The first summit finish of this year’s Tour saw a fierce contest on the Super Planche des Belles Filles. The last of the attackers was beginning to savor his victory before being caught in the final strait by the tireless Tadej Pogacar.
A fierce battle for the break
A number of riders were keen to attack: Pierre Latour and Peter Sagan followed by Alexis Vuillermoz all showed willing, trying several times to escape the pack without success. The 11-man break finally formed without TotalEnergies.
“At the beginning of the stage, I tried to get away several times,” said Pierre Latour. “We fought for a long time, and Peter gave me a lot of momentum. Then I couldn’t go forward, so Alexis had a go. In the end, the group broke away without us.”
A cruel ending on the Super Planche des Belles Filles
With 7 km at an average grade of 8.7%, the Super Planche des Belles Filles has already been established as an iconic climb. The icing on the cake is a steep gravel section at 24%! Which all makes for a very exciting race.
Lennard Kämna was the strongest man in the leading group. The German clearly fancied his chances of taking the stage! But the best climbers gradually closed the gap, and the unsurfaced section put paid to his hopes of a win. With just 200 meters to go, Vingegaard launched a strong attack, and it looked as if victory would be his. The Dane caught Kämna 100 meters from the finish, but Pogacar had not given up, coming from behind to clinch the win in the last 20 meters in an incredible sprint finish.
Pierre Latour, 35th reaction after stage :
“It was the first time that I climbed the Super Planche des Belles Filles. It is more complicated than my previous climbing on the Planche des Belles Filles. Edvald and Mathieu tried to put me in front before the climb. I wasted a lot of energy at the begining of the stage to do my best.”