Tadej Pogacar sucks at Col de la Loze, 17th stage won by Felix Gall

The Austrian took his first Tour de France win on Wednesday when Jonas Vingegaard took advantage of his rival’s failure to solidify his yellow jersey between Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc and Courchevel.

He will have resisted until the end, even to the thunderous return of the yellow jersey. Flying solo over the Col de la Loze, Austrian Felix Gall (AG2R-Citroën) claimed his maiden Tour de France victory on Wednesday 19 July ahead of Simon Yates (Jayco Alula) and Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious). A memorable success on the queen stage of this edition, between Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc and Courchevel. Behind him, Jonas Vingegaard started in the general classification of the Tour de France after the failure of Tadej Pogacar, who fell at the start of the stage, the first of the favorites to go down fifteen kilometers from the finish.

Felix Gall, the best of a great escape of leaders

Aimed several minutes behind the yellow jersey, the top 10 members had more ideas at the start of stage 17 which featured more than 5,000 meters of elevation gain. Party on the run with in particular Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious), Simon Yates (Jayco Alula) and David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), Felix Gall had chosen his stage. Passing not far from the victory in Laruns, during the 5th stage, the Austrian led his AG2R-Citroën team to maintain the small advantage granted by Jumbo-Visma at the foot of the last climb (2’45”).

While in front, Julian Alaphilippe, once again on the attack, then Thibaut Pinot and Guillaume Martin broke free at the Col de la Loze, Felix Gall decided to fly away alone, supported by the crowd of the big days. With this first Tour victory, the AG2R-Citroën rider now moves up to 8th place in the general classification, behind Simon Yates who joins the top 5 with his second place in Courchevel. Having survived his escape, Frenchman David Gaudu finished fifth and remained in the top 10 overall.

The high road to Vingegaard

Behind, the last crumbs of suspense have flown away. While Jonas Vingegaard was only ten seconds ahead of Tadej Pogacar on Tuesday morning, the duel ended on Wednesday. After a first hard blow in the time trial between Passy and Combloux, the Slovenian was human again on the slopes of the Col de la Loze on Wednesday.

First favorite to descend to the highest peak of this edition, the latter, who fell at the start of the stage, struggled to finish the stage, pulled by his teammate Marc Soler. His teammate, Adam Yates, was not asked to get up and fought at the front to maintain and even consolidate his 3rd place. At the Courchevel altiport, Pogacar arrived with an outlay of almost six minutes in the yellow jersey. The double winner of the Tour (2020 and 2021) is now relegated to 7’35” in the general classification and gives up any hope of the yellow jersey in Paris.

Up front the yellow jersey didn’t ask any questions, in turn recovering the breakaways to finish 4th at 1’52” from the winner of the day, even if slowed down by the fall of a motorcycle in the crowd, which forced him to go down. Four days after the arrival at the Champs-Elysées there is no more suspense. .

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