Time for revenge for the speedsters? The 19th stage in questions

At the twilight of a Tour de France for many already played, we should see a group finish during the 19th stage between Moirans-en-Montagne and Poligny on Friday.

The day after a stage promised to the sprinters, but taken away by the breakaway, the 19th work of this Tour de France 2023 will once again give pride of place to the rapids of the peloton, on Friday 21 July. After the surprise victory of Kasper Asgreen, it is once again the opportunity for the sprinter teams to set off in search of success and to prepare for Sunday’s prestigious finish line on the Champs-Elysées.

What is the profile?

Before Saturday’s final big day of racing in the Vosges, with 172.8km to go between Moirans-en-Montagne and Poligny, the riders will not be tested. Especially since the route will offer only two slight difficulties: the Côte du Bois de Lionge (1.9km at 5.7%) and the Côte d’Ivory (2.3km at 5.9%).

A final difficulty located just under 30 km from the finish which shouldn’t prevent a group finish according to the race director, Christian Prudhomme. “It’s not the Ivory Coast (…) that will prevent sprinters from taking advantage of a gigantic launch track: just over 8 km of final straight.“A straight ending therefore, favorable to the organization of the sprinter trains, but which could also create nervousness.

The profile of stage 19 of the 2023 Tour de France, between Moirans-en-Montagne and Poligny (172.8km).  (ASO)

Who are the favourites?

Kasper Asgreen won, but the game hasn’t changed. Untouchable so far (four sprint successes in this edition), Jasper Philipsen he didn’t win in Bourg-en-Bresse, but he didn’t lose to his competitors. It was he who set the pace for the peloton, finishing 4th on the stage. So will the Belgian from Alpecin-Deceuninck be galvanized or rather upset by this relative defeat? Response in the streets of Poligny, but there is no doubt that the green jersey will want to recover, especially two days from the finish on the Champs-Elysées.

Rare are the sprinters capable of going to tickle the so-called “Jasper Disaster”. But Bryan Coquard (Cofidis), Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) or Dylan Groenewegen (Team Jayco Alula), without forgetting Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek), Peter Sagan (TotalEnergies) and Alexander Kristoff (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team), could benefit from the many retirements to make Jasper Philipsen falter. That of Wout van Aert could benefit Chrisophe Laporte, who could be granted the right to participate in the Jumbo-Visma sprint.

It’s hard to imagine the group, now under suspicion, repeating the same mistakes and being surprised once again by Friday’s break.

What are the hours?

13:00: start of the broadcast on France 3 e france.tv
1.15pm: fictitious departure from Moirans-en-Montagne
1.30pm: actual departure (change to France 2 at 3.00pm)
17:11: Expected arrival (at an average of 47 km/h) in Poligny

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