegaard who went in a breakaway along with Tadej Pogacar in the early part of the race retained the yellow jersey.
VINGEGAARD AND POGACAR AND IN AN EARLY BREAKAWAY
The start proper of stage 10 has been given to 169 riders at 13.17. Following several skirmishes, a group of 22 riders was formed at the front after the col de la Moréno crested firstly by Anton Charmig (Uno-X). Interestingly, Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) and Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) were part of it, along with Simon Yates (Jayco-AlUla) and Romain Bardet (DSM-Firmenich). The duellists sat up at some stage, 13 riders remained in the lead but the peloton reacted strongly and several top riders got dropped, including Bardet, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ). After the col de Guéry (cat. 3, km 27.3) where Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious) passed first in front of Krists Neilands (Israel-Premier Tech), Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-Quick Step) and Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious) rode away in the downhill. They didn’t get the green light.
14 RIDERS IN THE LEAD, INCLUDING BILBAO AND ALAPHILIPPE
Kasper Asgreen (Soudal-Quick Step), Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), Nick Schultz (Israel-Premier Tech), Esteban Chaves (EF Education-EasyPost), Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious), Warren Barguil (Arkea-Samsic), Mattias Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek) formed a new leading group at km 41. Ben O’Connor (AG2R-Citroën), Harold Tejada (Astana), Alaphilippe (Soudal-Quick Step), Neilands (Israel-Premier Tech), Antonio Pedrero (Movistar), Anthony Perez (Cofidis), Michal Kwiatkowski (Ineos Grenadiers) launched a counter-attack. Once the main peloton slowed down, the Gaudu-Bardet-Van Aert group managed to get back on. Asgreen lost contact and was substituted in the 7-man escape by O’Connor who jumped by himself. The regrouping of the 14 men occurred with 86km to go, after which Chaves rode away solo up the hill of Saint-Victor-la-Rivière.
TWO STRONG ATTACKS BY KRISTS NEILANDS
Neilands rode away solo with 53km to go in order to keep the chances of the escape alive while Alpecin-Deceuninck and Jayco-AlUla were swapping turns at the head of the peloton as the deficit had gone down from 3 to 2 minutes. Van Aert and Van der Poel escaped from the peloton in a downhill with 46km to go. They were successively brought back by the pack led by Ineos Grenadiers while Neilands had gone away by himself once again with 33km remaining. The Latvian was brought back at the 3km to go mark. O’Connor tried to avoid a sprint finish with 1.8km to go but he was marked. Bilbao and Zimmermann took an advantage in the last straight line. They were also reeled in but Bilbao still had some speed in his legs to win. His best result at the Tour de France so far was second at Bagnères-de-Bigorre in 2019.