Cycling

TOUR ROOKIE MAKES HIS MARC

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SWITZERLAND has produced a new star in road cycling, says Tour de France expert JOHN TREVORROW:

CYCLING’S new guard continue to trumpet their arrival at the Tour de France, with Swiss young gun Marc Hirschi delivering a virtuoso performance in stage 12 that belied his years. 

After finishing a close second to Juliian Alaphilippe on stage 2 and a cruel third on stage 9, the 22 year old Tour debutant swept those disappointments aside to seize not only his first Tour de France stage, but his first Pro win.    

“It’s unbelievable because I was close two times,” said Hirschi in his post-race interview. “I never believed that I could make it because I was really doubtful. I went full-gas until the last 200 metres, and this is super nice, I can’t describe it. It’s hard to put this into words.”

On the longest stage from Chauvigny to Sarran, 218 km, the former U23 World Champion looked to be in a class of his own, bursting clear from a small group and never looked like being caught. 

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 Team Sunweb produced a masterclass performance through the lumpy climbs of central France. The pace was on from the moment the flag was dropped but the early breakaway was never given much leeway and were nullified by Peter Sagan’s Bora team. Sagan was on a mission as he knew the terrain would be too tough for his arch rival Sam Bennett in the dual for the Green jersey.

Then, with 40km to go, Team Sunweb took control. Tiesj Benoot and Kragh Andersen attacked and Hirschi jumped across.

They were joined by teammate Nicolas Roche and this set up the opportunity for Hirschi to attack alone on the Suc au May, with 25km to go. It was a well formulated plan superbly delivered. As he did on stage 9, Hirschi descended incredibly well, using every bit of bit of the road but there were plenty of small climbs as well and he looked the strongest. 

Alaphilippe saw the danger and tried to close the gap with some help from his Deceuninck team but they never looked like they could bring back the brilliant Hirschi.  

 It was great to see Team Sunweb finally rewarded for their aggressive riding in this Tour. They have been implementing strong tactical plans each day only to see them thwarted each time. But not on this occasion and thoroughly deserved their first stage victory in three years.

The GC contenders were on high alert all day but never actually featured in the action. Primoz Roglic and his powerful Jumbo Visma squad kept a watchful eye on proceedings and all of the overall protagonists, including Aussie Richie Porte, seemed content to save as much energy as possible for stage 13 summit finish so there was no change in the overall standings.

Stage 12 

1Marc Hirschi (Swi) Team Sunweb05:08:49
2Pierre Rolland (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept00:00:47
3Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb00:00:52
4Quentin Pacher (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept00:00:52
5Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis00:00:52
6Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe00:00:52
7Hugo Houle (Can) Astana Pro Team00:00:52
8Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ00:00:52
9Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo00:00:56
10Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sunweb00:00:56
11Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-Quickstep00:01:48
12Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team00:02:05
13Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe00:02:30
14Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC Team00:02:30
15Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo00:02:30
16Michael Gogl (Aut) NTT Pro Cycling00:02:30
17Cyril Barthe (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept00:02:30
18Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R la Mondiale00:02:30
19Wout van Aert (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma00:02:30
20Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo00:02:30
21Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott00:02:30
22Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma00:02:30
23Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Ineos Grenadiers00:02:30
24Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma00:02:30
25Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers00:02:30
26Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates00:02:30
27Sepp Kuss (USA) Team Jumbo-Visma00:02:30
28Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:02:30
29Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis00:02:30
30Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Pro Cycling00:02:30
31Cyril Gautier (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept00:02:30
32Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain McLaren00:02:30
33Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team00:02:30
34Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Israel Start-Up Nation00:02:30
35Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott00:02:30
36Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ00:02:30
37Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott00:02:30
38Matteo Trentin (Ita) CCC Team00:02:30
39Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team00:02:30
40Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team00:02:30
41Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo00:02:30
42Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain McLaren00:02:30
43Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers00:02:30
44Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis00:02:30
45Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates00:02:30
46Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis00:02:30
47Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic00:02:30
48Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale00:02:30
49Niklas Eg (Den) Trek-Segafredo00:02:30
50Roman Kreuziger (Cze) NTT Pro Cycling00:02:30
51Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott00:02:30
52Romain Sicard (Fra) Total Direct Energie00:02:30
53Neilson Powless (USA) EF Pro Cycling00:02:30
54Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren00:02:30
55Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Team Sunweb00:02:30
56Andrey Amador (CRc) Ineos Grenadiers00:02:30
57Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team00:02:30
58Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:02:30
59Jens Keukeleire (Bel) EF Pro Cycling00:02:30
60David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:02:30
61Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott00:02:30
62Omar Fraile Matarranz (Spa) Astana Pro Team00:02:30
63Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar Team00:02:30
64Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale00:02:30
65Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:02:30
66Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal00:02:30
67Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic00:02:30
68Robert Gesink (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma00:02:30
69Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team00:02:30
70Winner Anacona (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic00:02:30

  GC after stage 12

1Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma51:26:43
2Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers00:00:21
3Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis00:00:28
4Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale00:00:30
5Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic00:00:32
6Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Pro Cycling00:00:32
7Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates00:00:44
8Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott00:01:02
9Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team00:01:15
10Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren00:01:42
11Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo00:01:53
12Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team00:02:02
13Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo00:02:31
14Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma00:03:22
15Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers00:03:42
16Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain McLaren00:03:42
17Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team00:03:43
18Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott00:12:13
19Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Pro Cycling00:13:15
20Pierre Rolland (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept00:18:57
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Author: John Trevorrow

JOHN TREVORROW is a multiple Australian champion road racer and Olympian who has been doing media commentary at the Tour de France for more than 20 years.

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