one last fight for a polka-dot jersey, which won’t necessarily crown the best climber

Seven points separate the top three in the mountain classification, while 37 remain to be distributed in the stage between Belfort and Le Markstein Fellering on Saturday.

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Hydrangea Leblanc – From our special envoy on the Tour de France

France Televisions


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Giulio Ciccone on stage 16 of the 2023 Tour de France between Passy and Combloux, 18 July 2023. (MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP)

“I didn’t even think about it. It wasn’t a goal, but it’s a nice bonus”. Conquering the polka dot jersey without meaning to, after the last mountain stage, was the fate of Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma), winner of the 2022 Tour de France. There are three editions that the The white jersey with red polka dots in the Grand Prix de la Montagne classification is monopolized by the subsequent yellow jerseys, a series that could end on Saturday 22 July, if Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek) manages to defend it in the last mountain stage of this 2023 vintage.

Before this stage on Saturday, Vingegaard is seven points behind Giulio Ciccone (88) and just one behind Felix Gall (82). “I’m not thinking about the polka dot jersey, I’m only thinking about the yellow jersey”however, assures the Dane, who could still score points without wanting to, in the defense of his yellow jersey, following possible attacks by Tadej Pogacar.

Giulio Ciccone, new polka dot jersey, expresses all the pride he feels in wearing this best climber jersey.  The Italian had made this signature jersey a target in this Tour de France.

“I still have to score some points and I have to defend against Felix Gall, because obviously he’s going to try to take the breakaway, I think, and Vingegaard maybe want to win the stage too, which will give him points automatically.”, anticipates Giulio Ciccone. The Italian should therefore be leading the race on Saturday, just like his Austrian runner-up. “I haven’t really thought about the polka dot shirt at the moment, but I realize it would be something special. It’s not every day that you compete for a distinctive Tour de France jersey. It’s something I have to keep in mind.” recognized Felix Gall before the 19th stage.

The Italian overcame 8 mountain passes in the lead and regularly showed himself in breakaways to collect points. “I think Ciccone will keep the polka dot shirt and this is good because he attacks, he’s a good striker and he calculated well to take the important points on the right stages”says Warren Barguil, who reached the podium in Paris with this tunic in 2017. What is asked anyway of a reward that should go to the best climber of the Grande Boucle. “Actually the best climbers fight rather for the general classification”replies Felix Gall. “I don’t feel like the best climber. I rather think this jersey rewards courage, aggression and regular presence in breakaways”, Giulio Ciccone abounds, more than 2 hours and 14 minutes behind Jonas Vingegaard in the general standings. Thirty-seven points still remain to be distributed in this 20th stage.

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