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THE heavy hitters had their work cut out in another challenging mountain stage in the big bike race, says cycling expert JOHN TREVORROW:

A BRUTAL day in the Massif Central mountains saw two separate battles unfold in stage 13 of the Tour de France —  a race for stage honours and a race for the yellow jersey.

The journey from Chatel-Guyon to the summit finish on Puy Mary was a monster of a day. 197 km with 4500 metres of climbing, seven categorised climbs including a category 1 challenge after only 25 kms. And just to top it off a category 1 finale up an extinct volcano.

An early crash saw Richie Porte’s Trek Segafredo teammate Bauke Mollema carted away in an ambulance and two contenders, Colombian Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic) and French hope Romain Bardet (AG2R), scramble back to the main peloton. Bardet struggled gallantly to finish but has now withdrawn with concussion.    

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The breakaway took nearly 50 km to establish itself and then a couple of groups came together which included a few heavyweights who were far enough down on GC not to be a threat. This saw seventeen riders open up a lead of seven minutes.

Max Schachmann (Bora-hansgrohe) jumped clear inside the final 20 km and then with 15 km to go Daniel Martinez (EF Pro Cycling) powered away from the splintering group with Lennard Kämna (BORA-hansgrohe) glued to his wheel. We were presented with a fascinating tactical battle and the two German Bora riders looked to have the numerical advantage over the Colombian. But Martinez was showing glimpses of his Dauphine winning form, plus the steep slopes of the Puy Mary worked to the climbing specialist’s advantage. He shelled Schaschmann in the final 5 km and overpowered Kamma in the last 50 metres.

But the battle for the Yellow jersey was what we were really focused on. Team Ineos looked to retake some initiative and put the hammer down as they approached the final climb. But Jumbo-Visma had the superior numbers and, as it turned out the superior firepower.  

What unfolded over the final two kms of the challenging final climb was just awesome. Race leader Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) and his Slovenian compatriot Tadej Podacar (UAE) attacked and cracks were appearing everywhere amongst all the contenders. Except for Porte who was magnificent. The Tasmanian showed some of the brilliant climbing prowess of Tours gone by and fought all the way to the line only losing 13 seconds on the Slovenian pair and taking 25 seconds from Bernal, Rigoberto Uran, Adam Yates and Quintana, moving up to 9th place 2m06 sec down on Roglic.

I may have to rethink putting Bernal back as my favourite because he looked under severe pressure and it doesn’t bode well to defending his title. On the other hand Roglic and Podacar have shown no signs of weakness and I just can’t wait until Sunday’s brutal 16 km assent of the Grand Colombier.

Stage 13

1Daniel Felipe Martinez Poveda (Col) EF Pro Cycling05:01:47
2Lennard Kämna (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe00:00:04
3Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe00:00:51
4Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:01:33
5Pierre Rolland (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept00:01:42
6Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis00:01:53
7Simon Geschke (Ger) CCC Team00:02:35
8Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team00:02:43
9Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Pro Cycling00:03:18
10David De la Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) UAE Team Emirates00:03:52
11Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation00:04:31
12Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma00:06:05
13Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates00:06:05
14Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo00:06:18
15Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren00:06:18
16Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team00:06:21
17Neilson Powless (USA) EF Pro Cycling00:06:29
18Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers00:06:43
19Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Pro Cycling00:06:43
20Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott00:06:45
21Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic00:06:45
22Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team00:06:57
23Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma00:07:15
24Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers00:07:34
25Sepp Kuss (USA) Team Jumbo-Visma00:07:34
26Romain Sicard (Fra) Total Direct Energie00:07:49
27Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale00:08:35
28Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team00:08:44
29Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis00:08:51
30Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic00:09:25

GC after stage 13

1Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma56:34:35
2Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates00:00:44
3Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers00:00:59
4Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Pro Cycling00:01:10
5Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic00:01:12
6Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team00:01:31
7Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott00:01:42
8Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren00:01:55
9Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo00:02:06
10Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team00:02:54
11Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale00:03:00
12Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis00:03:14
13Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma00:04:32
14Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers00:05:11
15Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team00:06:22
16Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain McLaren00:07:02
17Pierre Rolland (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept00:14:34
18Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Pro Cycling00:26:12
19Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic00:27:11
20Sepp Kuss (USA) Team Jumbo-Visma00:33:30
21Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott00:36:09
22Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team00:36:46
23Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team00:40:13
24Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:42:16
25Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain McLaren00:42:56

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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