A WVA-MVDP duel, finally?

Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel have been successful domestiques since the beginning of the 110th Tour de France in Bilbao. The Belgian has brought his leader Jonas Vingegaard in the yellow jersey although Jumbo-Visma had originally planned their action with the prediction of a slight deficit rather the 25’’ advantage they now have over Tadej Pogacar. The Dutchman has led Jasper Philipsen out for three successful bunch gallops out of three stages suitable for sprinters. But can they really ride the whole Tour de France as helpers? Stage 8 to Limoges is a flattish one but not exactly taking place on a terrain that guarantees a sprint finish. It could even favour a breakaway but the lumpy course and the uphill finish in Limoges looks taylormade for riders like Van Aert, Van der Poel, Julian Alaphilippe, Matej Mohoric… MVDP would love to start the following stage from St-Léonard-de-Noblat, the village of his late grand-father Raymond Poulidor, with the honours of a victor. It’s not the same end of stage as on the last visit to Limoges where Bryan Coquard missed out by very little on a first stage victory against Marcel Kittel. The Frenchman is still on the hunt for a winning sprint at the Tour de France. He’s going well. He’s second to Philipsen in the points classification. And the pressure is off in his Cofidis team since Victor Lafay put an end to the 15 years drought in San Sebastian.

Victoire de Marcel Kittel au sprint devant Bryan Coquard, à Limoges sur le Tour de France 2016
Victoire de Marcel Kittel au sprint devant Bryan Coquard, à Limoges sur le Tour de France 2016 © A.S.O./Gautier Demouveaux

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